Travels with Children

The adventures I embark upon with my four young children.

Riding the rails

For years, I didn’t go to downtown Minneapolis, no matter what. While a lot of rural Minnesotans refuse to drive at all in “the Cities,” that doesn’t bother me, but there was always something about downtown Minneapolis, with its one-way streets, pedestrian malls, and parking ramps that confused me enough to stay away.

Then they built the Hiawatha Light Rail train line. Now we can park in Bloomington at a Park & Ride lot or take a side trip right from Mall of America, pay a few dollars, and hop on the train headed for downtown.

The first time we rode the light rail was with a friend. We each pushed a double stroller and I had a baby in a front carrier. We got quite a few stares that time. Since then, we’ve gone downtown with and without Dad. We sometimes get off at Metrodome and walk to Mill City Museum or Old Spaghetti Factory, or go to Nicollet Mall and see the displays at Dayton’s Marshall Field’s Macy’s.

The last time I went, I had one child in a stroller and three walking and they loved the train ride. The trains are decorated with advertisements, and they were excited to be on the “South Dakota” train. They thought it was really neat that people brought their bikes onto the train and put them in the special racks, and that they could choose to ride backward or forward.

But best of all, they love riding on a real train that goes fast and goes over bridges and through tunnels. And I love not driving downtown.

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