This November (of 2018), we made a whirl-wind trip to Chicago, for work. Of course the little one accompanied us and we took turns attending conference and entertaining the little one. We all wear the traveling pants in our family, and Mr little pants who is already a pro-traveller contributed to travel planning this time, voting for things he wanted to see/ do /eat in Chi-town.
“I wish we could skate everyday back home, I’ll get so much better with practice “. No surprises there, as he was thrilled at the end of this tryst. Considering that we, the tropical dwellers do not usually engage in this sport, and little one has no skating/ balancing skills, the enthusiasm that he showed to try his hand (oops, feet) at ice skating was commendable. Through the week, we passed by the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink (at the Millennium Park), numerous times, dreamily ogling at the skaters. Both me and the little one were keen while daddy was speculative (having earlier torn his ACL in a freak injury). Anyhow, the last evening, few hours before our flight back home, we gave-in to our instincts and queued up to rent skates. Daddy dear was kind enough to also gear up, helping the little one by the perimeter. Despite tumbling a dozen times while balancing the act on the edge of a skate, the little one was all smiles and never once gave up.
“Wow, mum, Sue was amazing, not at all scary” Sue had already charmed the little one’s heart long before the trip! A Dinosaur enthusiast from the very beginning, he marveled at the chance to view the largest, most complete T-Rex skeleton in the world! Cherry on the topping was the giant Titanosaur, nick named Maximo, the largest dinosaur discovered. Along with him, even we were dazed by the fact that there have been about six “Mass Extinctions” on our planet till date. Makes one wonder, as to when would be our turn?!
“The Tilt was amazing and the view was so awesome! I was a teeny bit scared though…only a teeny bit” At the 360 Degree Chicago, located in the John Hancock Tower, is where people go to get thrilled (tilted) about 1000 meters over the city, in a glass window. I don’t have Pictures, of the tilt, as typically, photography was not allowed and one is cornered into buying garishly bright, flash bombed overpriced pictures, which we refused to buy. Though the panoramic views and pictures from the gallery were awe-inspiring!
This is the window where we Tilt. I had butterflies in my tummy when we actually inclined, (getting bizarre Final destination scenarios in my head) but the Little one was Rock-solid and enjoyed himself!
“I’m thankful that we got to see snowfall in November!” Having never seen a snow-fall, its not hard to imagine the ecstasy that little one felt seeing the cotton-wooly shower from the Sky, the very first snow fall this winter in Chicago, which was in itself an unusual occurrence around Thanks-giving, making it even more fortuitous. The Winter-wonderland that Chicago turned into soon after, was literally icing on the cake. Despite freezing cold, our hearts were warmed seeing the young one’s joy making snow-balls, kicking snow-balls (since he considers himself a soccer player, Ha) and making a snow angel (Brrr)! Truly, simple joys of life!
“Dolphins are so amazing and so is the giant alligator turtle, and the sea horses are so cute!” Of course, he loved the aquarium. Who doesn’t?! What’s not fascinating about a largely alien world with such marvelous under-water creatures. The grand slam of the tour was the Dolphin show, Dolphins being such fascinating and jolly creatures! There were sea lions on the show who entertained the little ones and almost all present were squealing in delight!
“Its so big, Daddy! It looked so small in the pictures!” Having heard of it while planning and seen the pictures, the Bean or the Cloud-gate, didn’t seize to amaze! When later, in a drawing class, the kids were asked to do a free-drawing, our little one chose to draw this…
…his memory of the Millennium park tree, the bean and the skyline of skyscrapers in the Windy city!
Zoo Lights, Christkindl Market and the Chicago River walk:
Little one is a trooper and though he said it only after coming back, he enjoyed the river walk and city walk and said, “I wish we could everyday walk to breakfast, by the river- side, back home!”
We loved the Zoo-lights, of which, we could get just a glimpse, since it was off-limits, for a private party on the evening we visited. Nonetheless, got few good shots!
Christkindl Market was all twinkling and sparkling and colorful, what with all those baubles and ornaments! It was paradise and not only his favorite, but our’s too!
…& then there was the Food!
Pancakes and Breakfast at Wildberry:
Mindy’s Hot Chocolate:
One thing he did “not” dig (into) was the famous Giordano’s Deep Dish Pizza
Can we blame him? It was just too over-whelming, the size of the slice! Let’s be frank… it was delicious, but let’s call it a pie, please. With two layers of bread, tons of cheese and oodles of filling its not anyone’s conventional pizza. Our little one, like me, is a picky eater and could manage to nibble just a quarter of a slice! All the rest was packed for our mid-night feast, since the jet-lagged family was up and hungry middle of the night, every night!
Let’s wrap up by saying that he had an incredible time. Despite the odds of freezing weather, numb hands, heavy boots, and the massive jet lag etc, he enjoyed the furlough. It was special because he knew what to expect, was part of the planning and the execution. He had opinions and views which as a parent was so forthcoming and heartening. We understand that as they grow up, they may not remember everything from a childhood trip, but having been exposed to new experiences, kids get a wider horizon and gain confidence.
Let me know your inputs. Do you travel with children? How old are they? And aren’t you making memories for a lifetime?