On her last day, Grandma spoke up. “Aren’t we going to see Chicago?” she asked. Now we know better than not to take our guests down to see Chicago (we live about 45 miles north of the city), but we’d been hoping she wouldn’t ask. Not because we don’t want to, but because we don’t know what we’re doing when we get there. We can make it there easily enough on the train, because the train goes in a straight line from where we are to downtown Chicago. It’s once we’re there that we have to figure out which bus to catch, which direction to walk to find the bus we need, what time, where to get off the bus, how to get where we want to go, where to eat, etc. So far the bus fiasco has ended up with us walking. Which is fine, and fun, until we’ve wandered for a few blocks and the children start crying out that they are hungry and tired of walking and needing to be carried. So there we are, lost and searching in massive downtown Chicago, new-to-the-city-Montana-folk with crying children being pulled along for “just one more block”.
So, after warning Grandma about the potential problems with the idea, we went ahead and did it anyway. Really, she couldn’t come out here and not have a glimpse of the tall buildings, buses, cars and horns, people, and lights– it really is a cool experience. That mission was accomplished, and she has photos and memories to prove it. The kids got very excited about riding on the train and buses, and then did cry out after we’d walked for several blocks (long blocks, I tell you) looking for food (which seems surprisingly difficult to find for us newcomers).
Next time we go (which might be next week when Matt’s brother comes to town) we’ll know more, we’ll map out our route more carefully, and we’ll make sure we have or are near food. And next time we’ll make sure to bring Matt, too, just for the extra help. I do find it very exciting in downtown Chicago, and would love to walk all over and check out everything– either with the kids at home or when the kids are older.