Chicago is a much different city when you are toting four young kids with you. Todd and I have been to Chicago many times, enjoying the nightlife, the food, the music, the art museums, the theater. I have always loved Chicago, but I knew taking the kids to Chicago would be a different experience all together.
I fell in love with Chicago all over again through my kids' eyes.
We drove into Chicago on Tuesday night. It was fun driving into the city in the dark and watching the kids' eyes pop out as they took in the Chicago skyline. Very exciting stuff. Then of course there was the excitement of staying in a hotel. The kids were CRAZY after the long car ride and it was near impossible to settle them down. Bedtime that night was madness, and there was far too much scolding and yelling. I was afraid we were off to a bad start.
The kids were tired the next day (surprise, surprise- messing around until after midnight makes you tired) but the day went surprisingly well. I think Todd and I started off to a grumpy start (we were also tired so we were less able to handle the kids' fighting and whining) but we managed to turn it around.
There is so much to do, and we tried to cover all the major bases. We bought Chicago CityPasses and that helped immensely. We got in to all of the attractions we wanted to see. The problem was fitting it all in to our two day trip.
Our first stop was The Shedd Aquarium. It was a very cloud/foggy Wednesday morning but that didn't stop us from walking from our hotel to the aquarium.
This time we took a cab (it was a little too far to walk and I think the kids' feet weren't working so well anymore) to the Sears (Willis) Tower. The kids marveled at how fast the elevator went up 103 floors and they LOVED the little glass observation decks. As you can see below, I did not. I was clinging to the wall and only managed to stick a foot out onto the glass. Watching my kids go out onto it nearly made me pass out. I'm sweating just thinking about it. I'll probably have nightmares tonight. Grace, Tommy, and Ben later admitted to me that it REALLY freaked them out too.
Overall, I'd say the trip was a huge success.
Kids exhausted. Mission complete.
No rest for the weary. Tomorrow morning we are leaving early for a trip up north. I'm sure the kids won't be thrilled for another 3 hour car ride, but they are willing to put up with it for a visit to the cabin. Hopefully there will be much fishing, and swimming, and bonfires so we can properly and thoroughly exhaust them again.