There is a commuter train from the South Bend Airport that runs into downtown Chicago. Two kids can ride free per paid adult ticket, so, considering gasoline, parking, and toll, it's probably cheaper to ride the train. And it's so much more fun. Especially considering the paper cups and water spigot right there next to the seats. Nothing could be better. (Or more convenient, considering the bathroom is right next to the water, and it only takes 10,000 trips to take care of the 10,000 cups of water. Thank you, Sara!)
The South Shore Line terminates at Randolph Street-conveniently across Michigan Avenue (I think) from Millenium Park, home of the World's Largest Metal Jelly Bean.
I wonder how often they have to polish that thing to keep it so shiny.
We wandered up Michigan Avenue, delighting in all the Christmas decorations, and sure that we (being still on Indiana time) would beat the crowds to delicious Giordano's Pizza. Unfortunately, even before 5:00, there was an hour-and-a-half wait for dinner. Way too long. (There was also an unfortunate contact between Mimi's chin and the sidewalk. With all the screaming and the blood, it was relatively easy to get through the crowds and to the bathroom to clean her up. This is when having a doctor in the family is really handy--the determination was made that no stitches were necessary.)
Bella was, as usual, in the Moby Wrap (all you moms with babies out there--you really need to get yourself one of these). She loved to look up at the overhead Christmas lights on the trees lining the Mile. With her cute little Boden bear jacket sticking out of the top of my coat, several passersby commented on her cuteness.
One woman stopped me, and with a smile on her face (so I thought she was going to tell me how adorable my baby was) said, "You really shouldn't keep your baby with her neck hyperextended like that. It's bad for her. I know because I work in Peds." I was taken entirely by surprise. What do you say to unsolicited advice? I wanted to say, "She's holding her own head like that because she wants to look at the lights. She's perfectly capable of holding it up, if she decides to." Or "Mind your own business, Miss Noseypants." Or "Hmm. . . I must have missed the news alarm about the horrible epidemic of babies who have been paralyzed by looking up too much." However, I simply said "Oh" and moved on.
The trip was capped by a visit to the Disney Store, a place of delights heretofore unknown to my amazed children. The only low point was the nausea of poor Joe, Sara's husband, who was sick the entire day, but hid it very well.And riding home on the train was ten times better than braving Chicago traffic and driving home so very late. I'm definitely going to do that again.