Chicago! What landed us there, you might be asking (considering they had record lows that week, according to at least one cabbie)? Well, we found some cheap tickets and figured what the heck. Peter’s still considered a lap baby for a few more months, which means buying one less ticket. And we love Chicago,we’re long overdue for another visit. Weather, shmeather. So we picked a hotel, made some reservations, and were on our way.
We were a little leery of flying with Pete again (our flight home from Denver included lots of back arching, crying, and a barfing episode. Soooo… yeah, we were not excited to fly with him again). But – aside from a little squirmy at the beginning, he was in good spirits for a kid awakened at an unholy hour, and he totally behaved. Whew.
We got checked into our hotel (Four Points Sheraton downtown, River North to be exact), unpacked, and got our bearings. Peter broke in the bed (I think he was a little brokenhearted when the crib was delivered and he realized it wasn’t actually his own bed).
Yes, we all packed our slippers. Hello! Vacation! We’re relaxing!
Eventually we got hungry and headed out for some lunch. We stayed nearby for this meal and headed to grahamwich, just a few blocks away. Didn’t even have to bust out the stroller for that one – which was a good thing, as the place is TINY. One little communal table tucked into the back for on-site diners. Still: great spot, awesome food. Scott got the pastrami reuben, I got the banh mi (pork belly), and we all shared an order of pickles (Peter also noshed on ours, so he didn’t starve I promise). Yummy! I had heard good things and just-so-so things so we were happy to see things are apparently leveling out for the better in this newly (finally) opened spot. And tons of character in that place, from the sweet vintage-y trays they use for serving to the sunny wall color and quirky chalkboard-walled bathroom.
Mmm, nothing hits the spot like open-faced pork belly sandwiches.
On our way back we hit up Trader Joes – oh, Trader Joes! This photo is for you, Anne 😉 We stocked up on breakfast goodies, a few snacks, milk, and pickles (yes, pickles; and yes: the jar contained only two lonely pickles by the time we left). While the hotel didn’t offer complimentary breakfast, our room did have a kitchenette which we took full advantage of.
We went back to the hotel and Scott headed out to check out the neighborhood while I stayed in and kept watch during Peter’s nap. And I use the term “nap” loosely (only if that can be defined as bed-jumping, cartoon-viewing, and some diaper-clad people watching from the hotel window).
Scottie got back, and we got pulled together and headed to to Navy Pier – yes, we know about the lameness of Navy Pier. We were only there for the Children’s Museum, thank you very much. And not shockingly: Peter totally zonked out in the cab. Niiiice. We ducked into a Harry Caray’s to have a drink (it was blessedly empty and quiet), to bide our time until he woke up. Yeah – it didn’t take long, maybe a minute. Luckily, the pair of sunglasses procured from his diaper bag was enough fun distraction to allow us to enjoy our beers.
We went outside for a quick few minutes, to check out the snow sculptures in front. Then the wind/cold got the best of us and we headed back inside.
Then it was off to the Children’s Museum! Peter had a blast, as to be expected.
We had to drag him out of there, but it had to be done – already an hour past his bedtime, and we still had to find dinner. We took a cab back to our room, then headed down the street for some deep dish. We ended up at Pizzeria Due – yes, there were several other places nearby, but (1) it was below zero at that point and (2) this place was literally down the street. It certainly fit the bill – classic deep dish, much appreciated after a long day. Due is tiny, dark, and smells heavenly. Ahhhh, pizza fixes everything.
Weirdly enough Peter was a good kid (a little antsy but weirdly: good) considering that by the time our pizza hit the table it was several hours past is bedtime and he was also napless. He was a little slap-happy though. Here he is showing off how well his fruit strip sticks to plates.
And that’s it for Day 1, folks. We went back to the hotel and CRASHED. Day 2 should be up tomorrow.