We spent the past weekend on a whirlwind tour of Chicago with Karen and her family. It was really fun and I have the pictures to prove it, but most of them violate my rule of No Kid Faces On The Blog. If we are FB friends, have at it. I put a bunch up there.
We left early Saturday morning and spent most of the first day at Lincoln Park Zoo. Zoos generally make me sad, but this one was better than our local zoo. We ate a picnic in the middle of the day and I think the kids enjoyed the aggressive seagulls more than any other animal.
By the late afternoon, we were exhausted. After not being able to find the restaurant the hotel guy told us about, we settled for Five Guys' excellent burgers. I think we were all asleep by 9:30.
The next day we ate all the free breakfast the hotel offered and then walked all over Chicago. Karen's 9yo got sick early in the day and she spent the day alternating puking and sleeping all over Chicago - poor kid. We went to see sculptures by Alexander Caulder and Picasso. My children enjoyed chasing pigeons and the revolving door at Walgreens.
Our city is moderately large, but many times in the weekend I felt like my kids should be wearing t-shirts that said "Country Mouse." Chicago is a great city, though, and I - with my love of cities - could live there happily.
I was about to say "We wandered over to Millennium Park . . ." but really, we didn't wander anywhere. I am a planner, but Karen is an uber-planner and had our route mapped out. So we marched in formation to Millennium Park and enjoyed playing around the bean and the spitting fountains.
We wended our way through the streets and visited Navy Pier, The American Girl Doll store and The Lego Store, Gino's East for an awesome pizza lunch, and finally on to what L had been dying for: the subway. I only knew the El as being an above ground train, so I emailed A's cousin who lives in Chicago and asked if any part went underground. We were in luck - the stop nearest The American Girl Doll store was underground. L was psyched.
In all the face pictures she's wearing a huge shit-eating grin (country mouse!). I thought this would be one of those things where the experience didn't live up to the hype, but now she's planning to move to Chicago so she can be a regular subway rider. I am allowed to visit, she agrees.
Unsurprisingly, our tour of the city with a puking kid meant that I was getting ready to show A that "Ship My Pants" commercial Monday night when E burst through the door at the bottom of the stairs, made an awful wreching sound, and spewed vomit everywhere. I yelled, "Bathroom! BATHROOM!" and she left a trail through the kitchen to the bathroom. L was in the same situation a few hours later. I slept downstairs with them and was up every 30-60 minutes through the night to puke. It was not fun. Everyone is now on the mend and C never got sick (knock on wood). We think her cheerfulness may be some sort of immune system force field.