Monday, July 8, 2013

A Trip to the Windy City

Even under the best of circumstances, it is hard to let go of your baby girl....even when she is no longer a baby. Next fall Samantha will be attending DePaul University in Chicago, IL and I think daddy is struggling with the idea of his first born growing up and moving away. 

While I lived in Chicago 20+ years ago, my dear husband has never quite embraced Chicago and its hustle and bustle. We decided to have a summer hiatus in the Windy City with the entire family. When I asked the girls what they wanted to do, this is what we came up with:  

#1 *** A visit to the art museum ****
Annelise wanted to go to the art museum. Unfortunately, me being me and not being an artsy fartsy mom, I picked the wrong one. We toured the Contemporary Art Museum. Apparently, my family is not a fan of contemporary art. I mean strings of Christmas lights become an art display? A series of beer bottles stuck on the wall? Paper dots tossed into the air?  I found great amusement with the bottom left picture. Old style photo development. With today's digital format, photographs have almost disappeared. Anyway...I digress. Annelise was not happy with my choice of art museums. Maybe next time she will research it herself and make sure we are going to the right one. 

MCA - not the place we thought

Here is our contemplation of contemporary art. Annelise is laughing at my choice of museums. Samantha is wondering what the heck we are looking at...and me? I'm trying to make the best of the situation and pretending like I am getting something out of the experience. Believe me...I got nothing from it except my wallet was made a little bit lighter.

#2 *** Visit Navy Pier ****
Cold & Foggy at Navy Pier
This wasn't really on their wish list, but after our exhilarating experience at the Contemporary Art Museum we were all hungry AND Jimmy Buffet was in town! We tried to get into Margaritaville, but the wait was well over an hour. Instead, we ate at Harry Caray's.
Margaritaville Bus
After lunch, we went over to the Navy Pier lawn where a band was playing Jimmy Buffet and beach tunes. Abby wanted a shark fin hat. Yes, I am proud to say my 11 year old is a Land Shark. (Mom of the Year award for me!) 

A Pitcher of Margaritas
 #3 *** Blue Man Group ****
We've been talking about taking the kids to see Blue Man group for almost a year, but with schedules crazy as usual, it's been tough to find a weekend when we could get to Chicago to see them.

Blue Man Group
This was the only picture I was able to take at the show. As soon as I snapped the picture, I got yelled at because there is no photography inside of the studio. What? Not even of my precious kids before the show? Apparently not! We all agreed the show was fantastic.

#4 *** Cheesecake Factory ****
It was a late night dinner at the Cheesecake Factory which kind of turned out to be a disaster. No one was really hungry. Everyone was just exhausted, but I needed to eat something so I wouldn't be starving half way through the night. The Cheesecake Factory is not my favorite place to eat. There are too many items on the menu which to me says they specialize in NOTHING! Yes, I am a food snob. 

#5 *** Run along Lake Shore Drive ****

OK I was the only person with this on my list. While the kids slept, Jeff & I got up and ran along Lake Shore Drive. On Saturday, the swells were 5-7 feet high. I was so happy I was not swimming in the water. It was slightly calmer for our run Sunday morning. We did come across what I suppose was the Chicago Triathlon Club swimming in Lake Michigan later in our run. My run was fantastic. There were so many people walking, running, and riding their bikes. It made me laugh to think when I lived in Chicago I rode up and down Lake Shore Drive with my then boyfriend and his mom. The ride was probably around 20 miles and it seemed so incredibly long! Now? 20 miles is nothing. 

#6 *** Shop on Michigan Avenue ****
No pictures required. Actually, we don't want any evidence to show how much we spent. Jeff was the designated bag boy. He carried our bags and not once did I hear him complain.

Miraculously, at the end of the trip, Jeff was astounded we didn't visit Chicago more often over the years. I think he feels a little bit better about his baby girl moving to the big terrifying city.

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