We spent Thanksgiving in Chicago this year. We are no fans of holiday travel because it tends to be unpleasant but we realized that this may be our last chance to visit Paul’s parents before we go to India, so our decision was made. We are not going to India until May of 2012, I know, but pretty soon, I will be too, ahem,
huge pregnant, to travel, then the baby will come and be too young to travel and by the time the baby’s old enough to travel, Paul will be in training again, which means he can’t take any vacation and it may not happen.
To mix things up a bit, we decided to take the train. We had never done it but thought it would be interesting and it was. It was also less expensive. But it was long. It took 17 hours each way. Most of it was during the night but still, 17 hours is a long time. It had its plusses though - we didn’t have to endure huge lines, scanners, pat downs or any of the other unpleasantness you generally encounter when flying these days. We had roomy seats that reclined and had leg rests, so we could sleep overnight. It wasn’t like sleeping in your bed but it was way better than trying to sleep on an airplane. We got to get up and walk around, when we needed to stretch and could go to the observation car or the dining car, when we got bored at our seats. The train was a double-decker and our seats were on top both ways, which was fun too. So all in all, the train part wasn’t bad. Nia even made some friends and managed to lose another tooth right before we got on the train coming back. She was a little nervous that the Tooth Fairy may not be able to find us because the train was moving all night but amazing little creature that she is, the Tooth Fairy came through with flying colors and left Nia a buck in her train pillow case! How about that?!!!
Once we made it to Chicago, we spent time with Paul’s folks but also visited the Art Institute. We had wanted to go see it forever but it somehow ended up slipping off our plans every time we were in Chicago. This time, we set aside a day for it and just went. Unlike most museums in DC, the Chicago Art Institute is not free but it’s full of amazing art and it was a pure delight. Paul and I would have liked to stay longer but it’s big and you really can’t see everything in one day, especially with a 7-year old, so we were happy with the several hours we got.
The museum’s collection is really incredible and here’s a collage of my faves. No flash photography is allowed, of course, so my pictures aren’t great but this gives you an idea of how awesome it is, if you’ve never been there…
On to Thanksgiving Dinner. It was a relatively small affair this year – just Paul’s parents, Paul’s brother Chris and his family and us. Breaking with tradition, we did not cook the Thanksgiving feast this year. We were staying at Paul’s sister’s house (she was out of town for Thanksgiving with her family) and we didn’t want to go crazy in someone else’s house, so we ordered a turkey and ham dinner at a grocery store. The dinner was delicious but what we didn’t realize was that it was cold, so we had to (re)heat everything and that delayed things a bit. Everything was very tasty and we still managed to eat until we were blue in the face and enjoy each other’s company. So overall, it was another wonderful family Thanksgiving and we were grateful for all the blessings, large and small, we are lucky to have.