Saturday, October 20, 2007

Blog Time in the City

I used to sing this song to Olivia & Abby whenever we had to do something I knew they didn't want to do. For instance, I would sing this little line, "Bath time in the city." Or "Nap time in the city." It got them to like the activity more than if I didn't sing the song. Thank you, Child Development. :)
In honor of spending the ENTIRE day with Olivia & Abby today, it's now blog time in the city. Man! This is the nicest that I've ever "vacationed." I am on the job in Chicago this weekend. I've never been here before, and this city quickly became a spot that I would really like to come back to. Alright, so here's the details:

We left out of Van Nuys on Thursday mid-morning. Don't worry, we chartered a private jet. Since they are smaller planes (ours sat 8) we could fly higher and faster than commercial flights. That was the beauty of it, really. We were in the air for only 3.5 hours. And there was no check-in or security to go through. After landing we headed straight to the hotel, which is the nicest that the family's even stayed in. It's on the top, 46th floor of downtown Chicago. Our views are of the lake and the city. It's pretty decent. We spent the rest of the evening walking around in the city and to dinner. Bed was practically calling to me by the time we were done. On Saturday we visited the American Girl Place and had tea with the dolls. As a little girl I pretty much always dreamed of doing that. It was so cute! We spent the afternoon walking around again and a little bit of time at Navy Pier. Now, that's fun! After a quick dinner we attended the USC pep rally at another hotel a few blocks away. I'm not gonna lie--I thought the pep rally was going to be one of the lowlights of the weekend, but we had a blast! I got to sit on the floor in the front row with the kids and we were literally feet away from USC's full marching band, cheer squad, etc. For the first time since high school, I actually miss school spirit! It was so weird to be at another college's pep rally, with so many different ages there. As I was sitting through it I realized that all these people, regardless of age or race or status in life, were all gathered for the same purpose: to get hyped up about a college football team. They were all literally worshipping it! I must admit that I was not slow to put up my "fight on!" sign. But really. What were we all doing? Worshipping USC. Pretty sobering. Afte the pep rally we stopped on the walk back at Ghiradelli's for some ice cream...mmmmm!

Today, Saturday, is game day. The parents and 3 eldest children left with 3 friends for South Bend, Indiana. They left me with Olivia & Abby. We had a blast! First we went and did some returns/exchanges at a couple of stores and then wandered around the city streets. Chicago is such a neat city! Of course it has the common thread of most major cities, but to me it felt like a combination of the other big cities I've been to before. Here are my observations: The atmosphere reminds me of St. Louis. I think the waterfront might have something to do with that. The shops and people remind me of San Francisco (minus the hippies--I think that's a California thing). The fashion is from Los Angeles. Definitely Los Angeles. The city street layout is really similar to Sacramento. Maybe that's why I felt so much at home here.

Tomorrow we're seeing Wicked on Broadway and then catching the plane to go back home.

Right now I'm just chillin' out with Olivia & Abby, waiting for the fam to get back. It's been a lovely day. I love these girls! It was fun walking around the city and hearing people's comments about the girls. They rode around in a double stroller, Abby in her USC cheerleading outfit. Many people wondered if they were twins, and my constant reply was, "No, they're a year and a half apart." No one asked if they were actually mine; I guess they just assumed they were. It's common. One mother even asked me how I liked the stroller that I had. I told her that it's been nice for the 2 days we've had it (it's the hotel's stroller).

Oh-I forgot the mention the whole reason we're here: USC is playing Notre Dame right now. They are the biggest rivals in college football. What's really cool is that my friend Kevin swims for USC, and they raced Notre Dame last night. Kev said he did pretty well; 1st in breaststroke, but he's still recovering from the mountain biking accident. If he gets in early enough to Chicago tonight we get to hang out!

I'll try my best to post some photos when we get home!