In late March we went to Chicago – we planned to attend the March for our Lives with friends, but our friends had to drop out due to prior commitments. We already had booked a (nonrefundable) room, so we decided just to head out. I’ll be honest, at that point it was a little chaotic – the MFOL location had changed a few times, the organizers weren’t releasing the march route until the day of due to threats from counter groups, so we weren’t super sure it was the best idea to hit up the rally/march/action items for the day. I do cut them all the slack in the world because they really did leave it to the kids to plan, and I couldn’t plan that sort of massive event in a large city even today as an adult. Anyway, we decided we’d play it by ear. If it ended up being too questionable when it was time to head out, we’d take the kids to a museum instead.
Which kinda felt like a punk-ass response, but hey: the reason we take our kids to marches/protests is not to push our beliefs onto them, but to teach them that it’s important to be involved in their democracy. When we were young the political landscape was so different, you could easily skate by without knowing a darn thing and your life would just keep humming along with your life business as usual. Because of that, a lot of my generation was mostly apathetic about politics when we were young. But that’s not a reality for the younger generations today, so we want to raise our kids to critically view the world, to analyze what they see, and make sound decisions. If those decisions lead them to fight for what they feel is right, then I feel like we’ve done our job. But on the flip side: if a protest or march is an unsafe situation, I’m not going to blindly drag young children along.
ANYWAAAAAAY. We piled in the car on Friday late afternoon and drove to Chicago. And about halfway through this random cardboard box flew up onto our car and got stuck and made this loud Phthfft. Phthfft. PHTHFFFFFFFT sound while we tried to have a normal adult conversation pretending this huge cardboard box was not loudly flapping all over the hood and then Scott and I could not stop laughing.
You guys it truly hung on there for a good five minutes and we were dying the whole time. God bless, random cardboard box.
We had a slow entry to Chicago because we hit the city around rush hour (brilliant timing). But hey: I got some good pictures, so. Not the worst. Also we listened to a few episodes of The Mystery Show podcast so that was nice (you guys, if you listen to no other podcast episode ever in your life, you need to listen to Belt Buckle. So unbelievably good, it’s sad this podcast only had funding for like 5 episodes).
We stayed at a Hyatt we’ve stayed at in the past, Peter loves the lobby because it’s like a low-rent Pink Floyd laser light show.
Scott asked for a room facing the firehouse if possible, and I have to give the staff credit because they spent a good amount of time making sure we got that room. Linus came over and stood by Scott in his firefighter jacket just to drive that point home, and they were super nice to him even though it was pretty obvious I sent him over there in his firefigher jacket just to get some pity points.
Anyway. Kudos on that room. Hyatt: you did right by us. Moose was in heaven. And for my own record: Room 880. It faces Columbus Drive and that beloved Firehouse.
I uhhhh. Brought way too many snacks. Carrot and celery sticks, crackers, cheese, dried fruit and banana chips, cookies… I have a bad habit of packing too many road trip snacks, but it kinda worked in our favor this trip. The boys made themselves a picnic in the room, while Scott and I ordered some XOCO-torta delivery for ourselves. I had a delicious wild-mushroom torta while we watching the Jayhawks survive to dance another day in the tourney, and it was all good.
Meanwhile Peter and Linus pigged out on snacks and watched the firefighters come and go.
Peter was the first to retire to bed; thankfully Linus wasn’t far behind.
We got up kinda early the next morning. THANKS MOOSE.
I will never not marvel at the beauty of this building.
So! We checked out, loaded up the car, and headed to the West Loop…
Linus loves the El. He screamed out every time he saw an Elevated Train, even though he’s seen it dozens of times at this point.
So hey we made it to the West Loop! We parked in our private parking garage we booked with Panda Parking and then walked around the area deciding on some brunch before the chaos of the day.
The first time we hit up this area it was a little more crusty than it was now. Honestly, I kinda miss that crusty-ness. But! Regardless, we found a brunch spot and settled in.
That brunch spot was Parlor Pizza Bar, which does this massive Bloody Mary bar at brunch (Scott hit up that shizz, all I wanted was COFFEEEEEEE)…
Their brunch was no slouch either, you guys. I got the “Hot Chicken Biscuit”, Scottie got an Indian burrito special, and the kiddos got birthday waffles.
HOLY SHIT THOSE BIRTHDAY WAFFLES.
Both got down two layers of ice cream, icing, and waffles and I gotta say: that was pretty impressive.
So after brunch! We pressed some protest temporary tattoos on our faces and made our way over to Union Park.
We still love Bear Champ.
Away we go.
Finally we found the MFOL.
We made it in time to listen to most of the rally speeches. Linus got antsy and can I just say? Telling your preschooler to count the Port-O-Potties is a totally acceptable way to keep him occupied.
(Their were 16 on our row, just FYI.)
It took awhile but we finally were able to march.
Everyone was chanting “Hey Ho, Hey Ho, Donald Trump Has Got To Go” but good old Linus, he was chanting “Hey Ho, Hey Ho, Look at my new Oreo”.
Yeah. Sorry, fellow Liberals. He has a point, though.
Hey, look! Teens were everywhere signing up people to vote! NOT JUST WALKING AROUND SMILING AND TAKING SELFIES HUH.
Then it got confusing and the group got split and we followed the group heading down the West Loop. Which I am pretty sure was the wrong way but there was a good ~40K of us so who cares really. The West Loop businesses surely took note.
Eventually we ran out of protest crowd so we just headed back of our own accord.
(I have no idea who that guy is that Moose followed behind for a good half mile.)
After the rally and getting our next marching orders, we headed back to Madison. Not, however, until we made a stop at IKEA. It has been a long time since we stocked up there.
After our IKEA run, we headed back home and only stopped for some Portillos.
Namely: some Chicago dogs, cheese fries, and chocolate-cake shakes. Because OF COURSE WHY ELSE DOES ONE GO TO PORTILLO’S.
Afterwards we headed home. And Moose’s hair was static insanity (thanks, winter).
See you soon, friends. More to come…