We came, we saw, we shopped, we conquered. We made it through a hectic 3 day family vacation in the Windy City. We had meltdowns (parents and kids), we had stomach problems, we had 7 people in one hotel room and we had a great time.
What we didn’t have was: No missing kids. This is number one nightmare and we were able to keep track of and not lose any of our children. Score! No fighting. This is a huge one. With a mix of adult (#2 is 21) teens (#4,#5 are 17 and 16) and young ones (#6 is 5 and #7 is 2 1/2) I expected a row or two. Did not happen. That’s not to say that there was not sibling aggravation and irritation but we did not have any open arguments, yelling, screaming, or crying. Except for when #7 had to go to bed and Mommy forgot his favorite sippy cup. That was a midnight walk/run to Walgreen’s. At night. In Chicago. And we did not have stress. It was like taking a deep breath after you have had a cold and realizing what open airways are like again. It was much needed and deeply appreciated.
We accomplished almost all that we wanted to see. The only item not checked off our list was to go to the Field Museum but we are making plans to go back up in the early summer. We did hit the Magnificent Mile, go to the top of Willis Tower, go to Shedd Aquarium, visit Navy Pier, and eat Portillo’s and Giordano’s. We spent some great quality family time together and I absolutely loved it.
#7 was a an absolute angel. I’m sure that is why he is making up for it now that we are home by muttering bad words and all the sudden choosing to not be able to hear anything that his parents say.
#6 got her first Build-A-Bear (and there went our budget!) and was thrilled with the bright lights of the big city. She was not sure about going out to eat after dark and kept repeating, “but mommy it’s night out!” I realize that I need to not shut down and put on jammies as soon as the clock hits 5 pm. Poor kiddo didn’t realize that the sidewalks don’t roll up once the street lights come on.
#4 and #5 enjoyed hanging out with big brother and getting some freedom away from the parents under #2’s watchful eye. They really liked walking around and being their own explorers. It amazes me to realize how grown they are getting and I could not be prouder. They even slept almost on top of each other and no one suffered any injuries for it.
The S.O. and I didn’t fight, didn’t have any arguments over his driving and my anxiety over traffic, and it was nice to get away from the house and enjoy time together without the everyday distractions. Three days was just enough time to unwind and not need a vacation from our vacation.
We are back now, back to school, back to work, back to everyday responsibilities. I’m not wanting to move to Chicago (although I did find a 5 bedroom house for under 200k in a very sketchy neighborhood) but I do appreciate the difference in living in a small town where the sidewalks don’t roll up at dusk but the nightlife does. Till next time Windy City!
P.S. Thank you #3 for not letting Gus and Ivan starve while we were gone and thanks to #1 for checking on #3 and ratting him out for having friends over.