Sunday, August 16, 2009
Sugar Cubes and Cupcake Batter
A few hours ago we rolled in from Chicago and Violet's first summertime trip to the Windy City. After getting off to a sloooow start, as in a 2.5 hour traffic jam south of Valpo, the rest of the weekend was a whirlwind.
Due to the time we spent parked, literally with the car turned off, on I-65, we arrived much later on Friday than we'd anticipated. Violet and I spent a little time playing with Jack and having a glass of wine with Aly (respectively), while Shawn and Andy hit the town with a friend and former co-worker to celebrate his bachelor party. I have no idea what time the men returned as everyone in our room was sawing logs by the time Shawn rolled in.
Our hotel was right downtown and we convenient to everything. A short cab ride (with babies on laps!!) got us to our first stop. The Shedd Aquarium was the #1 thing on our list for Saturday and we got there early enough to find the crowds only tedious and maddening but not quite at the suffocation level yet. The line forming outside as we left looked like a rowdy bunch, eager to see some fish and willing to body slam or trample any kid in the way. Probably best we left when we did. Two hours of aquarium is plenty for a 31 year old, so I think the three toddlers had probably gotten their fill as well.
After lunch, we schnarffed down hotdogs and cones in the park while we watched the pigeons and gulls fight for our crumbs. Then, we walked to Buckingham Fountain, in hopes of using it as the background for a family photo. The heat and the excitement of the "'Quarium" had overtaken the smaller members of our group by the time we got to the fountain so our family shot shows three crashed out babies and 4 sweaty adults in from of the gorgeous Chicago skyline.
We met a family friend for dinner at an Italian place near the hotel. The food was great and the kids were decent. A two+ hour dinner is hard to sit through and they did pretty well. Violet is such a night owl so she was hitting her stride around 9 p.m., right when Charlie was losing it because he was so tired. They are soo different already. Aly and Andy do a great job of respecting Charlie's need for zzz's and Aly headed back to the room before dessert so he could zonk out.
Before we left the city this morning, we headed to Wrigleyville to the Southport Grocery for brunch. A friend had mentioned their pancakes made out of CUPCAKE BATTER, so, obviously, I had to get some. There was a Cubs game this afternoon, so the area was busy and we had a 40 minute wait to be seated. Again, the kiddos were being asked to draw on their patience reserves as we waited and waited to eat. The wait was manageable (I really couldn't imagine NOT waiting in Chicago) but we definitely pulled out all the stops to keep everyone chillin' til the food came out. At one point, after sucking on a handful of Splenda packets, Violet joined Jack in eating the sugar cubes on the table. Jack kept saying things like, "Aunt Jilly, this sugar cube is actually delicious." Vi agreed and had downed two by the time our food came out.
The drive home was fairly uneventful and we all are bedding down early. Shawn's first day back at school is tomorrow and I think we all have a case of the Sundays. Hopefully the sugar buzz will wear off slowly!