Friday, April 24, 2009

seven quick takes, volume 090424

the trip to Chicago edition

1.  I did it!  This is an accomplishment for a five (the defining fear of fives is having enough knowledge/skill to be competent to act).  In this case, I sucessfully navigated Chicago's public transportation system to get myself and three small children from O'Hare-land downtown to the Shedd aquarium and back.  I did so without losing any of the children, and I managed to keep us all fed during the day, and my youngest didn't even decide she had to go potty while we were trapped on the over-crowded El, 45 minutes from getting off.
2.  I think my kids even had a good time at the aquarium.  I might feel bad about the three hours out of the day that transit took, except that was clearly as much of a treat as the fish.  There haven't been questions about when we get to go back to the aquarium.  There have been many questions about when we get to ride the train again.
3.   I did it!  I sucessfully followed the directions my friend gave me to drive the hour trip from our O'Hare hotel to her house in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.  I didn't miss any turns, I didn't get ticketed.  I didn't even get honked at.
4.  We had a great day with friends on Wednesday.  It's a wonderful treat when your kids are as good of friends with your friends' kids as you are with the parents.  It means the parents are free to completely ignore the children and let them play while we have our own conversation . . .
5.  I did it--mostly.  I made it back from my friend's house to the hotel in the dark, only muffed two of my turns, managed to work around them anyway without panicking, and didn't actually end up having to run the toll station for incorrect change . . . And anyway, the first muffed turn was really more of an alternate route.  Right?  (I mean, I was told before we headed home "If you miss the turn onto Lake Cook Rd., just keep going and you can get onto the highway off of 12--it just takes longer.")  It was the way that the freeway interchange between 90, 190, and 294 works going south/east that really threw me.  I mean, everywhere else in Chicago, signs that say "O'hare" mean towards O'hare . . . not "we're going to route you directly to the arrivals and departures drop-off point."
6.  Why were there toll booth attendents available to make change at every booth that we passed for four days except for the one I got to at 9:30 at night with two sleeping children in the back?  Why can't they jigger the toll machines to take dollar bills?  Why doesn't the U.S. mint simply decide that it's going to sensibly convert our nation to dollar coins and be done with it?  And if they throw in some of the pretty two-tone two-dollar coins like Canada has, that'd be a nice bonus.
7.  I . . . did . . . it.  When 90 turned into a parking lot in front of us and my wonderful husband got us off the freeway, I sucessfully helped navigate us through the side-roads and alternate routes of greater-greater-Chicago.  

A good trip.  I'm glad to be home, sleeping in my own bed with my own pillow.  I'm glad to be back in my own little midwestern town where 15 minutes in any direction gets you to corn fields and I can drive my standard routes without thinking about it.  And next time will be a bit easier.  :)
7 quick takes is hosted by Jen at Conversion Diary

1 comment:

Holly Rutchik said...

good for you! It really is a big deal to find your way around Chicago--and with kids--wow! We moved from a smaller city to Milwaukee a few years ago and every time I get lost (which I still do) I call my husband and tell him I hate it here--just to remind him it was not my idea to live in the city! God's blessings and brava!