6:00 AM

Life in the city, or even a neighborhood within the city, involves trains.
Much to the SUPER great excitement of my children.

As a family, we drive pretty much anywhere we need to go. 

But we did sell one of our cars before moving here, because we really only need one vehicle.

Kyle walks 5 minutes (3 blocks) every morning to the train (Purple line) to head downtown to his office and then hops back on in the evening to come home. 

He loves it. Even when it's freezing outside. He has a few moments on the walk home to pass Touhy Park and then at the end of the street, there's our house - usually very lit up and welcoming - with squealing kids who greet him as though he's the best thing since peanut butter. Which he is.

I just asked Kyle what he likes about taking the train in, and here's his reply, 
"Hmm...there's something about's's metal...rumbly...there's something about a communal spirit heading to work..but at the same time, on your own...reading, reflection time..."

 We pay $100 for a monthly train pass for Kyle, but if we all ride as a family (which we have only done twice), everyone over 7 pays $3 for a single trip. So for now, it's $9 one way. 

We took the train downtown before Christmas to Michigan Avenue for some shopping, and well....because it's Michigan Avenue at Christmas. You gotta do it. 

As an added bonus, it started snowing like crazy while we were down there. It was beyond magical. Truly.  As was the salted caramel fudge brownie sundae we shared at the Ghirardelli store near the Water Tower. I love that place. Everyone who enters is handed a free chocolate square. 

I digress.

Funny/sad train story? On the way home after our Michigan Avenue day, August got totally motion sick and puked his guts out on the (thankfully) mostly empty train. Talk about clearing some space for yourself. Accomplished!

There's something called the Holiday Train, too.  Sometime after Thanksgiving, a shorter (3-4 cars) train is decked out in pure Christmas and becomes the Holiday Train. 

 Its location changes throughout the city during the Christmas season according to a schedule, so you have to pay attention to when it's close to your area.  

The train is covered in lights inside and out and a remarkably authentic Santa is on board with elves passing out candy canes. In our experience the train is crazy packed with super excited kids and their accommodating parents.  

Then there was Friday night when Kyle, after spending several days in Kenosha for a Snap-On photo shoot, had a rental car to return to Evanston. 

Rather than us taking two cars up there to return it, he creatively gave me some "mostly alone" time by driving to the rental place with the 4 older kids and hopping on the Purple line train to come back to Rogers Park. 

Total cost for some easy, Friday night entertainment? $6

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  1. What fun! Love those photos. My mom was born in Kenosha and my parents lived in Chicago while they went to Moody Bible Institute. She worked downtown at the American Library Association and my dad gave bus tours. She still misses the city. You guys look like you are having a blast!