Summer Quadyssey: Chicago Part II
First off, I want to say a hardy welcome to any of you joining us from the London Times article! It’s jaw-dropping amazing to think about our story being shared "across the pond".
Because so much of our Quadyssey took place separately, I decided to make the next couple entries into a He Said/She Said post. You’ll get to hear Brad’s side of the story (always a treat when he writes!) and then Mama’s side of the story. Believe it or not , this is the CONDENSED version!
Ja-bi-go, Ja-bi-go, when do I get to go back to Ja-bi-go? I am crying right along with the other Murray boys this week at having to end our little adventure in Chicago. The long weekend was fun, exciting, exhausting, liberating, encouraging, scary, and funny all wrapped in to one. Here’s a look at our first day out on the town with Daddy:
Thursday morning, Jen awoke early and headed out for her event, while the boys and I slept in and hung out in the hotel room. When the boys started chanting "OUT-OUT-OUT!" I knew it was time to start our day. I got the boys out, gave them each a bowl of cereal, turned on "PBS Kids", and they were happy as clams.
While they ate, my scramble began. I had to be out of the Sheraton by 1pm, and was hoping for an early check-in at the Westin (thanks Dan & Blanca for the amazing discount hook-up), so I had to get our room completely packed up before we left for our adventure in the city. The boys sat like gems and watched TV the entire time I packed, and our day was off to an awesome start!
Out the hotel I went and into Chicago traffic with 4 toddlers and to my delight, almost every single person we ran into had a smile or positive comment for us. I was expecting the "Big City" to be at least somewhat annoyed by our giant stroller getting in their way, but almost without exception, every person we spoke with seemed blessed to have encountered us. This included the awesome dudes at the Chicago Firehouse. Although the boys were too fearful of the new surroundings to take them up on their "truck tour", we had fun checking out the firehouse garage.
We didn’t really do much other than walk down the entire "Magnificent Mile". (Not stopping in a single shop ladies, not a one!) The Westin River North, offered us a much appreciated early check-in and even an unexpected complimentary room upgrade! After single-handedly packing up a hotel room, packing the van, unpacking the van, settling in our second hotel for the weekend, AND the city tour, I put the boys down for a much needed NAP! Man was I glad to see mama at the end of the afternoon!
While Brad and the boys were out on the town, I joined 49 other bloggers and the executives of Ford for a tour of the plant, test drives, and an open discussion on what women want in a vehicle. (I took all of your great suggestions with me!) It was a jammed packed, informative, day. I walked away seriously impressed with Ford’s attention to details, safety, ingenuity, and interest in the consumer’s needs.
After reuniting with the Fam, we headed over to the conference hotel to pre-register and introduce the boys to some AHHH-MAZE-ZING women! This was by far my favorite component of BlogHer. Getting to meet other bloggers In Real Life (IRL), each with their own story and motivation for blogging, was such a valuable encounter!
There were a few other "IRL" encounters of the day:
American Gothic IRL
Nina, from the PBS Kids Sprout Goodnight Show IRL
And a IRL encounter with the boats on the Chicago River. (My favorite picture from our trip so far).
Finally, no Quadyssey is complete without video!!!!
Chicago Quadyssey Part III is in the works! So glad we were able to take you along for this adventure!