A few months ago Travel Man and I took a little vacation to Illinois with our two middle kiddos, one daughter-in-law to be, and our grandson. This was quite a mix of travelers, and it was grandson Evan’s first time flying in a long time. We were on our way to visit my Grandpa and my Mom. The smartest thing Travel Man planned for this trip was getting the kids their own hotel room. They got to play cards and board games at night (yes they did travel with Settlers of Catan, and Phase 10), and we go to enjoy the peace and quiet. Oh what an adventure we all had together.
My top ten list of fun and sometime humorous experiences went like this-
1. We took up two rows of seats on the airplane. This required the inevitable discussion of who would have a window seat and who would have an aisle seat.
2. Even though we were in the air flying we still heard this question, “Are we almost there yet?” which came from the grandson. On our flight to Illinois we had one stop with no plane change. So that question was unavoidable.
3. We are all from Southern California and we traveled to the chilly (I mean freezing) Midwest region. (We must have been nuts!) Who ordered the 30 degree weather, and light snow flurries at the end of March? It was a little blustery on a couple of days.
4. Evan got to make his first snow angel in the snow near Lake Michigan. He had so much fun. He also found it necessary to step in or dig in each and every pile of snow he encountered. Never mind the fact that the snow pile might be a little black with dirt or asphalt mixed in.
5. My Mom took us on the “family tour” of all of the places she lived growing up, the house I grew up in, my grade school, and various other meaningful landmarks. The church in the background in the top picture here is the church where my grandparents met. It is also the church where my parents were introduced to one another at a wedding reception. A small world. After our excursion on this chilly afternoon Evan proclaimed, “Well that was certainly an interesting family education.” (Evanism 101)
6. Eating a Chicago style deep dish pizza at Giordano’s. This was probably the yummiest dinner on our trip. There’s nothing like a Chicago deep dish pie! Evan’s quite the pepperoni aficionado, and he told us the Chicago pizza was on his top five list!
7. The Sky Deck at the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower). Evan and I did not take the jaunt out on the Sky Deck. We were too chicken to look straight down at the street! We did get to take in all of the great views of the city from the 103rd floor, and Evan got to see Soldier’s Field first hand.
8. Seeing the bean in Millennium Park. This is a work of art that is nicknamed “The Bean.” The actual name of this piece of art is Cloud Gate. You can get some truly cool reflection pictures while standing under or near the giant “Bean”.
9. Hearing Evan exclaim, “Grandma I think my eyes are frozen”. On our chilly day in downtown Chicago. He was layered with a sweatshirt, beanie, scarf, and hood from his sweatshirts, and he just could not keep his little face warm. These are some of my favorite pictures of Evan invading the “Windy City”.
10. Getting to see five generations of my family around my Grandpa’s dining room table. That is a view that was priceless. We miss my Grandma dearly, and this was one of those moments when you count your blessings, and are thankful for all of the good things in your life.
Travelling with the kids was really a treat for us. Joking, laughing, getting out of the hotel on time, etc, etc. We were lucky to have our experienced “Travel Man” with us. He always, always makes sure the travel can go as smoothly as possible, and we always have a great time wherever the destination may be. We’re looking forward to more mini-vacations like this one soon. One of these days granddaughter Madison will get to go along for the adventures. For the time being we enjoy keeping the travel/road-trips as a special treat for Evan.
**Photo credits to Travel Man (aka Tom), my daughter Hilary, and daughter-in-law to be Erica. Thanks everyone for your contributions.