My adventure for today was a trip to Edgebrook's Cut-Rate Toys. The purpose of my visit was to purchase a Radio Flyer Runbike to give to The Girl for Christmas. The Boy is incapable of keeping a secret (which is a good thing for a 5-year-old, in my opinion), so I brought The Tot with me on the errand.
Despite Saturday traffic, it only took us about 15 minutes to drive there. I drove up Central Avenue, which proved to be gorgeous as it wound through the Forest Reserves. Finding a metered parking spot along Devon Avenue was easy-peasy. I even let The Tot walk across the street (holding my hand, of course).
My neighbor had told me that Cut-Rate Toys was a dingy little store, but I didn't think it was that bad. It was actually quite spacious and I felt less enveloped by stuff as I have in boutique toy stores like Building Blocks Toys and Timeless Toys. It was also refreshingly not a Toys R Us imitation; that place gives me a headache after about 5 minutes. CRT had a good mix of toys -- Darda cars, Melissa & Doug sets, Lego, Brio, Fisher-Price and some party-supply quality things as well.
I found what I needed right away while The Tot discovered the train table. Cut-Rate Toys has at least one aisle of wooden train accessories (tracks, locomotives, cars, etc.), most of which are Thomas the Tank Engine or Brio. The Tot zoomed into the train table and did not move much during our 45-minute visit to the store. He cried for quite a long time when we left; he did not want to leave the choo-choos.
I had been planning to take him for an ice cream at The Chocolate Shoppe, but he wandered into a salon just before the ice cream parlor and the owner gave him a dum-dum sucker. He forgot about the trains and was a happy camper for the drive home.