Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My kind of town

First of all, thanks to everybody for the awesome comments on my last post. Matt and I really feel like this is the beginning of something good (so it's perfect that it comes in spring). On the other hand, we already had a pretty good life - cute/smart kids, nice house, we're all healthy - and that doesn't really change. I still haven't figured out if there is some Life Lesson we were supposed to learn over the past two years, or if it was bad luck. But thanks for sticking with my blog even when I was a Woeful Wanda (or even a Lazy Lou who goes weeks without updating).

As I mentioned in my last post, we took a brief yet action-packed trip up to Chicago (Amy: "Cago") last weekend. We had been thinking about going during spring break, but obviously Matt won't have the vacation time at his new job, whereas he had pretty much nothing to lose at the old job. I thought it was worth pulling Betsy out of school for one day, so off we went. We drove up early Friday morning and got to Chicago around 10 a.m. (I made Matt do the city driving because even with the GPS, it's not really my favorite. I can do it, I'd just rather not.) This was perfect timing because we got to the American Girl store right after it opened.

Matt and Porter came inside the store with us for a few minutes, just long enough to look around and take a few pictures. Then they headed off for more manly pursuits, namely the Lego store. (We do have some pictures for that, taken with my new camera phone, but I sort of haven't figured out how to get the photos off the phone yet...) So the girls and I stayed around the Mecca of Girliness for a while.
Betsy picked out a few things for her Kit doll, and I took a lot of pictures which I won't bore you with. I let both of the girls bring dolls (actually Amy had to borrow Betsy's Bitty since she won't 'officially' get hers until she turns 2 in a few weeks) and the store also had a lot of things that you could take down and look at. The Room of Babies was a big hit for Amy.

Once we dragged ourselves away from the AG store (without spending too much money) we met up with Matt and Porter at the Rainforest Cafe a few blocks away. Porter had been dying to go to Rainforest Cafe because they sponsor a show on PBS Kids and my kid is, apparently, highly susceptible to advertising. "Mom, it's a wild place to shop and eat!"

Porter is fascinated by this photo... "Mom, can I see my sad face?" I think he was grumpy because the service was atrocious. The place was 2/3 empty, and yet we had to beg to get a waitress to get our orders, and then it took something like a half hour to get our food. I don't think we'll be giving them any repeat business. But the kids liked the decor, so it wasn't a total waste.

After lunch we headed out to the suburbs. I had found us a hotel in Hoffman Estates and we let the kids play with their new toys while Matt and I enjoyed the novelty of cable TV, and then we headed off again. Because you know what's in Schaumburg? IKEA!

I really, really, really like IKEA. And the kids like it too (I think Matt merely tolerates the experience, but who cares? We only go there about once every two years, anyway.) Through persistence we were able to get the two older kids deposited in Smaland while Amy and the grownups shopped. I picked up some cool stuff for the house and we got a spare dining room chair. We also had dinner at IKEA - delicious Swedish meatballs, yum - and it was probably the cheapest meal we ate all weekend (including when we stopped at Arby's on the way back home).

Once through with IKEA, we went back to the hotel and went swimming for a while. I am a big fan of hotel pools. Not only is it a nice way to unwind, but if we let the kids wear themselves out, they might actually sleep in an unfamiliar bed. It more or less worked - I was the one who woke up at 5:30 and couldn't fall back asleep. Oh well. At least we got a yummy hot breakfast out of the deal.

Our final stop of the journey (not counting home) was the Legoland Discovery Center in Schaumburg. It looked like fun, and we got discount tickets online, although the price is still pretty steep (but not much is cheap in Chicago). But Porter had been looking forward to Legos (Amy: "Gego!") though all of the girly stuff on Friday, and I can't let my little boy down. Surprisingly, all three kids enjoyed themselves.

Porter wanted to build a tower. Yeah, we couldn't have stayed home and done that.

The downtown Chicago made out of Legos was my favorite - it was incredibly detailed. I can't even imagine having the patience (or obsession or whatever) to do something like that.
And... a wizard.
When we were done with the Lego place, we packed up in the car and pretty much headed straight home. It was a great trip, and I'm really glad we went. Matt starts his new job tomorrow, and there is still plenty of fun coming up for the kids. My parents are coming to visit the weekend of the Easter cantata, and spring break is shortly thereafter. And with this nice weather, they are playing outside all the time!

3 witty remarks on "My kind of town"

mom said...

I'm so glad you got to get away for a while. I wish we had done that more when you were kids.

Chicago built of Legos? I bet your brothers would have had the patience/obsession to do that! I still have a big box of their legos here, have to figure out how to divide them up.

See you in a week!

Molly said...

It sounds like they had fun... IF ONLY MOM DID THAT WITH US.

Catherine on 4:45 PM said...

I have to say, I enjoy that you are holding your youngest by her head. I mean, it's a sizeable head, that must come in handy.


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