This post is far and away one of the hardest I've written. There was just so much. So much excitement, so many hilarious fails and wrongs, so much cold, and so, so, much adventure!
It was an experience I don't think we will ever forget. Kaleb and I laughed harder and more often in those few days then maybe I can ever recall. Every time it took us two hours to find a restaurant a mile away, every time we took a bus 30 min in the wrong direction, every time we got lost and were wandering around a sketchy neighborhood, every time he carried a four year old in a stroller with a baby on his back down stairs and then more stairs, we laughed. There was nothing else to do.
We stayed in an apartment, a friend of a friend, never having met us, so generously offered up to us, and got our chance to really see what life in a city was like. We parked our car and left it, never venturing back til it was time to go home. We rode the train, bussed and walked everywhere, and now I see why people with lots of kids don't usually live in the city!
Oh my, the train! That was interesting. Such a wide array of people, and we had some crazy episodes there. The kids were fascinated, sometimes nervous and the lack of carseats made for some absolute chaos.
We got to see the Field museum, the Art Institute and the Childrens Museum. We ate at all the wrong places, from the sketchy burrito place, to the ultra hip- bike shop coffee bar with seating enough for 2, to the upscale steakhouse we wandered into on new year's eve. The last one was totally my fault, but in my defense, it said it was a burger joint when I searched online. All our waiters despised us, as we trampled in out of the cold with a family of six, took 45 minutes to get all our coats and gloves and hats off then sat down to loudly play a game of "would you rather"! We definitely didn't go unnoticed:)
Our first night, after being lost for what seemed like forever just trying to get some pizza, we finally come stumbling in and the waiter takes one look at us and says- "You all are a vision in color. From out of town, huh?" Yep, that pretty much sums us up. Nobody was confusing us for locals!
I will always have this riotous memory of us walking into a train station on about the third day and Zain standing at the bottom of the stairs and saying "Stairs, my old nemesis!" And I died, where do they get this stuff!
Those little wilds were amazing! We would leave the apt every morning around 8 and never come trooping home til maybe 9 that evening. Yet, there they were, still running about, jumping over every crack in the sidewalk, energy and excitement abounding. Kaleb and I literally dragging, never quite knowing exhaustion like this.
The whole trip, with all it's missteps and hilarious backfires was by far our greatest adventure to date.
Chicago, we miss you already, but we may, just may, be more suited for farm life!
p.s.- the pics are not great, but every time I took out my camera, it would freeze over! Plus, we kind of had our hands full!