Nothing will make you feel older than when you realize it is time to start college visits for your kiddo. Is it really this time already? I pretty sure it was just yesterday I was teary over the first day of kindergarten! For better or worse, the answer is YES. As my oldest wants a school in or very near to a big city, we decided to take a quick trip to the Windy City, Chicago, to check it out!
Although this trip was primarily to look at colleges (and we sure did!), I’ll leave the college story for my daughter to tell (at least until one is decided on). However, it wasn’t all colleges all of the time! We managed to squeeze in a whole bunch of fun with the whole family and our Amity Intern, Gaby. After all, we wanted to show her a little more of the United States! Shortly after the kids got out of school, we headed to the airport and hopped a plane to The Windy City, Chicago!
DAY 1: While my daughter and I hopped onto the CTA train and went off to visit a college, my husband took Gaby and my son to both the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium. They walked from our hotel in downtown Chicago. My daughter and I stopped for an amazing lunch at XOCO where we had tortas and tacos! We met up again, later on for a (free!) happy hour at our hotel, Embassy Suites Downtown Chicago. We split up again after happy hour- my husband, son and Gaby heading to the dine-in AMC theater to see “The Addams Family” and my daughter and I heading to the CIBC Theater to see Hamilton. If you haven’t seen Hamilton- you must go. (And as it was just announced that it will be closing in Chicago in January, I am beyond glad we decided to get tickets!)
Just a word on the Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown…(and no, I am not an affiliate, I get absolutely zero for telling you about my great stay there!). Free breakfast. Free happy hour. Awesome location. It was the perfect headquarters for this little trip.
DAY 2: We all went on the college tour today! After lots of patience from my eight year old, we headed to lunch at Green Street Meats, to meet up with the daughter of one of my friends. YUM! After an amazing lunch of smoked brisket, smoked pulled pork, coleslaw, cornbread and Mexican corn, we hopped back on the CTA train to SkyDeck Chicago at the Willis Tower. The glass ledge is super fun, as you get to look straight down 103 floors at downtown Chicago! After coming back to ground level, we capped off the night with some take out from Eataly, since we were all exhausted!
Day 3: Another college tour and again, we all went (sorry 8 year old son!)! This one was a little farther outside of the city, so my daughter taught my son how to do Sudoku while on the train (be still my heart…). The tour took a long time (She really liked this one and thank god it didn’t start until 11a, so we could all sleep in a little). We then decided to show Justin the other campus that he had missed on the first day, so day 3 was a LOT of talk about college. We did take time to grab pizza at Lou Malnati’s though-a true Chicago institution. After we had had all of the college touring we could stand we headed to The Magnificent Mile (Michigan Avenue) to do a little window shopping.
DAY 4: No college tours today so we spent the whole day acting like tourists! We started in Millennium Park so we could get the prerequisite photos with “The Bean” (actually called Cloud Gate) and with “The Faces” (actually called Crown Fountain). We then caught a bus to The Museum of Science and Industry– which is my very favorite museum! We learned about coal mining, a mirror maze, weather, the human body, baby chicks, model trains- there is just so much to see! Surprisingly we were still in the mood for pizza so after happy hour at our hotel, we headed to Pizzeria Uno for Chicago deep dish.
DAY 5: Time to go home. We took one last train ride to the airport and left The Windy City. No worries, though, we’ll definitely be back!