Friday, March 4, 2011

The Windy City

Eddie, Henry and I headed out to Chicago last Sunday. Eddie had a conference for work so Henry and I thought we'd tag along to do some sight-seeing and to catch up with friends. The flight out was good despite Henry deciding taxiing to take-off was a good time to make a very stinky present in his diaper.

We took the train from the airport into the city and then had the adventure of having to transfer at stations without elevators, which meant carrying Henry, his stroller and our luggage up steps. We did, however, make it to the hotel and got Eddie checked in and attended his first sessions. We ordered a late night pizza (Chicago style) for dinner after he was done and went to bed.

Because of the time difference we were up relatively early and had some time before Eddie's sessions started. So we had a family trip to the pool so Henry could practice his swimming. The water was a little cold so we didn't linger too long.

After a bath, food and a nap, Henry and I headed out. I had done some research and found out that the Shedd Aquarium was going to be free that day. We caught a bus right outside the hotel and enjoyed a fairly easy ride to the aquarium. (Yay for public transportation!) It was fairly crowded and not everything was included in the free admission. We spent time looking at the displays and tanks before hitting up the food court for lunch. The view from the cafeteria was AMAZING....the skyline of the city. While I ate my tasty cheeseburger Henry, once again, made a stinky present. The dolphin show had just let out so the women's bathroom was crowded. I saw a sign for a family restroom on a floor below so we took the elevator down to take care of everything. Upon exiting the family restroom we saw a sign for the dolphins and penguins so we followed the sign and were delighted to find a fantastic exhibit that included the dolphins, penguins, beluga whales, jelly fish, etc. I'm not entirely sure this part was included in our admission but no one stopped us or was checking for wristbands at all.

This part of our visit was a highlight for me because Henry seemed fascinated by the animals, which was really fun. The dolphins were pretty inquisitive (or just good at pretending to be) and hung out by one of the windows where we were sitting. The penguins were very active because there was a guy cleaning off the rock portion of their enclosure. They all hopped in the water and were going nuts swimming around.

Once we had our fill of fish and such, we caught the bus back to the hotel. We had a quick change and got to meet up with Logan (good friend from college) who picked us up for a visit and dinner with him and Antonio. They live about ten/fifteen minutes from downtown and had not met Henry before. We had a really fun visit and a delicious dinner of pizza. It was so good to see them and Henry enjoyed just hanging out with them.

Tuesday was another busy conference day for Eddie so Henry and I had another adventure...this time to the Adler Planetarium, which was free that day as well! It wasn't the most exciting place I have ever visited (the planetarium show is being overhauled so it was just exhibits) but Henry and I made the most of the visit.

The best part was a kids area with really cool hands-on activities. Henry was WAY too young to do much of it but I had fun and he seemed at least a little amused.

Astronaut Toilet!

Clearly I couldn't leave the planetarium without putting Henry on the astronaut toilet!

After we returned to the hotel we hung out a little and went out to grab a sub for dinner. The weather was actually pretty nice so we went for a little walk around the hotel area, which is a bustling part of town. Eddie actually finished up earlier than expected so he joined us on our walk. We walked down to the Hancock Tower, where we found that the police were blocking off traffic (foot and car) because chunks of ice were falling off the top of the building! The city is really nice during the day and very pretty at night:

On Wednesday morning, Henry and I had another dip in the pool and hung out in the hotel for a little bit.

Eddie had a mini-break in the middle of the day so we took a family trip to Navy Pier. It was the coldest day we were there so we took the bus, even though it wasn't too long of a walk. We ate lunch, walked around and did a VERY brief walk outside to see the Ferris wheel before Eddie had to head back for the conference.

Henry and I didn't do much the rest of the day.

We packed up and headed on a bus to the train to the airport. We were a little early so Eddie and Henry had time to take a ride on the moving walkway.

The flight was pretty empty so we had a row to ourselves, no one in front and no one in back of us. Henry, once again, thought the time between the gate and take-off would be the perfect time to poop....silly kid! The rest of the flight was uneventful and he took a nap on the seat between us.

We got back home mid-afternoon and didn't waste time to do laundry, make more baby food (I need to write an entry on this), visit with a cousin and his girlfriend that are moving to Texas soon, unpacking and then repacking. That's right...on the road again! I am writing this entry from Baltimore. One of Eddie's friends from grad school is getting married this weekend so we are here. Henry and I drove down earlier today and met my parents at the hotel. (They are babysitting while we go to the wedding.) We went to the Inner Harbor and went to the aquarium because they had discount tickets if you went after 5. We had plenty of time to see everything and felt like we got our eight dollars' worth. Post-fish we went to the Chili's restaurant next to the hotel for dinner where Eddie met up with us.

Tomorrow Eddie and I have the wedding and reception and then will have a chance to spend some time with some friends. I think my parents have some adventures planned for Henry while we are at the wedding.

(After this trip we are going to be home for a while so I can resume my more regular posting!)

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