ChicagoIn the weeks leading up to our Chicago trip, nearly every time I told someone where we were headed they’d tell me, “That’s one of my favorite cities!” or, “You’re going to love Chicago!” And now I must say I’m a convert as well. We had such a great trip – mostly because we had so much quality time together, but also because we had the good fortune to spend that quality time in a fun place.

Cams and her DaddyCamille was a rock star on the trip, and Lee and I loved exploring and discovering a new place with her. I was prepared to be cold, and I’m sure I would’ve been later in the year, but the weather was just right. It was cold enough to feel like I think November should feel, with plenty of pretty colors making the trees look like they should look this time of year.

Red LeavesThe city felt big but not overwhelming, and we encountered friendly folks everywhere we went. People were quick to give Camille a seat on the subway, and she got lots of smiles.

We spent a day at the Field Museum which was fantastic. I didn’t know what to expect, but the exotic taxidermy was way cool. I’d seen so many of these animals in zoos, but seeing them up close gave me a new perspective on their size and texture. I wondered if Camille would be upset by an exhibit like this one, featuring a mama eagle bringing a bunny to feed her chicks.

Lunch anyone?But she just said, “The mama Eagle is feeding her babies,” and moved right on to the next exhibit. At first, she was a little scared of the huge tyrannosaurus rex, but in the end decided “Sue” was her favorite thing in the whole museum.

Sue and the ElephantsWe visited the Shedd Aquarium, which had a lot of fun exhibits. I loved the Beluga whales, but I think Camille’s favorite part was the Polar Play Zone. She got to dress up like a penguin and pretend to take care of stuffed animal penguin babies. What’s not to love about that?

Mama PenguinBeluga says hiWe spent another day just exploring some of the parks. I loved the big “bean” at Millennium Park. We played in the leaves, smelled the flowers, and found a nice playground. It was great to see such fantastic outdoor spaces nestled right next to the skyscrapers.

Shiny!Found a LeafWe also spent a lot of time just being silly. Just being a family. And that was my favorite part.

Silly in ChicagoToday, out of the blue Camille said, “Mama, I want to be in Chicago.” Girl, I know the feeling! I’m already looking forward to a return trip someday.

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