It's been one week since we got back form Chicago. It was our first trip since having Lyla.
We went because my friend from when I was 2 years old was up in Michigan from Florida for her cousins wedding and offered to drive to Chicago so we could meet up. We jumped at the chance. Although, we would love to go to Florida ;).
We got nervous the whole week before because Lyla was so sick and we didn't know if it would be possible to take her and went through a lot of scenarios about what we would do, but thank GOD she improved just in the nick of time. I would have been so bummed if we all couldn't go. Jud and Erica are Irelyn's Godparents and hadn't seen her since she turned 1 and they hadn't met Lyla yet.
I planned out the timing perfectly on the way there. We kept Lyla up until we were ready to leave and she slept until we stopped for lunch. We stopped, everybody ate lunch, Iley ran around for a little while and we were off again. Lyla fell asleep again shortly after lunch and slept until we arrived in Chicago. Irelyn also fell asleep for an hour. I have never known her to sleep more than an hour in the car, so this was expected. Plus, tolls suck and woke her up. Lyla woke up a couple times to with the tolls but went right back to sleep.
We stayed in a very neat little bed and breakfast a few miles from downtown Chicago. It was in a monastery and run by the monks. It had 3 rooms and was perfect for us (except the creaky floors that kept Lyla up). Irelyn got her own room and as it turned out Lyla took over Joe and I's bed and we traded off who slept with her and who slept on the couch (or climbed in with Irelyn as I did). Oh one more problem- no cable to watch the epic Packer game on Monday night with the ending heard around the world!
The B&B was right across the street from a park so we played there and then walked around the neighborhood for a place to eat. Which we would later take our Chinese food to go due to a tired/ crabby 2 year old who decided to make it look like I was kidnapping her or something.
We went to dinner that night for real Chicago deep dish.
Jud and Erica had to leave real early the next day. We tried to go with the same plan as we had on the way there and our biggest goal was to get back in time for Irelyn's last night of swim class. It was family night and we all wanted to go with the Grandma's, but Lyla had a rough ride back, barely slept, and was too crabby. The ride home was stressful. I wanted to find the Stride Rite that looked like it was right on the way home, but turned out to be very hard to find and when we did finally find it they were out of most the sizes we needed. Dang Iley and her chunky feet. :) So, Lyla barely left, wouldn't eat well, and crabbed. Irelyn was farely good, but her constant talking and questioning "why" got a little annoying.
Overall I feel it was a good experience for our family and I was thrilled to see Erica and Jud. I don't think traveling will ever be easy with our kids at least for a long time, but we had fun and I hope to take them back some day when they are older to see more of Chicago!