Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Wherever You Go, There You Are...
I dragged my posse to Michigan Avenue last night. I wanted to catch a carriage ride and talk to some of the drivers in Chicago. My first carriage experience was here about 27 years ago. My best friend turned 21 and we took a ride to celebrate. Last night, The Kid and my baby bro (38, so no not so baby-ish anymore, but still...) sat in the carriage and chatted about me totally ignoring them while I talked with our driver, "C-Squared". I made sure she knew that I would be interviewing her for my blog and agreed not to use her name because that's how we carriage drivers roll.
This horse's name is Orsay which C-Squared said is French but to me sounds a little like Pig-Latin...
C-Squared has been a driver for Chicago Horse and Carriage for three years and works it full time. To be a carriage driver for the company C-Squared works at you have to train for two weeks, and take a test. The costs involved are $40 for fingerprints, (Fingerprints, seriously? So they have them in the database for all the crimes commited by horse drawn carriage banditos? WTF!) and $30 for the license after you take a test. You are allowed to take/fail the test three times, and if you Epic Fail the third time you have to wait a year to re-take it. The company she works for also is a lot stricter about hours, scheduling, and credit cards than the one I work for. So, yes, I know how lucky I am.
The horses have their own drinking fountains
So we had a pleasant ride around the city, chatting about the carriage trade, and she dropped us off at The Water Tower where there were a bunch of drivers staging.
Then we walked to Navy Pier and hacked around for a while before taking a cab back to the parking lot and heading back to my brother's place.