Posted by: vmlay | November 24, 2008

The Chicago Trip

Well, traveling with Mac was a challenge in some respects but overall the weekend went well.

The drive up went smoothly — the kids had the videos to watch and snacks and we only had to make two stops for gas/potty breaks.

When we arrived we dropped off the luggage (we stayed at the Drake Hotel) and went to lunch at the Coq d’Or.  Mac had his usual chicken and french fries and Alex devoured spaghetti — that is one child who can put away the pasta!  Robert had the Club sandwich he usually orders and I had salmon with cream cheese and capers.  Then we went to the Shedd Aquarium which was a bit of a disappointment because the majority of it is closed for renovation.  But the kids enjoyed what there was to see and we’ll have to return after June 2009 when it reopens so we can see the otters and the dolphins.

We had dinner that night with Grandma and Grandpa at one of our favorite Chicago restaurants — Scozzi’s.  Mac really liked their pizza despite his saying he didn’t want to eat pizza.  He tasted it and decided it was quite good and cleaned his plate.  Alex had more spaghetti.  I had a really good pasta — homemade noodles with a marina meat sauce.  After dinner we walked back towards the hotel.  It was cold and a rather long walk but we wanted to wear the kids out a bit!  We stopped at Ghiradelli’s to get them both chocolate shakes  (and DH too!) while I had the most wonderful hot chocolate.

The next day after breakfast we went to the Field Museum so Alex could see Sue the T-Rex.  We also visited all the other dinosaurs and the mummies and some of the other exhibits.  Mac had a bit of a melt-down so we left for lunch.   We ended up going back to the Coq d’Or.  I wanted to try someplace new but was overruled.  Mac had more chicken and fries, Alex yet more sphaghetti (I think she’s aiming for an all-sphaghetti diet!!) and I ended up having sphaghetti as well — since her’s was very tasty!  After lunch we walked around a bit on Michigan Avenue and went up in the Hancock Observatory so the kids could see the whole city.  We had dinner at the hotel since it was getting really busy for the parade that night and a lot of the nearby restaurants were booked up or overflowing.  Since our hotel room overlooked the parade route (right at the beginning) we got desserts to go and settled in to watch the parade and stayed warm.  Both kids thought the parade was a lot of fun although it seemed rather short to me.  Then I watched a really impressive clean up job — Chicago is seriously organized about these kinds of things it seems!

We left early on Sunday and got home in time for lunch.  Both kids were exhausted — not to mention I was too!

The only really big glitch (besides a few bouts of fussiness on Mac’s part) was when Mac locked himself in the hotel bathroom!  We had bought him a Wall-E toy at the Disney store — a cute plastic Eve that when you push a button her “arms” whirl around and light up.  He wanted to see it in the dark so he went into the bathroom, turned out the lights and shut the door.  Somehow he must have flipped the lock.  I tried to talk him through turning the lock but I didn’t realize that he didn’t have the lights on and couldn’t see the lock — and it never occurred to him to turn the lights on it seems!  The hotel staff quickly came and got him out and they said it happens all the time.  DH was none to happy about it– sigh.  Mac was none the worse for wear though — and we made sure he didn’t shut the bathroom door again!

Overall the trip went pretty well and I think we’ll plan on taking the kids on another trip this summer if we can save up the money!

Here are some photos.

Alex and Mac and I upon arrival at the Drake Hotel:

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Mac was fascinated by the Drake’s main Christmas tree:

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I love the expression on his face in this photo, he’s just enchanted by all the musical figures that circled the base of the tree:

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Alex standing in a dinosaur footprint at the Field Museum:

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Alex enjoyed the Field Museum’s dinosaur exhibit a lot:

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