Trains, Boats and Automobiles

There were a lot of firsts this weekend. I just can't get over how fun the last 48 hours were. And, we almost canceled our plans due to a torrential downpour on Friday night. But Saturday morning the rain had subsided; the morning mist created a cool, refreshing air with which to depart upon. We headed south.

We started our trip on the Haiwatha Amtrak from Milwaukee to Chicago. There's a special running this summer where kids ride free. Sweet! It only took about 10 minutes to get to the station Saturday morning, and we boarded the train by 8 a.m. Awesome.


Our bags were packed. We were staying the night, and I was able to store all necessary items on the chariot. Laptop and video player in tow, Oliver was super excited to be on the train. We snagged great seats and had a little picnic on the train. Breakfast on the go, literally.

great seats

About 1 and 1/2 hours later, we arrived in Chicago.


Five minutes after that, we were on the water taxi .... after I stopped for a coffee of course....


The weather and the views were perfect!






Oliver on the water taxi

And before we knew it, we were at Navy Pier.





We successfully avoided the Ferris Wheel (I haven't admitted this to Oliver yet, but I'm incredibly afraid of  heights)... I did offer to take Oliver on the ride, but he stated he was too little and that the big wheel was for big kids. Maybe later, he said. I exhaled a sigh of desperate relief.

We even saw a pirate show...


When we were done, my friend Lisa came to pick us up. Oliver was very impressed with her "sports" car. Another first for the day: a ride in a cabriolet.

in the convertible


Let me introduce Oliver's new playmate for the day, Bella...

bella - retouched

She kept Oliver busy so that mom and Lisa could enjoy a glass of wine that evening. In fact, they even shared the same entrance way into Lisa's condo.


I am sorry to say I didn't carry my camera with me on every Chicago excursion we did yesterday and today. We trekked to Vosges Haut Chocolate for a scoop of Naga ice cream. If you haven't heard of this exotic chocolatier, you really must visit. Their interesting flavors and combinations will either thrill you or disgust you, depending on your level of chocolate purism. In other words, my Swiss relatives absolutely scoff in disgust at this American chocolatier. My American counterparts, however, are devout loyalists. It depends which side of the ocean you're on I guess!

In addition to that, we had an amazing breakfast this morning at Nookies... carb and sugar heaven, both of which I whole-heartedly avoid in the a.m.'s but today was a special treat. There was no denying the Mango Coconut Hotcakes, Fresh Berry Brioche nor the Peach and Raspberry pancakes. So we ordered all three. Oh. My. God. That's all I can say. That and why the f didn't I bring my camera to the diner?

We then made a trip to Oz park where Oliver enjoyed simply the best playground he'd ever visited. It was a wooden delux version of the witches castle. Again, no camera. You'll have to take my word for it.

Back on the water taxi Sunday morning and onto the train.





Where Oliver got to hang with my lovely Apple....

Oliver and my Apple

Until he promptly fell asleep in my lap.


My Peanut was so exhausted, he stayed asleep until we arrived at our door step. As well, I have to mention that we had no accidents at all, of the potty kind. I have to pat myself on the back for actually remembering to have my little guy visit the "ladies" room throughout the day. He did so well! In addition, I guess I have to give credit where credit is due. Oliver's daddy taught him to pee on the grass. This technique was mobilized twice ths weekend, both times in the park. I felt a little bad, just for a second, and then I got over myself. I figured if the grass was good enough for dogs, it was good enough for my little guy! I'm starting to really care much less these days about what folks think. I'm not sure if it's my age or if it's because of what I'm dealing with on a personal level, but either way, I'm fine with this "new" me.

So, I have to say, the 36-hour Chicago trip was a blast, and one that bears repeating again soon. I'm torn. Another weekend in Chicago? Or should we head up to Door County? All I know is that when I'm alone with my little guy, we have a blast! I have no anger or resentment, and I have a sense of peace about me. I treasure the moments. I have finally proven to myself that I can do this. I can do it, have fun, and not feel sorry for myself. I know Oliver has a blast. He'd rather have both parents around to lavish attention on him and to share the fun with, but for now, this is how it is, and I am making certain we are making the most of our time together.

Thanks for checkin' in....