Last week Luke and I took the three boys to Chicago for a few days! We started talking about going on a trip earlier this summer and thought Chicago would be a fun place to bring the kids. Sadly, Ivy didn’t make the cut, but that was a good thing Without her, we didn’t need diaper changes, strollers or naps! Yay! The boys did so great on the trip. The plane trips were so fun for them.. who doesn’t love snacks, pop and movies? After we got to our hotel, jumped on the beds a little, we set out to explore the city. It was a little nerve wracking at first to keep track of 3 squirrely boys on the fast paced streets of Chicago, but after 4 days in the city, they became experts at the crosswalks, city buses, and riding in Ubers.
On the first day, we explored Millennium Park, the bean, Maggie Daley Park, and Crown fountain. We made a stop at Ghiradelli for a massive cookie dough ice cream sundae before a little break at the hotel. Then we headed to Navy Pier for a Ferris wheel ride, pizza for dinner and fireworks. The next day, after breakfast at Yolk, we took the bus to Lincoln Park zoo. Luke and I were so impressed at the zoo, but for some reason that was one stop that the boys were totally not into. So, we walked around for a little while, dealt with the whining and then headed back to our hotel (Everett kept calling it a cabin haha) and swam in the hotel pool. Well, the boys swam while I went shopping on Michigan Ave (yay!). In the late afternoon, we went to Oak Street Beach, it was fun for the boys to get off of the busy streets for a bit and just play in the sand! That night we had Chicago’s famous pizza at Gino’s East and ice cream cones at Ghiradelli.
Day 3 started with donuts at Stan’s (we ate like 7), then a trip up to the top of Willis Tower to stand out on the Sky Deck, looking on over the city. Everett was the one scared of the high heights! After that we took the bus to the Shedd Aquarium which was so cool! We saw a dolphin and penguin show, watched Beluga whales swim, saw a Shark 4D movie and touched Sting Rays. The boys loved it! More hotel swimming, dinner and movie night in the hotel room that night. On the last day, we ate more donuts at Stan’s, then went back down the Millennium Park area and did a little more shopping before heading home!
I’m so glad we got a chance to take our boys on this trip. Vacations are such a great way to get away from the pattern of daily life around our house. I definitely needed this. At the end of summer, I’m irritated at my kids more frequently and have less and less patience. It was great to go on this trip, spoil them a little, throw out bedtime routines and not think about their sugar intake (but we did need a big sugar detox when we got home). It’s fun to watch them out of their normal element and enjoy them for who they are. Leyton seemed a lot older on this trip. He was way more aware of everything around him and wasn’t the squirrely, wild hyper boy he once was. He asked a million questions and had to be a part of every plan. Yes, that drove us nuts sometimes but I was totally that way when I was little, so I don’t mind as much. He was so curious about all the homeless people on the street. He wanted to understand why they were there and what he could do about it. He had a hard time recovering from a particularly gross open wound on a homeless person (which we avoided on that street from then on). He has a big heart and loved exploring the city.
Finn is still our even keeled one, who doesn’t get upset over much and was up for anything we were doing on the trip. He’s grown up a lot too and isn’t as emotional or doesn’t get too overstimulated. He was excited for the high heights on the Ferris wheel, was captivated by the all the sea creatures. But, he had to be touching one of us at all times. Luke and I were laughing, because he’s the kid sitting on our laps on the bus ride and insisting on holding our hands as we walk down the street. We love our funny little boy. He devoured his donut faster that anyone I know, sang the songs to the movie “Greatest Showman” at the top of his lungs and is just generally a happy kid.
Everett and Finn do have a funny relationship though. They can get along so well, but I think they’re realizing that they’re the wild little ones now and they LOVE to bug each other. Nonstop! They were the ones we had to stop from playing tag on the streets and from constantly running and hitting, smacking, pinching each other. But they’re smiling the whole time! (well, until one’s crying) I will never understand that part of boy world. Everett’s so funny. He totally thinks he’s way older than he is. He’s up for any adventure and if you ask him if he wants to do something, he looks at you with his big brown eyes and says “sure!” His biggest line on the trip was constantly asking us, “hey did you forget we were in Chicago?” He said it all the time and we would just laugh. He still has his little boy face and little boy words, I just this phase! But the kid cannot take a picture! I would just hold up the camera and he would make these crazy poses, mostly laying on the ground, even on the disgusting boys. He’s always been a show off, that boy.
All in all, we had such a great trip! I’m so glad we did that right before school, but now I’m ready. School can go ahead and officially start