Yes, yes I am, and I'm still having fun!
(Could you have taken a WORSE panorama shot of the skyline from the Field Museum, Amy? No. No, I don't think I could have, unless it just showed sky, why do you ask?)
Okay-- LOTS to say-- I'm not even going to try to make it coherent. Just gonna blurt out whatever comes to mind.
* Monday we took the kids to Navy Pier and Skydeck-- twas a lot of fun. First we took a trolly to Navy Pier and looked around. Andrew Grey met us there, and we did the Ferris Wheel and the stained glass museum and an Italian place for lunch and Mate took the kids to the Children's Museum while I took Andrew back to the stained glass museum because he hadn't seen it and we took a bus and walked four blocks to Skydeck, and then walked to the train station and took a train to the pizza place and then another one back to the Congress Plaza hotel. I just talked to a Chicago native who said we did more public transportation in one day than she did in YEARS of residency. I told her I just spent two days hiding in my hotel room, recovering.
* Mate had a lot of fun on Skydeck-- that was awesome. Zoomboy completely exhausted himself, and Squish took things in stride. We were talking about how Squish could be the New York Nine Year Old. She just walked in a straight line, kept an appropriate distance, and didn't freak out, not once, in the crowds. Zoomboy on the other hand? That kid needs space, or his elbows are gonna hurt someone!
* Zoomboy, in fact, had several meltdowns that day. By the end of the day, he was DONE, and we owe Andrew big time for calming him down on the WAY CROWDED commuter train to the place we met for dinner. Mate got separated to the other side of the car, and Andrew just anchored an arm around the kid's chest and told him to hang on. Seriously, calmed him down.
* One of his other meltdowns resulted in a bit of psychological warfare I'm particularly proud of. Squish had gotten her sweater wet at the Children's museum, and was walking around in a long-sleeved T-shirt. We gave her the green umbrella when we were out in the rain to keep her from getting too cold. ZB FREAKED, he wanted that umbrella so bad. So after Skydeck, I went through the souvenir line and bought a new Chicago umbrella-- and gave it to Squish. And yes, I gave him the green umbrella. Somehow, it was just not as special and he learned an important lesson about getting what you want.
* I had a very high school moment when we met Andrew at the pier. My parents got there first, and when I saw them talking, I thought, "Oh no! What are mom and dad telling my friend about me!!!" But they got along very well-- Andrew loved my folks, and they said he was the nicest man. Again, it's amazing how that whole high school thing never goes away. It was even better when Mate said he was awesome too. *beam*
* Everybody left Tuesday morning, and I got this text from Chicken as I was packing:
Mom, can I borrow your old green coat? I want to cosplay Daria from the 90's.
To which I replied:
I"m still wearing it.
And she said:
No! The old green one, with the inside like a checkerboard!
And I sent her the above picture of the wrecked hotel room and the green coat, front and center.
I'm still wearing it!
Oh. Okay. Nevermind.
That's okay-- you can have it. I think it's time I bought a new one.
* And while we were at the Skydeck, I got a call from Big T-- he said he'd gone and gotten Squish her late birthday present, the one thing she wanted most. Mate and the kids arrived home, and there it was.
I think she loves it, don't you?
* And after they all left, I switched hotels. It's funny, I see Chicagoans jay walk all the frickin' time. But on a two-mile cab ride, I swear my driver almost killed three pedestrians. I'm NEVER jaywalking in Chicago, I swear!
* And that leaves me here! But not by myself by a longshot. I had lunch today with Sue from Chicago, and I loved getting a chance to talk to her-- my heavens, what a charming, pleasant, fun person! I couldn't have asked for a better lunch time companion.
And in addition? Well, I need to get pictures-- Elizabeth North, Connie Bailey, Nikki Bennet, Andrew Grey, Lynn West, Nessa Warrin, Shannon, Julyssa, Paul Richmond, and Julianne Bentley-- people I love and never see enough of, and they were all there, at one dinner, and I was so very happy.
* But Chicago is not always kind-- Ariel, Tammi, Catt-- sorry we missed you at dinner. The weather drove a lot of people to St. Louis for a little while, and that sucked. When they finally got here, they were WAY ready for their hotel rooms. Let's just say the rain was beautiful from the outside, but not always practical from an aeronautical perspective.
The conference starts tomorrow-- I'm looking forward to meeting all my fellow DSP authors! I really cannot wait!
* Wait! I almost forgot the best moment--
When we were on the trolley to the Navy Pier, our guide was a particularly young, handsome, and charming man. Squish kept saying, "You look familiar to me. Where have I seen you before?" Before we got off the trolley, she said, "Wait! I have it! I saw you in my dreams!"
And while the poor, flustered young man recovered from getting a come on line from a seven year old, Mate and I looked at each other and said, "We are in SO much FRICKIN' trouble!"
So much. It can't even be measured. Dude.