Monday, April 02, 2012

Riding the Rails

a/k/a Spring Break, Day 1.

A week off from school, a sunny day, nowhere to be, and nothing we had to see...a perfect afternoon for a make-your-own adventure! The Boy, The Girl, The Tot (Who's Not), and I set out this afternoon to see what's at the end of the Skokie Swift line. 

Skokie, of course. An aging, heavily immigrant, heavily Jewish population make this 'burb an interesting destination for our fairly young, fairly gentile, fairly bland party of four. As a nearly native South(side) Suburbaner, I never really had the occasion during my own childhood to visit Skokie, and cannot reliably remember doing so until The Dad and I moved to the northwest side in 2002. Outside of the occasional trip to Old Orchard or the Pita Inn, I've never really explored this village. Truth be told, this visit was not significantly different, although we took the CTA and walked the mile between the train depot and the now-defunct Ice Cream Shoppe along Dempster. And back. 

This gave us lots of time in the village, and walking gave us lots of opportunities to observe the little things as we walked. What we did explore was a mile-long stretch of Dempster Avenue, the inside of a Walgreen's, and the Village Market. I wanted to go to Scandinavian Designs, just adjacent to the Village Market, but The Boy was unyielding on this point. 

It's a long trip between our house and our day's destination: the 80 bus to the red line to the yellow line. Thank goodness that's not a commute I must make daily; it took over 90 minutes in one direction. The trip was not very exciting, although there were tears when we discovered the Ice Cream Shoppe had shuttered. But I find that trips like these are a good way for us to unplug as a family, relate to each other, and enjoy the ride. The Boy and The Girl had a long chat about learning the recorder. The Boy and The Tot conspired to buy The Girl a present for her upcoming birthday. And The Girl impressed us all with her ability to blow bubbles with a stick of Juicy Fruit. All in all, a good start to the week.

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