Phew! We’re back from our trip to the Midwest and finally getting settled in back at home. It was a great trip! We saw friends and family, had a little baby-free fun and enjoyed a couple days of mostly work-free family time. It did what a good vacation should: I feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle life again. And I feel even more confident about our ability to travel with Adeline. Yay!
We started the trip in Chicago, where we stayed with our wonderful and generous friends, Hannah and Ryan. And their crazy cat, Rocket. Luckily we didn’t have any run-ins with Rocket. Unlike the first time I met him, when he attempted to eat my hand. My fault for trying to pet him. But anyways.
On Friday David and I split up to maximize our time with each of our friends. I had the baby, of course. We hopped on the brown line, then switched to the red line and headed downtown. I use the word “hopped” loosely here, both because it’s hard to hop with a baby and a stroller, and because it implies that we strolled up to the platform and got right on a train, as opposed to what really happened: we got there and waited in the rain for ten minutes. That’s cool though. I was just pumped to be taking a train. And I loved being downtown again. It makes me warm and fuzzy inside. I realize that being surrounded by noisy trains, skyscrapers and homeless men smoking cigarettes doesn’t translate to “warm and fuzzy” for everyone. But I love it, what can I say?
We had lunch with a friend, then met up with another friend to check out the Modern Wing at the Art Institute. It pretty much rocked. There was an awesome video installation detailing a woman’s decline into insanity that I particularly liked. Because I’m declining into insanity? Maybe. Maybe not. Also, it was awesome because Adeline chilled in her stroller the whole time. She even loved the art so much that she fell asleep the better to absorb all that she’d seen.
We also walked around Millennium Park a bit then did a little more train “hopping” and went back to the house. That night, we had a babysitter to stay with Adeline. Awesome! We met up with a bunch of friends and had drinks at Trump Tower. It was too cold and rainy to go out on the rooftop deck (bummer) but it was still swanky and awesome and delicious. Then we had dinner at a hip new small plates restaurant, Paris Club. I felt like my old self again and I LOVED it.
Of course, we had a little too much to drink. It was a small plates restaurant with an amazing wine list. What do you expect? So the next morning we experienced the joy of being hungover with a baby. Not so joyful. Why Adeline couldn’t sleep in just a little later I’ll never know. But we rallied. We had brunch with friends and then went to the aquarium. We even saw the dolphin show. Rockin’! Adeline isn’t quite old enough to really enjoy an aquarium, but she was definitely checking things out. They have a little touch and play area and she particularly liked splashing the water. It’s as though she knows what’s going to make the most mess.
Saturday night we had the babysitter again (two nights in a row? unheard of!) and went to a wedding – the ostensible reason for our trip. We missed the actual ceremony, both because it was at a Catholic Church and we were terrified that it would be a full Catholic mass (scary!) and because Addie needed a nap and then we had to get ready and suddenly it was way later than we had planned on. Getting places on time with a baby is hard, ok people? But we made it just in time for the reception, which is really the point anyways, you know? And once again, we had an awesome time.
On Sunday David flew back to Denver – so sad. And Adeline and I went up to Wisconsin to stay with my parents for a few days.
It was even colder and rainier in Wisconsin, but we did lots of typical fall things and it was awesome. We took the dogs out to a park where they could run free and Adeline could eat leaves. We went to a farmers’ market and played with pumpkins. We spent time with Adeline’s great grandma, the 94-year-old, amazing Grandma Ruth. We saw old friends and ate lots of yummy fall food. We even went to the Milwaukee art museum – I’ve been feeling deprived of art here in Denver, so I guess I had to double up on the trip. There was an awesome photo exhibition with three amazing and incredibly interesting installations. For anyone in the Milwaukee area: I totally recommend going to check it out. Plus, they’re getting an Impressionist exhibit in two weeks. Sweet.
And on Wednesday evening my parents dropped us off at the airport and we were on our way home. Then the most amazing thing of all happened. My once incredibly difficult sleeper fell asleep in an empty seat. Totally unprompted and on her own. I laid my hand on her adorable little back and closed my eyes after a long but wonderful trip. A perfect ending.