It was a little funny going back there after living in a small town for seven years, though. We used to giggle at the country folk who came to downtown Chicago, rubbernecking and snapping pictures.
I sometimes forget that our kids have never lived anywhere but our little town. I don't think we have an escalator anywhere in town. Do you know how excited they get about them?
D (dashing through the upscale snooty shoppers in Water Tower Place) : Let's take the excavator! C'mon!
Belle (squealing with delight): THIS IS SO FUN!!!!
Jason and I handled it with the disdain and boredom appropriate to grown ups who have spent most of their lives in cities.
He declared, "Let's race Mommy to the eighth floor!"
To which I maturely answered by racing off as fast as Liam's uber-cheap umbrella stroller could go to the elevator, pushed the button about a hundred times then yelled down the escalator from the eighth floor when they finally came into view that we'd been up there for hours and how did it possibly take them so long???
I'm fairly sure that the looks we were getting from the professional city slickers around us was one of love and appreciation for the fact that we were clearly a family that knows how to have fun.
I do think we have lost some "city skills." Apparently seven years of waving cheerfully at friend and neighbor alike as you drive down the road has erased our ability to make "city face." That face that looks serious, important and a bit detached even though you are surrounded by millions of people, most of whom are invading your personal space.
We even saw a woman navigating Michigan avenue while reading a book.
I have skills. I can feed a baby while cooking dinner, convincing Belle that "tsunami" really starts with a t, not an s, and follow a convoluted story about race cars closely enough to ask educated questions at the right moments. But I could not have made the trip she did unscathed, zig-zagging around people and cars with nary a glance up from her page. Actually, the only time I saw her glace up was when she passed us.
So here's the highs and lows of the trip from each person's perspective. (No, I didn't ask any of them. I'm just taking it upon myself to declare their highs and lows. I believe that is within my maternal rights.)
High: This was tough seeing as he thinks eating grass is a high, but probably the high for him was that he got held a lot because there were lots of floors I didn't want him crawling around grazing off of.
Low: He was unhappy but resigned about the hours in his car seat.
High: Belle loves a good park. She often comes up to me and says in her most excited voice, "Mommy, I have a grrrrRRREAT idea!!! We could.... GO TO A PARK!!!" This is always her great idea. Morning, noon and night. And boy did we find a good one. Near our hotel was one with...
|...a very cool playground...|
|...fountains that shot out water in the most unexpected places. And by "unexpected places" I mean nailing Dalton right in the wazoo on more than one occasion...|
|...and the coolest little kid sized maze...|
|...the hedges were exactly one Belle tall...|
Low: I don't think she had one. The girl just had a good time.
High: This is easy. While we were at this swanky little outdoor shopping area we happened to park next to a Lotus.
|And D sweet talked the owner into letting him SIT IN IT!|
|The boy could not be any happier.|
MEDMAN AND ME:
We had fun. We ate at the Cheesecake Factory,
got to window shop at cool stores like the Lego Store,
|Are you wondering what Belle is looking at?|
|Yup, a Lego dragon coming out of the ceiling above her.|
And we got to get some good pictures. We have a picture of ourselves that is at least 15 years old from the courtyard of a beautiful church on Michigan Avenue. Well, we happened to walk by it and we still love this church. Here are some of our pictures. This peaceful place is literally feet from the bustle of Michigan Avenue.
|Here's us 15 years ago. Is it sad that I still own that coat?|
|And thankfully our oldest can work a cell phone, so here is us this weekend.|
|And the little family we've acquired since the first picture.|
|Oh, and a trip to the park bench where Jason proposed. He brought me ice cream that day instead of flowers. So of course I said yes. Wise man.|
Lows: Ummmm, there wasn't much. A little antsyness on the way home when we were all ready to be out of the car, but overall a fun trip.
Oh, and Medman is certified to be heroic again, so that's good too.