Monday, June 01, 2009

This time, it really was our kind of town

We spent last week in Chicago, on a whim Chad had a few months ago. He suggested the idea of going and then backed that idea up by finding a ridiculously cheap hotel room. ($79 a night! For the Sheraton, steps away from the Magnificent Mile!) How could I say no? We packed the DVD player and almost every one of the kids' movies into the car and off we went. Seven hours later (which included one missed exit and one extended lunch to let the kids burn off some steam), we were there.

[I didn't announce this trip in advance because really, who wants to advertise that their house is empty? - though if anyone shady is reading, I must warn you, it's equipped with an alarm system. So you'd best stay away.]

I love Chicago. So many fun things to see and do there. And it's very kid-friendly, which is super-critical to us at this point in our lives. We spent our first full day at the Shedd Aquarium. We spent our next day at the Children's Museum. And the next day at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Of these, we only paid to get into the aquarium - the other attractions are free. We shopped a lot the next day - not free, but fun! We ate lots of Chicago-style hot dogs (topped with lettuce, tomato wedges and dill pickle spears) and Chicago-style pizza (not to be confused with deep dish, though that's exactly how I would describe it. Chad made the mistake of saying 'deep dish' as he ordered and the pizzaria owner nearly hung up on him.) We also ate lots of Garrett's popcorn, which no trip to Chicago would be complete without. Good thing the store recently closed its Mag Mile location and has yet to open the one taking its place. If it weren't for the hike it took to get it, I could easily have consumed a bag of it a day.

Last time we were in Chicago, it poured rain the entire time. This time, it was only sunny one day... but though it was overcast for the rest of the trip, it didn't rain. I only got soaked once, when I went out shopping after the kids were in bed. It was a thirty-second walk to Ann Taylor and Kenneth Cole... there was no time to be lounging in the hotel room when the stores were still open! I came home with some amazing things. It's just as well that I don't live there, or a much larger chunk of our household income would be spent on shoes and clothing, I'm sure.

Mallory settled down a little - and I mean, a little - after her speed-addict impersonation the first night. On the second night, Liam started to cry when we put him to bed. "Mallory is too noisy!" he wailed, right as she launched into singing Rockabye Baby to herself and saying something about a booger in her nose. I let him fall asleep on the bed beside me - which took all of thirty seconds, the poor thing was so tired - then moved him over to his bed (next to the crib) later. Mallory's chatter didn't disturb him at all after that, though it lasted for nearly as long as it had the first night.

The next time we are all slated to share a hotel room together is the night before Aunty Katrina's wedding. I am nervous enough about Mallory making it through the day without embarrassing us as it is, and I was banking on her having a good night's sleep to help her get through. Now, I'm not so sure that will happen, but what can I do? Smile and apologize profusely, I guess.

I uploaded our trip pics to (one of) my Flickr account(s), which you can access through the badge on the sidebar. Commentary is only done on half of them. I had to whip through the second half of the upload first thing this morning, before I left for work. There's a monthly upload limit on Flickr and I hit mine last night. Good thing the calendar rolled over this morning. Methinks it's time to upgrade to a paid account without so many constraints.


Dawn said...

self portrait in the bean!!!!

dad said...

No baseball games - you went to Chicago and you didn't see a ballgame - why go???

megan said...

How did you get all the other people to get out of your frame in the bean photo? I waited and waited and they would never leave.

Carrie said...

We got there at, like, 8 a.m. on a weekday!

We went back on Saturday around 10 a.m., and it was a zoo!