The Southern grandparents agreed to take Everett overnight last Saturday, so we loosely planned a date night. We had been wanting to try a new restaurant out on Huff Road and just looked at some homes for sale on the opposite side of town earlier in the day, so our East Side/West Side adventure took shape. Non-conventional? Yes. Crazy awesome? Absolutely!

First Leg: Bring Everett to Lindbergh
Mode of transport: Walking (0.5), Bus (2), Train (7)
Distance: 9.5 miles

This was not impossible, but it was difficult. And frustrating. It was both difficult and frustrating…

We brought our two bikes and Everett’s gear, including a cooler filled with food and a half gallon of soymilk. We had to walk a bit to the bus stop with all of this and we managed to make it, but we had to modify some things. We strapped the cooler to the rear rack of one bike and I walked both (now top-heavy) bikes up the street while Rebecca carried Everett and his overnight bag. It was awkward and I swear, the heat index must have 400 degrees (Read: cookies in the oven.) At the bus stop, we took the cooler off, set the bikes to the side and entertained Everett until we saw the bus in the distance. Only after I saw the bus did I remember there is only space for two bikes on the rack…

Now, had there been one bike on the rack as the bus approached, I’m pretty sure I would have just ran toward the bus and stepped out in front of it while it still had some speed behind it (at least that’s how it plays out in my mind in an imaginary cutaway scene similar to those in Scrubs.) But thankfully both our levels of dwindling sanity remained intact and an empty bike rack was waiting for our two bikes on the #71. We made it to the West End station, offloaded the bikes and caught our northbound train just in time.

Oh, sure... NOW he naps!

At Lindbergh station, grandpa arrived just as we walked across the street to our meet up spot. We were almost there! A night of freedom with the wind blowing through our (Rebecca’s) hair! But no. Everett did not nap in the afternoon like he normally does (see above picture), so enter the car tantrum.

Everett likes car seats about half of the time. The rest of the time he’s crying, kicking, talking in tongues, slapping and just general all-around good times. It’s nearly impossible to get him into the seat and once in he has to be driven around a bit before returning to his normal state. He never does that in his bike trailer though. He used to once in a while, but now he loves it. Anyhow, a trip around the station in the car with his momma calmed him down and they were off.

We sat and gathered our wits again with some cold coffee at Sip – The Experience, our old BeltLine (t)Rail Runners Club haunt, and then hit the bike rack. Let the adventures begin again! Just like old times!

Second Leg: Get to Urban Pl8
Mode of transport: Train (3), Bicycle (2.6)
Distance: 5.6 miles

With bikes in hand, we jumped back on the train and headed south to Arts Center. From there, we rode to 17th street and headed out to the Westside to start our night and try out a new restaurant – Urban Pl8.

Oh, Atlantic Station… Where Bus Only lanes become jam-packed with car traffic and the bike lane becomes a parking lane. You whisper softly to nearby commuters stuck on the highway, “Drive to me! Buy nice things! This place is yours, Dear Automobiles – yours and yours alone.” Its one saving grace (to me, anyway) is our old friend Ikea.
Here’s a pic Rebecca snapped while we waited at a light. Notice the Yukon parked in the bike lane…

Atlantic Station - 17th Street Bike Lane

After passing through Carmageddon, we rode the remaining mile or two to Urban Pl8.
Very cool place! Family seating, a great menu, decent drink selections, nice atmosphere and a few veg*n items to choose from as well. We’re going to have to return soon and try their brunch, which looks awesome.

And off we went…

Third Leg: Urban Pl8 to Kirkwood
Mode of Transport: Bicycle (8.4), Train (3.3)
Distance: 11.7 miles

Earlier in the day, we were looking at homes with our real estate agent in Kirkwood. Since neither of us had spent any time over there before, we thought it would be a great idea to go hang out, ride around and see how it felt. We rode back into town on Marietta Street, hopped the train at Five Points and headed east.

We got off at Edgewood/Candler park station, since this is the closest station to some homes we had seen. A nearby MARTA station is important. We’re looking for an affordable place in which it’s fairly easy to be car-free. Kirkwood now tops our list. It was an easy, short ride to Hosea Williams and the Kirkwood commercial area from the Edgewood station. The area had a good feel to it. There is a coffee shop, pizza place, a couple of bars and a nearby library. Hosea Williams has a bike lane and the Trolley Line Trail runs through the north side of the neighborhood to Agnes Scott College from King Memorial Station.

We finished off with a visit to the Kirkwood Public House and listened to some live music. Back to the horses!

Safety First!

Fourth Leg: Kirkwood to House
Mode of Transport: Bicycle (7.9), Train (3.3)
Distance: 11.2 ­miles

We went back through the neighborhood and waited for the elevator to open at Edgewood station. We got in and immediately noticed a giant moth flapping its wings while hanging on to the top of the elevator. Luna moths only live 1 week as adults and it was probably getting really bored riding the elevator up and down, so we rescued it and let it go outside.

Edgewood Luna Moth

We got back on the elevator, took the train to Five Points and then rode the remaining way home. It was an excellent adventure indeed. And, one we’ll do again soon…

Total Mileage: 38 miles (18.9 by bike, 16.6 by train, 2.0 by bus, 0.5 by walking)