Sunday, January 4, 2015

Chicago!



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!

27 comments :

  1. I love the pictures! Oh my goodness, it sounds like you guys had quite the time and did so much! I can't imagine what it must have been like having to travel on the train and bus with all your children because I know how difficult it can be doing it and only having to worry about myself. I'm sure it was an adventure you will never forget.

    Mel
    http://girlandthepolkadot.blogspot.com/

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  2. 'Stairs, my old nemesis.' Hahaha that cracked me up!! I do not know where kids get their material from. I feel totally the same way you did every time I go to a city and I don't even have children to take with me! I must be more suited for farm life as well... No shame in that, sista!

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  3. Your enthusiasm spills out of the post! Beautiful writing and photos, as always xxx "Stairs, my old nemesis" (laughing my head off!!!)

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  4. Wow, what an adventure. Sounds like you really made the most of it. xo

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  5. Sounds like such a wonderful experience! I'd love to visit Chicago if I'm ever in the US again. x

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  6. Oh I've been so anxious to hear about your trip! I'm glad Chicago treated you rather well minus the cold (eek - you're so brave!). The Field Museum is AWESOME and I'm sure the kids loved it. Zain kills me! That's too funny! And I would have loved seeing your little (or big?) family in a restaurant laughing - much better than screaming babies.

    - Sarah :)
    www.thecrownbijoux.blogspot.com

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  7. Such adorable and sweet pictures!! Looks like a fantastic adventure!

    lovejoanna.com

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  8. I'm so glad you had a fun (if not hectic) experience of visiting Chicago! Until now, I have been the only person who has gone through life encouraging people to play the ''would you rather'' game and so admittedly, a massive grin crept onto my face when you mentioned your family playing it! :) Anyway, I hope your new year has started well and that the next few days/weeks are much calmer for you!

    aglassofice.blogspot.co.uk

    x

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  9. I love Chicago!! These pics are awesome and look so fun! :)

    xo, Katy
    http://www.mylifeaskaty.com

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  10. the trip sounds to have been a happy sort of chaos, what fun! it's very impressive that you + kaleb took on the adventure with all the wilds and i am glad to know that it was such a success. :)

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  11. You and your hubby deserve a high five! What an adventure and I'm positive your children (the older ones) will remember this forever. I think it's perfect that the country mice visited the big city. What's on the agenda for the next "Griswald" outing? The beach? Mountain?
    Texas Jak
    www.novermyhead.com

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  12. Chicago looks amazing, I would love to go, I think you got some pretty good pictures

    Emma emhasrednails

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  13. Looks like such a fun family trip! And glad you went to so many museums! Chicago has some great art that I've always wanted to see in person!

    xo

    Michaela

    http://michaelajeanblog.com

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  14. I absolutely LOVE how colorful ou folks look. citylife can be so grey, I am sure you brought a smile on the faces of the people who crossed your path ;) Glad you made it back healthy and alive ;)


    xo

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  15. oh, what an adventure! i wish i coulda been by your side to guide you to and fro and minimize the misdirections. i grew up in phoenix, but my parents took us to visit chicago when i was 12 and i never forgot the trip - i loved it so much that i ended up moving there 10 years later :)

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    1. Oh my- me too! That would have made life oh so much easier!

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  16. I think your photos are lovely! What a wonderful trip. Sometimes it's the mishaps that make the really great stories and adventures, huh?

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  17. I bet this was SUCH a fun trip for your kiddos--the museum and dinos would be amazing. Love your blue beanie too!

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  18. aawww… I'm sure amidst the mishaps and flaws, the kids had a grand time with this new experience for them! :D thanks for sharing these precious moments in photos!! :D

    Animated Confessions

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  19. It sounds like you made some great memories and I love all of the pictures! I think some of the best vacations are the ones that you can appreciate for a short time, and then be happy to go home after too.

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  20. You guys are so cute!! I've never been to Chicago but it looks like a great city to visit!

    Jessica
    the.pyreflies.org

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  21. This sounds and looks perfectly imperfect. Sometimes you definitely need those moments of humor. It's not possible for a trip to go perfectly. It's so much better to laugh and enjoy that than to be frustrated. I wish that would have been easier for me in Seattle. In NOLA though we got caught in an absolute downpour without an umbrella. We had carried one for the past two days with no rain... but there we were, running through the rain, hiding under awnings, luckily it wasn't too cold that night! :) I love these pictures, what a fantastic memory for you and your family. I took a trip to Chicago on the train with my grandma, aunts, mom, sister, and cousins (all girls). It was very fun. We got lost a few times, but the 14 year old me was thrilled to be somewhere, anywhere new. :) So happy for you! XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  22. AHH! I love Chicago! I'm so glad you guys had so much fun! Sometimes getting lost in a city is the best way to find new places. :)

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  23. I just came across your blog, and growing up in Chicago ~ these photos warm my heart. I often forget what a huge city it is!!

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  24. Looks like fun and that you made the most of it!! Oh, I know exactly what you mean!! It is hard living or touring a city with littles. I can't imagine doing it on a daily basis! We did live in Prague without a car and did public transport. It is a smaller city though. I am always exhausted after a long day in the city with the fam! It's always so much fun, but I love coming home to our quiet little community!

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