Travel. Something we as a duo have always loved. It almost defined us for awhile, always looking for an adventure whether near or far. It personally gives me life to go to new places and have new experiences. To see how other people live. To breathe in a new culture. It was always a romantic notion that I would be able to do this with my little one in tow, and the time had finally come. We had decided to put on the training wheels and take her somewhere that wasn’t too far, that we had traveled to a few times already and that was kid friendly. We ultimately decided on Chicago.
Luna shocked us with her stellar behavior on the plane. I packed her a small backpack with some new toys and activity books (all from the Dollar Store), along with her tablet loaded with her favorite movies and some headphones. I also brought some lollipops to help with the change in pressure during take off and landing. Even with connecting flights, turbulence and no service or bathroom access, she didn’t complain once. We had prepared her a couple of weeks before with these awesome books that I found on Amazon. She knew what to expect, and I think that eased her anxiety.
We stayed at StayPineapple at The Alise, which was SUCH a lovely hotel. It was super central, in The Loop, which is very important when you have a little one in tow. They also have an amazing restaurant and bar (The Atwood), which was great after long days where we were too tired (or the weather was too bad) to look for one to visit. I think Luna loved the hotel more than the city, and would ask to go back to it all the time! She especially loved opening the huge windows and watching the busy city in the morning.
One important lesson we learned was that we cannot travel the same way we used to. It may seem obvious, but our kid is pretty good (as far as 3 year olds go anyways), and is used to our lifestyle, so we thought we could carry on in a new city. Not the case. She found some things to be the actual worst (like Navy Pier, especially when she saw all the fun amusement park rides were shut down or shopping down the Magnificent Mile), would get overtired or overstimulated, and it would result in the most psychotic of tantrums. She doesn’t tend to make these scenes in public so it led to some frustrating and embarrassing moments. Sometimes we had to walk a very long way, only to walk a very long way right back because she was not having it. We had a very loose daily itinerary and didn’t stress when we couldn’t do something or had to leave early. This is so important.