Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Weekend Getaway - Chicago

Jon and I decided to take a last minute trip to Chicago this weekend and I learned a few new things about the city during our stay. First off, snow has a way of magically disappearing in Chicago, second, everything takes longer than expected, and last, getting around town with two kids, a toddler, and a very pregnant woman is...well...interesting.

We began our adventure early Friday evening, cramming luggage and kids into the car, and loading up on every type of junk food imaginable. I was a little hesitant to make the trip with a car full of precious cargo considering that our friends up north had just spent the past 24 hours enduring the “Saskatchewan Screamer” which, according to every news channel, had blanketed the city in up to six inches of snow and ice. I’m glad we didn’t cancel our trip. There was not a TRACE of snow anywhere. I know the northern suburbs took the brunt of the storm and I’m assuming the heat of the city just instantly melts the snow away or something, but it was a little weird. I mean, the ground wasn’t even wet! Whatever the case, it was a big relief not to have to worry about the road conditions after all.

We got settled in at our hotel and then headed out for dinner at a sushi place a few blocks away. I have to say that the staff at this restaurant (and actually all of the restaurants that we went to) were SO great with Sydney. I was really surprised by how child-friendly the restaurants were (keeping in mind that we didn’t go anywhere really high-end). After dinner we went back to the hotel and Sydney and I settled in for the night while the boys headed out to Dave and Buster's for a while.

The next day we took our time with a leisurely start to the day. Sydney slept in the room with me an Jon but she couldn't wait to run out each morning and see "the boys".

Once we were ready, we geared up and headed out to explore the city! The morning was cold, but the sun was shinning, the streets were uncrowded, and it was a beautiful start to the day.  

We met up with uncle Jeff who spent the day with us while we took in the view from the Sky Deck, ate lunch at a pizzeria, went to Navy Pier, and did a LOT of walking. I think we were all exhausted by the end of the day. What do people with young kids in the city do anyway? Do you take them in taxis? Is that even legal? The Sky Deck was really neat; I think the boys enjoyed it, but man! I didn't realize it was such a tourist trap! What I thought would be a quick activity, turned into a three hour event with long, long, lines! Oh well, it's all about building memories anyway, so I think it was still worth it.

Our extended stay at the Sky Deck, delayed our trip to Navy Pier, so by the time we got there the children's museum was closed, but we made lemonade and enjoyed what we could at the Pier.

When we got back to the hotel, the kids and I went swimming, while Jon and Jeff went to get us the most awesome churros and soft serve. YUM! Sydney had gone all day without a nap so, once again, we called it a night while the boys headed back out to do some bowling.

We spent our last day in Chicago at the aquarium which, aside from the swimming, was Sydney’s favorite part of the trip I believe.

We had a great time, but the weekend was exhausting. I'm just glad that Jon, Jeff, and the boys were there to help out with Sydney and act as my pack-mule, so that this pregnant mama could waddle miles around the city all weekend. 

The kids all fell asleep about 15 minutes into our drive and slept the entire way home. Believe me it's what Jon and i wanted to do too!

I love visiting the city, it's alive and inspiring, and there's always something new to be experienced or discovered; but there's something about coming home to the peace and quiet of our small town that allows my shoulders to settle a little, my lungs to breath a little deeper, and my mind to relax back into the rhythm of routine. It's good to be home. 

Until we meet again Chicago!

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