We took the T into town yesterday and then took the ferry out to the Boston Harbor Islands for a truly gorgeous day of picnicking, kite flying, beach walking, and gazing at Boston skyline and harbor.
We found out that there's also a ferry that goes from Rowe's Wharf to Salem, and we're thinking about making a day out of that trip in October. Sure, it'd be cheaper to rent a Zipcar for the day, but it'd be a lot more fun to take the boat. (The boat costs $24 round trip for adults ($20 off season). So if just one person was going, it'd be cheaper to take the boat for the day, but for the four of us, a car would be cheaper. Bummer.)
In getting rid of our car, we end up with a little bit of extra cash that can allow us more freedom to explore other modes of transportation within our region. So we can investigate more travel by water, as well as consider some train trips. Different modes of travel offer a new variety of sights, sounds, and a different rhythm to the journeys we make. Most car travel, maybe because it's such a part of normal everyday life, is very much about getting from Point A to Point B. Travel by boat, train, bicycle, or even by foot changes our relationship to time and the landscape around us. It also shifts us from the standard points of arrival and departure, so that places that we've seen many times before, are suddenly perceived from new vantages points.
Giving up the car does give up a little convenience (though not as much as you might expect), but it does offer up a lot of other experiences.