Monday, April 16, 2012

The windy city

Michael and I spent our 5th anniversary in Chicago. My trip concerns then were what dress would I pack for our celebratory dinner, what books would I read, what nice restaurant would we go to to celebrate, etc. For this trip I was calculating how many diapers I would need, what snacks and toys would entertain my daughter on the plane and trip, and how I would safely entertain two toddlers. My how things change! But I enjoy traveling, and if it is a free or mostly free trip, then I am most likely up for it.
 We made it there safely and the biggest hurdles: the plane ride, getting our two massive suitcases, two car seats, diaper bags, stroller, two children, etc. out of the airport and into a cab, then all of that into the hotel, went off without a hitch. We got to our hotel and I was so happy to see our room was really big, with plenty of room for the girls to play, we were right across from a huge park, and within walking distance of some great places. I didn't get a ton of great pictures on the trip, as I often had someone in my arms, holding my hand, or was chasing someone and not able to juggle a camera. But here goes...our trip in pictures:
Here we are after taking on the city our first full day, back from the field museum and lunch, and the tired girls were ready to nap. This was our set up, one in the carrier and one in the stroller. Ava was also good to walk and hold my hand or the strap on the side of the stroller, Isabella was not. There was only one moment that consisted of major weeping and gnashing of teeth at the same time with the girls. Sometimes naps went well, sometimes they didn't.
 Another morning, coffee in hand, ready to walk to the Shedd Aquarium.
 We played in Grant Park across the street every day. Mostly Isabella just wanted to push the stroller around. I had meant to look up some activities to do with toddlers but that didn't happen. But this trip reminded me that kids, especially ones at this developmental stage enjoy simple things. Isabella loved pushing the stroller and playing ring around the rosie, and Ava loved finding sticks and stirring flowers and leaves. Isabella's favorite thing was standing on a bridge that had a train track underneath, and watching the trains go by.
 The park was beautiful with lots of cherry trees and other trees and flowers I don't know. I love parks in big cities and their oasis from the noise and traffic.
 The walk through the park would take us over to museum campus and lake Michigan.
 Shortly after this picture was taken isabella ran straight into lake michigan...
Not really, but while it was a beautiful spot by the water and I would have loved to have stayed longer, but there was no barrier to the water and it made me a bit nervous.
 I had forgotten how blue the water is.
At the aquarium, Ava loved the fish, penguins, dolphins, and turtles while Isabella mostly just loved running around like a hooligan.  I realized it was becoming a bit overwhelming for one child and I was getting tired from chasing the other one constantly, so we headed out and enjoyed the quiet outside in the park and more train watching. 
 Thursday night we took a bus (a highlight for the girls) to Navy Pier for dinner and a children's museum there. The museum is free on Thursday nights so it was crazy crowded. We found a toddler play room upstairs that only small children can be in and hung out there the rest of the time. It was an awesome set up and we were able to relax. Isabella loved pulling around this dog on a leash. The hotel also had a great pool on the 8th floor with views of the city all around, and we had fun swimming a few nights.
 Our last night we walked to Millennium Park before going to dinner.
 Isabella was impressed with the bean for a second and then went back to wanting to push the stroller all over the place.

Here is the four of us together.
While the trip was very tiring, we also had fun and made some lasting memories. I learned some things about myself and from Heather and I was proud of us for making the trip. Any time I've traveled in a big city I've been with Michael who navigates the whole time or someone who is local and knows there way around. So I was happy we made it to all the places we wanted to go. We were blessed many times by kind and helpful people, extra empty seats on the plane ride home, and good weather. You can read Heather's account of the trip here.

I've said it many times before I love to travel and I love coming home. I love seeing new places, experiencing different things and cultures, and getting out of the day to day norms and routines. But I also love coming home, my family, and slipping back into the day to day things that make up our life. I missed Michael a lot and having him there to share the little things with, and having a partner in parenting. Isabella has been making up for lost sleep since we've been home and has been happy to play with some of her favorite things. We have a few things on our schedule for this week, but otherwise we will just be playing catch up and enjoying some down time.

1 comment:

  1. great pics! I love coming home from trips because Olivia spends the next few days playing with her toys like they're brand new! She also naps soo well in her own bed! Glad you guys had a great trip. :)