September 14, 2010

Chicago: The REAL Story

It's true, Johnny did come with us to Chicago. He was discovered to have stowed away in my husband's pocket about halfway through the Shedd Aquarium. But really, our story starts out quite a bit earlier in the day - around 6:30am.

We managed to wake the kids up and get them dressed in under a half an hour, which is the closest you can actually get to miraculous without actually being biblical. The car ride worried me, because my son is notorious for being a poor sport when it comes to carseat riding. My daughter was easy - we bribed her with a donut and a promise of dolphins. My son? He slept. It was glorious.

We arrived at the aquarium in a shockingly short amount of time, given the traffic situation in Chicago and the surprising lack of construction work we encountered. Uncle Eli was joining us, and upon news of that Lainey's donut sugar rush kicked into high gear and she was - quite literally - spinning in circles in the lobby. The second we walked in and saw the giant fish tank, all bets were off. "Look at that fish!" "Woah he's going so FAAAST!" "I see a shark!" "OH GEEZ A TURTLE!" and on and on. She was distracted momentarily by a canoe they had set up, but once she realized that sitting on a bench on an immobile boat was less-than-thrilling, she was back up and going.
The dolphin show was what surprised me the most. I worried. I thought there was no WAY that even one of my children would sit patiently through that. We managed to score a few seats right smack in the middle of a nursing home convention on some concrete steps that were masquerading as actual seating. This further worried me, for I had no actual barrier between Lainey and what I believed to be the *real* steps besides my body. Thankfully, my son fell asleep just before the show started. So I turned my attention to my daughter, who sat in amazement. Not only was she completely enthralled with the show, but she clapped appropriately and even asked the 112-year-old woman if she could see the dolphin jumping. Dolphins were, by far, the hit of the entire day.
And, of course, who could forget the big shock of the day...I call this face "OMYGOSH THIS SEATURTLE IS GINORMOUS!"After a good rest at the hotel at involved some room service and a lot of jumping on the bed, we headed to the Brookfield Zoo. We saw and did far too much there to detail individually, so suffice to say that there were a lot of animals, a lot of running (and, in turn, chasing), and ended with a couple overly exhausted children and a slightly tearful trip around on the carousel.
It was great fun, and if I ever catch up on sleep I can store those memories away and pull them out later when my kids are teenagers and acting like they'd rather be at the dentist getting teeth extracted than go on a family vacation with me.

1 comment:

  1. Hugs from Sandy and BrianSeptember 18, 2010 at 8:57 AM

    Great story and pictures. We really enjoyed your visit with us. It was nice to finally meet the munchkins. You have a wonderful family.


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