Yes, I still need (want!) to post pics from my time in Washington, but I've yet to download photos and now we've begun on first family vacation in 2 years! This may actually be the first proper vacation we've ever really planned (and we're still pretty much flying by the seat of our pants).
We left Oklahoma yesterday a 2 hours later than tentatively planned, and overnighted just past St. Louis. The Lord was smiling down on us when He gifted us with a hotel attendant who gave us a King suite with 2 roll-away beds, hot breakfast, fridge, and microwave included, for about $100. For 6 bodies, that's a steal folks!
Today we continued the second half of the journey to Chicago with the goal of arriving before 5pm. We seemed well on our way....until we hit rush our traffic. Duh! The Garmin didn't factor that in. Then the Garmin delivered us several blocks away from the actual destination. This is when we had to use our actual brains (and call to see where we should be)!
We're a day into our vacation and what blows me away is the kindness of others. On the TOP of the list...WE ARE STAYING IN CHICAGO FOR FREE. Not just IN Chicago, but we're like 3 blocks from Navy Pier. When one of my AAI families heard we were vacationing in Chicago they offered to let our family stay in their condo here for free (they aren't using it right now). Seriously, who does that? This family! =-) What a blessing!!
The Lord always seems to put such nice people in our path. The hotel attendant last night who did so much without charging extra (and actually gave us 10% off "just because")....The waitress today who gave each of the big kids a bowl of soup when they split a meal even though it only came with one bowl of soup...the doorman who was supposed to charge us $25 when we showed up after 5pm tonight and needed the condo door unlocked, but didn't. It does my heart good to see such friendly people all across America.
Well, tonight we walked around looking and acting like tourists for SURE. First of all, I don't think there are many families of six in this condo building. Lots of turning heads. Then, it is MORE than comical watching my 4 kids and mostly blind husband trying to navigate all of the turning doors in this city. All of the kids crowd in like cattle into one spot and the Eric comes behind them pushing the door WAY too fast, making the kids all practically fall out of the door on the other side. Oh my! The kids are all definitely getting a lesson in crosswalks and pedestrian rules as well. Actually, they learned the meaning of the word "pedestrian" today. They thought it meant "someone who is walking and in the way" before today. Oops! I guess I might have given that impression with all of my driving!
We've purchased 3 day tickets for this Chicago double decker bus tour thing, which stops in all of the major tourist locations. This will be how we spend the next 3 days we're here. Tomorrow we'll start with the 2 hour tour, just riding through all the stops and listening to them talk through the tour. From there we'll use the bus as transportation to get to our destinations and spend time in the places we want to visit. Seemed like the least complicated way to get around. Let's hope!
P.S. Spell check isn't working! Sorry!