Thank goodness for Grandma. My mom had the foresight to pull a brand-spanking-new Superman Comic book out of her purse for Sam to read five times in a row (out loud) on the train in. He was enthralled.
Charlotte charmed everyone around us with continual "Hi's!" that sounded like a tiny kitten mewing over and over again. She loved sitting like a big girl in the seat next to me, spilling crumbs from some contraband cheese-it's all over the chair, anything to keep her happy.
We pulled into Ogilvie train station and walked immediately down the steps that are out by the train tracks. The Chicago French Market entrance is right off that main lobby there, along with the welcome addition of a great Lavazza coffee cafe.
vendors, each and every one legitimate in what they do. An awesome artisanal cheese maker, several bakeries and patisseries, four large local produce stands with great looking fruits and veggies, a fishmonger with the biggest shrimp I'd ever seen, octopus and smelt, and best of all, the smell of freshly cut Belgian "chips" being fried to order.
All in all, it was perfect. We arrived at about 11am, and had time to wander through the nearly empty market and buy our lunch before the noon crowd rolled in. Suddenly there were lines everywhere, people waiting for sandwiches and pasta/crepes/japanese noodles/juice made to order, with no tables or places to sit to be found. I was glad that they were doing well, and SO jealous that this market didn't exist when we lived directly across the street on Canal, years ago.
My advice to you? Go! And as soon as possible. Look for the free 30 minute parking on Canal Street, or take the train into Ogilvie. Get there well before noon. Keep your three year olds locked in their strollers, inhibiting the grabbing of pastries and knocking down of flower displays. Definitely wait the four minutes for a "grande" order of Belgian fries. Look for Fumare Meats and buy the hot sandwich of the day. Before you leave, order a caramel latte from Lavazza coffee to enjoy on the train ride home.
And, finally, DON'T, under ANY circumstances, forget to grab your precious bag full of french macarons and a peanut butter raspberry jam chocolate chip bar and chocolate croissants and leftover sandwich, leaving it under your seat on the train.
The engine pulled away and I stared after it dejectedly, as my three year old cried and wanted to know where his "me-coons" were.
I hope somebody at least got to enjoy them.