Monday, April 20, 2009

Chicago Weekend

The children had spring break last week, so we went to Chicago for a few days for a short little get away.

As part of her birthday celebration, my daughter and I had plans to spend some time at American Girl Place. I made reservations for the 11:00 lunch, and my daughter had a wallet full of birthday money she wanted to spend on doll clothes and accessories. The night before our date, my daughter kept telling me her stomach felt "so excited."

When we got to the cafe, the server greeted my daughter by name. They made a big deal of seating my daughter's doll in a little doll chair, and gave the doll a crown and her own little tea cup.

Everything in the cafe was very pretty and feminine without being prissy. We looked at the menu and I noted that it was a multi-course lunch. First we would each get a cinnamon bun, then we would share a platter of soft pretzels and fruit, followed by an entree of our choice (there were several choices on the menu), and ending with a birthday cake. As I read all this to my daughter, she grew still. Her eyes filled with tears and she said "My stomach still feels so excited, I don't think I can eat anything." She is prone to car sickness, and I think all the driving we had done the day before to get to Chicago was still leaving her unsettled. She took one bite of her cinnamon bun, put it down, and I knew this was for real, because my daughter has the world's biggest sweet tooth, and for her to pass up a cinnamon bun is normally unthinkable! We had to excuse ourselves from the brunch, which was very disappointing to my daughter.

I took her to the restroom, where we found these cute little doll holders in the stalls.

Why don't all public restrooms have something like this for real babies? I remember when my children were babies, I never went out in public with them for very long because I never did figure out how to use a public restroom with a baby in tow.

Fortunately my daughter didn't need to throw up. She was okay as long as she wasn't trying to eat, so we still got to do some shopping, although the one thing she had her heart set on buying was out of stock. It just was not our day, I guess!

While we were busy being disappointed at American Girl Place, my son and husband went to the observation deck of the John Hancock Building. They had a great time, but they did find out that our older digital camera will no longer operate on battery power, so they didn't get any birds' eye photos of the city. When we met up with them, we walked to the Lego store and saw the Lego version of the John Hancock Building.

We walked down Michigan Avenue together and saw stores I have never set foot in

as well as some stores I wanted to go in, but no one else in my group had any interest.

I love the gorgeousness of architectural details and interesting city scenes, especially on a sunny spring day.

This building is a Chicago landmark. It's one of the first things that leaps to my mind when I think of Chicago.
I pointed it out to my kids as "that diamond building", and both kids scoffed and said "That's not a diamond, mom, it's a rhombus." Smart alecs! According to wikipedia, we are both right.
I haven't spent too much time in Chicago, so this was the first time I've seen the Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park. It's a mirrored kidney bean, and reflects the buildings and the people in very cool ways. I only have close-up photos of it here.
Here is our reflection. Can you find us? My son is in a red jacket.

This is from the underside, which I found more fun than the outside. We are also in this picture, sideways on the left. And here we are again! We spent our second day in town at the Brookfield Zoo. The weather was so sunny and warm, we wanted to be outside. We never go to the zoo when we're home, because we'd choose to spend such awesome weather working in our garden or yard, or playing at the park, so the only time we end up at the zoo is when we are out of town!
Our third day we spent trying to get home, but just as we were leaving town my daughter had a spontaneous nose bleed, a real gusher that just wouldn't stop. After 45 minutes of bleeding, we took her to the ER. They squirted her with neosynephrine, and that, along with nose-squeezing, finally did the trick. This wasn't her first nose bleed, but it's been a few years since she's had one that lasted that long. It was a doozy, with blood backing up out her tear ducts and pooling under her eyes. She looked just awful! Poor thing, this was not the weekend she had in mind (did I mention that the hotel my husband booked for us didn't have a pool? which we didn't realize until after we checked in?), but I think she still had fun.
Now the kids are back in school, and we have less than two months to summer vacation. I wish it were sooner!


Anonymous said...

Wow, what beautiful photos!

It's too bad your little lady wasn't feeling well, car rides aren't so great for my boy either. Better luck next time. :)

Cyn said...

Love the doll holders in the restroom! And seeing the rest of your trip via your photos. We've never been to Chicago.

Cyn said...

Oh - here's a blog you might enjoy.

Cindy D.

Taiya said...

This blog makes me think that we need a Chicago weekend again, soon. It has been almost 2 years since we drove someone to the airport and took our Chicago day trip(it's about 2.5 hours from us).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the gorgoues photos and OMG I had no idea nosebleeds could be that bad! I had lots of nosebleeds when I was a kid but none that backed up into my eyes. I hope your daughter felt better once she left the ER!