Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chicago: "My Kind Of Town"

We are home! Yeah, we got home late last night and despite the fact that I love to travel, nothing feels better than that first night back in your own bed. Our trip actually had a dual purpose. (A) David had a work conference in Chicago and (B) Madeline and I tagged along so that we could visit David's Mom & Dad the weekend prior to his conference as his parents live about 50 miles outside of Chicago (in Michigan City, Indiana)

So, this past weekend, the three of us have been able to have a nice visit with David's parents. David's mom is still in the rehabilitation home but is making some nice progress in her stroke recovery. Initially, the plan was for Madeline and me was to stay in Michigan City while David went to Chicago for his conference. However, when we actually thought out our travel plans in returning home, it logistically made more sense for Madeline and me to be in Chicago when we were ready to depart. Sounds great.....but what do you do in a very large city in which you are not familiar with how to get around while also accompanied by your 4-year old? Oh, by the way, David's "work day" was more than one's typical 8-hr day. On Tuesday, David was attending work functions for about 16 hours of the day! Yes, I have been to Chicago before and yes, many of the sights looked familiar, but how do I navigate and what did I want to do in such a big city with a 4 year old? I have to say, at the end of the day, I was quite proud of my bravery in tackling the day - just Maddie & Mama-Dirtyfoot.

Madeline and I started out our Tuesday long after David left for work (yep, the girls slept in a little bit) . We left the hotel (we stayed at the Renaissance Blackstone) and, by foot, searched for a place to stop for breakfast. After fueling up our tummies, Mama-Dirtyfoot and Madeline walked to a metro-bus stop and navigated the metro system to get us to Navy Pier. We girls had such a fun day together! It was a perfect day to be at Navy Pier as the temperature was warm and the sun was shining down on us. The "Pier Season" just started but it was mid-week so the crowds were light. Madeline and I walked the pier together and stopped along the way to explore. We walked along, looked at the huge boats, enjoyed the skyline, rode the "Lighthouse tower ride", the carousel and the Ferris wheel. Mama was a nervous wreck on the ferric wheel! I hate heights & the swaying action of the passenger cars! The painful expression on Madeline's face when she is riding the Ferris wheel is probably because I kept telling her to stop moving!!!!! Madeline thought the fun house-type carnival mirrors along the pier were the most hysterical things she ever saw! We also did some browsing in the gift shops and enjoyed some ice cream cones. After our ice cream fix, Madeline and I headed to the Chicago Children's Museum which is also located at Navy Pier.

Yes, that in itself was a full day, but we were not done! Madeline and I wanted to head over to the American Girl store which is located in the shopping area of The Magnificent Mile. We found a different metro bus and off we went to our shopping destination. Now, I knew American Girl was expensive.....but HOLY CRAP! No, my dear daughter will NOT be receiving one of those dolls anytime in the near least not while Madeline is apt to color on a doll that would cost well over $100! No, no, no NO....that is not happening. Instead, Madeline was equally as happy and Mama-Dirtyfoot was MUCH happier to spend less at the Disney Store. For about $20, I got Madeline a new set of 8 princesses (which she absolutely LOVES and also a new pair of sparkly pink Minnie Mouse flip-flops AND sparkly pink princess sunglasses). After our brief shopping spree, we got on another completely different bus and headed back to the hotel.

After getting our bearings and decompressing for a tad, Madeline and I headed back out by foot to find a little deli to grab a bite for dinner. The last picture is Madeline (holding cat picture) in the place we ate for dinner. The cat picture thing is this really cool magnet set that the people at the hotel front desk gave to Madeline from the gift store for no reason what so ever! (I actually thought they were trying to get me to buy it for Madeline but they were just giving it to her!) Anyway, after the day's events I hardly have to say, that Madeline crashed shortly after we got back to the hotel for the night. And as I listened to Madeline snore, Mama-Dirtyfoot vegged out and waited for David to get back from his long day of work commitments. I was apprehensive, at first, to venture out the way I did but I am glad that I sucked it up and just did it as Madeline and I had a great mama-daughter day!

One last Facebook friends already know this, but my computer is on the fritz. I had to get it sent out and it won't be ready for 2-3 weeks! Therefore, my computer time is limited to when David is home from work when I can hop on his laptop. With that being said, I might not have many posts up until I get my own computer back.....I might go nuts!!!

1 comment:

Craig and Phyllis said...

Oh, how fun! Craig will be driving up tomorrow to pick Brooke up from college. MBI is about 7 block west of the American Girl Store. I absolutely love Chicago. Glad you and Madeline had such fun and that you were brave and ventured out!