Things I learned during our mini-vacation/Chicago getaway:
5 hours of driving in the rain is NOT fun.
A 5 hour trip actually takes 7 hours when it’s necessary to stop every 45 minutes for faulty DVD players, the beef jerky and basket of fruit being packed inconveniently, multiple bathroom breaks, and the toy cat that Logan just couldn’t live without for 4 days that he bawled for FIFTEEN MILES over needing to be replaced. Okay, yeah. I’ll admit that if it was anyone else I would be one of the first people to roll my eyes, tell the parents to grow a pair and the kid to stop sniveling and do without the damn toy for 4 days. But it was MY kid, he bawled dramatically for FIFTEEN MILES of rain-soaked, oil-slicked, truck-crowded quarter-mile-visibility unknown highway, so you eye-rollers can shut your face.
Checking us into the hotel, getting us all unpacked and settled all by myself had me beaming with pride cause I felt all adult and responsible and stuff.
Yep, I’m silly like that.
Hyatt House is AWESOME.
Indoor pools are awesome.
Losing weight gives you a tremendous sense of pride and accomplishment and a warm fuzzy little glow; but catching a glimpse of yourself in a swimsuit in the full length mirrored door in the hotel room erases every ounce of that.
Loose skin on your belly is one thing, because while you may look doughy and misshapen and slightly dimpled, there’s still enough adipose tissue to keep from being thoroughly disgusted. Excessive layers and folds of thin loose skin on the thighs, though, are another matter entirely. They look like an abhorrent cross-breed of a turkey wattle and deflated balloon, and when combined with adipose tissue and doughy dimpled layers on your lower thighs, well, it’ll send you screaming into the night.
It would have, anyway, if I wasn’t afraid of said wattle-y balloon folds flapping in the wind and waking up the entire neighborhood.
The embarrassment of my body kept me from taking off the coverup and shorts in front of a group of women- none of whom were actually swimming, by the way…they were all sitting around watching the 50 screaming kids in the pool. I sat on the side in a chair until well after they left, humiliated, despite barely being given a second glance. I tore myself apart, and then spent too long being miserable because I was so ashamed of my body that I refused to get in and swim with the kids when they were begging me to. Hello, Guilt.
Once I DID actually get back in the pool (after they were gone), I discovered I swim a helluva lot better now than I ever did growing up. I didn't have that awkward 'how do I get my arms and legs to move all at once and not look like a floudering whale' thing..I felt like a swimmer.
Swimming is pretty kick-butt exercise, and if you do it right and do enough of it, it will kick your butt.
My children don’t care that we paid $20 for parking. They don’t care that the Museum of Science and Industry is a top tourist attraction, or that we thought it was cool and wanted to stop and read the signs and marvel at the science and at the industry. They just wanted to push buttons, pull levers, touch the tornado, and go back to the hotel and go swimming.
My children also don’t care if they are looking at Lake Michigan or a puddle of spit. They don’t care about its expanse and majesty. They want to go back to the hotel and go swimming.
Did I mention indoor pools are awesome, if for no other reason than it keeps my kids entertained for hours?
Chicago is called the Windy City for a reason.
If given the BBQ sunflower seeds they all love, Chris and the boys will leave a trail of damp, sucked-clean shell bits in their wake. The car, the hotel elevator, the sofa, the restaurant, the everydangplace you can think of.
My husband is not a morning person.
This annoys me.
He also abhors natural light pouring in from sunny windows.
WTF is wrong with him.
Being allowed to push the button for the elevator is a task held in high regard by my boys, surpassed only by pushing the button for the actual floor needed and using the keycard to gain access to the hotel room.
I am fascinated at how every morning my kids polished off 2 bowls of cereal, waffles or pancakes with syrup, bacon or sausage, a carton of yogurt, a banana, and a bagel with peanut butter or cream cheese. All three kids, every morning.
It's possible to stay primal/paleo during a vacation, and enjoy it (as long as I didn't look at what the kids were eating or count carbs).
Fruit Loops hold some magical power over my children.
My husband is the biggest kid of them all; I had to tear him away from most of the exhibits at the children’s museum to catch up with the rest of us.
Watching my kids at Medieval Times was the biggest darn thrill of the entire weekend.
Crossing something off our bucket list is a great feeling.
I’m such a dork that I really, really, really want to be IN Medieval Times. Not some serving wench..I want to joust, dammit.
Yeah. Theatre dork.
I miss the SCA.
Kids sleep really well when they are worn out from the (totally awesome indoor) pool.
It takes one attempt by the kids, two by Chris and three by me to make sure all the drawers, closets, cabinets, and cubbyholes are empty and everything is packed up.
It takes approximately 24 hours from the start of a vacation for me to actually relax. This relaxation will end approximately 24 hours before the vacation is over. The 48 hours before and the 48 hours after is a flurry of packing and laundry-doing and list-cross-checking and unpacking and laundry-doing where I feel harried, hassled, and hurried…but I totally enjoy it.
Our little Chicago getaway was desperately needed, and was thoroughly enjoyed, and was just perfect.