Saturday, January 1, 2011

Vacation to Chicago

Scott had bicep/rotator cuff surgery on December 1st. He's been off of work this month. So I had a great idea to take the kids to Chicago on christmas break. For a couple of different reasons. I think having family time is really important. When we take vacations in the past, its me driving the triplets to the destination and Jacob and Scott driving in another vehicle. Then usually Scott is doing his own thing (fishing) and I spend time with some or all of the kids. So family time, but not really family time.

I want to give my kids great memories of their childhood. Opportunities to learn, places that they have been, memories. Hopefully good memories.

So I planned this trip overnight to Chicago. We stayed at Embassy Suites, which was great because we had plenty of room to sleep and have the kids play. However, when I booked the room on priceline, I thought I booked a nonsmoking room. Yeah. Love the smell of stale smoke. But the hotel had free continental breakfast and we made sure we had our fill. There was a small pool and when I took the triplets swimming, it said 3 feet 2 inches. Well, the pool was deeper than that. It was almost over their heads. So they couldn't stand in the pool and had to be by the ladder or clinging to the edge.
Then as it got more crowded, six ghetto girls were horseplaying near us. Even though they could go anywhere in the pool, they had to be right on top of us. They kept bumping in to us. And the last thing I needed was one scared moment to set my children back in the pool. And then it happened. The girls were on each others backs and one bigger girl threw another bigger girl right into Matthew and knocked him into the water. And I went ghetto on her. I started yelling at her and she tried to walk away from me. Hehe. She didn't get away. I got in her face and told her to look around at who she just fell on. She had no comment. I told her that he was four years old and she needed to be careful around little ones. She had no comment. I asked if she understood me. She said yes and then I let her pass. They left the pool then to go sit in the whirlpool and stare at us. Of course they had no supervision.

So, the kids were pretty good on the way down to Chicago. We stopped at the Chicago O'Hare Oases and ate lunch there. It was really neat to see all the cars going right underneath us. Then we drove into the city and went to The Field Museum. Sue the T-rex was pretty interesting. But the kids were excited and Scott and I were tired. We didn't last long at that museum. I wish there had been more dinosaur related things there.

Then we walked to the Hard Rock Cafe and ate dinner. It was a nice walk in winter, but on the way back to the hotel, we decided to take a cab ride. The kids really enjoyed it. They always got excited when they saw a cab. Appleton has two or three cab companies, but seeing cab after cab was still exciting to them. Another exciting thing was looking for license plates. Jacob had this list made up of all the states and then checked off how many times we saw that license plate. I'm guessing we saw at least 20 states and 2 provinces.

The next day we got to the Shedd Aquarium bright and early and we actually stayed almost five hours. The kids loved the Caribbean reef and shark aquarium. We saw an aquatic show with dolphins, penguins and Beluga whales. It was very entertaining. But five hours wears on anyone, especially children. We were glad to leave. That is a place I'd love to visit again.

On the way home we did a detour to the Lego Store that took over an hour to get to. It was not like the Lego Store in Minneapolis. The trip home was quieter, but the kids were whiney and ready to be home.

There was some fighting and bickering. With two of the children kicking each other and one child doing a soccer kick to her brothers head. She got a time out for that. But overall, I think they had a good time.

I could use my own vacation now.