Monthly Archive: November 2013

Good Morning From Michigan’s Upper Peninsula!

woodsCould the name “Black Friday” be any less appropriate?  This is the view from inside my parents’ cabin this morning in Dickinson County, miles and miles from any lines of shoppers and retail madness.  It’s currently 2 degrees and the sun is shining on the hoarfrost.  Later we’ll pack the kids up and drive about 18 miles to see my grandma and some other family.  The little ones LOVE it here, but are still learning to function while keeping mittens on :)  I may be hunting for good deals on more mittens and parkas for the kids in my pajamas by keeping an eye on one of my favorites, The Mashup Mom, this morning…  Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving!

After a six hour+ drive North, Mr. M and I are safely reunited with my two favorite little people.  We rented a vehicle for this trip so we could get to these two in a hurry- I’ve been completely out of my element without them! So thankful for their hugs and stories. I have a few events to share from the past week myself, including some stuff from my Boston/Cambridge bike ride and some pictures of my most extreme Winter biking to date (spoiler- not terribly extreme!)  Maybe I’ll get those posted soon- but for tonight, as I watch my husband and babies snoring, piled up like the Croods, if you can picture it,  I’m just letting my heart be full, resting, and wishing everyone a safe, happy, and warm holiday shared with good company.  Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Metra Ride- Followed by One Week Kid Free



We rode the Metra last week to meet my mom, who despises driving in Chicago, and to unload my two children on her for a week.  I’m off to Boston for a conference to present and will be traveling solo.

Two things I Googled before getting to the platform, not because I’m new to Metra, but because the ride was long, getting ready took longer than I’d planned, and I am forgetful:

Q- Can I bring food on the Metra?  A- Yes.  And no one will mind.  But it should probably not be the good, fragrant stuff they can smell, or stuff that drips, or gets cold, so CVS snacks it is.  We found CVS to be well stocked with train-friendly fare like mini cookies, trail mix, dried fruits, and popcorn at shockingly normal prices in the Ogilvie Transportation Center.  I also found reasonably priced alcohol, and picked up a drink for the ride back.  Metra is BYOB and many, many passengers bring a beer or mini-bottle of wine along for the trip.  When not riding a bike, chauffeuring children, or charged with their well being, I enjoy a drink.  Carpe diem.

Q- Are there outlets on the Metra?  A- Not that I could find.  So charge that battery before you go.  Or bring this little gadget along (soon to be reviewed in Car Free Game Changers.)

Once again, Little Guy was fascinated with the onboard restroom, and the kids both benefitted from a nearly empty train car with room to make noise and run around.  Until some guy got on near the naval academy while having a heated argument with someone about reporting his drug use to his probation officer on his cell phone and busted out some F bombs… my teacher look didn’t quiet him completely, but he stopped swearing, so…On the way back Mr. M and I sat up on the top level and could comfortably recline by putting our feet up on each other’s seats.

Total cost of a Metra Trip for two: UPN line, back and forth from end to end on a weekday- $34.  Kids are free.  That’s pretty decent- and it’s cheaper on weekends.