Take the “L” Train


Weekends are big adventure days for us.  And by adventure, I mean leaving our yard.

Sometimes, we go to a friend’s house 2 blocks away…in our car.  Sometimes, we go to the store 6 blocks away…in our car.  And sometimes we even go out to the burbs…in our car.

Last weekend, we decided to step outside our comfort zone by taking the 3 kids on the L and going downtown.  With a 3-to-2 parent-child ratio, this really should not have been difficult. Besides, we had seen plenty of single parents riding public transportation with 3, 4, and even 6 kids in tow.

By 9:05am we had picked a destination – Macy’s Brasilian-themed Flower Show.   It was easily accessible from the train, and had clean bathrooms and a food court on-site.

At 11:05am we finally left the house for the Howard stop, doubling back only once to grab a hat for Olivia.  Clearly, we need to get our system down.  After all, I have visions of traveling internationally with this crew.

We may start with Canada.

The ride downtown was filled with non-stop train-related commentary:

“Gabe!  Do you see the birdie on the tree…hon, you have to stop clinging to me like a drowning cat.”

“Nick!  There’s another train coming!  How cool is that!  Um, sweetie, please don’t put your mouth on the window.”

“Olivia….peak-a-boo…peak-a-boo…peak-a-whoops.  Too much excitement.  Where’s that burpie rag?”

Our first stop, even after plying the kids with high-protein snacks right before the 35-minute train ride, was the food court where Nick insisted on cooked sushi and Gabe insisted on smearing his broccoli on the edge of the table.  Is noon too early to start drinking on Sunday?

No worries, though, because Brasil awaited us on the 9th floor, which we would eventually reach after 5 packed elevators left without us.  Nick initially breezed through the exhibit, but on his way out struck up a conversation with a guide who gave us a private tour.

(Nick lives in The Bubble.  I want to go to there.)

By this point, Gabe and Olivia were out cold, which could have bought us more time downtown.  But judging from Nick’s shortening attention span, we only had another 30 minutes to get back on the train before all hell broke loose.  The ROI on this adventure was rapidly diminishing – 2 hours of prep time for 2 hours downtown?

That just ain’t right.

We hightailed it out of Macy’s, and made it back to the L after carrying Gabe’s stroller down 2 flights of stairs.

Me: I think that elevator is out of order.

Lori: It can’t be. That’s against the ADA.

Me: You realize this is the red line, right?

We muscled our way to seats that would let Nick catch a few zzzz’s before making the walk home, which turned out to be long, cold and riddled with tantrums.


I look forward to the day when we can leave the house in 30 minutes, spend an entire day downtown, and return with smiles on our faces.

We’ll get there, eventually, one train ride at a time.

2 thoughts on “Take the “L” Train

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