Chicago has been a whirlwind. We got in on Thursday morning, later than planned, thanks to a two hour delay. George, bless him, brought a car into the city and parked right at Union Station (quite conveniently located across the street from his office) so that we could load in all our bags and ourselves rather than transport everything via Metra (the Chicago equivalent to commuter rail). Plus he helped Kelley take the first set of bags while we waited at the baggage check.

By the way, Lucy and Will were also champs: they sat at the mouth of the machine awaiting our suitcases. Seeing Will attempt to take a bag twice his size off the belt was so adorable that I didn’t know whether to take a picture or help. It appears helping won out. But I do have this photo of him waiting for the bags:


George had to go back to work while we headed out to his house to meet up with Deirdre and not-quite-a-baby-anymore Maeve. James and Maeve were a little wary of each other — at 10.5 and 16 months respectively, they are mutually into toys and not sharing — but Lucy and Will again stepped in, this time to mediate and play. Note (above) that it wasn’t yet possible to get the two pairings easily in the same frame.


Deirdre, a wonderful and (George, note:) sensitive hostess, gamely packed up Maeve and led us all back into the city so we could do a boat tour. From car to Metra to water taxi to Wendall’s boat tour, we very much appreciate her being our cruise director!


Will, Lucy, Maeve and Deirdre waiting at the Metra station

In the past, Kelley and I have taken the Chicago Architecture Tour, but we wanted something a little more kid-friendly. Although riding the water taxi up and down the canal all day might have been fine (and much cheaper!), I was quite pleased with Wendella’s — they started off heading down the canal from Michigan Ave. to the Willis (formerly Sears) tower, then turned around and went back up the canal and out onto Lake Michigan and were both quick enough to keep the kids’ interest and informative enough for ours.


Lucy and Will getting off the double decker train. Note the racks to the right -- excellent use of space, Chicago Metra!


From Metra to water taxi (with a few detours along the way)


Boarding the water taxi


Note - no Will. He preferred riding up front.


Can't see Will? He's to the left of the guy in the red shirt.


Kelley and James on the top deck of Wendella's boat (tour), out on Lake Michigan

George wasn’t able to make it to the tour (that pesky work thing), but he met us for the Metra ride home. Although we thought about dinner out, crankiness of both kids and adults (albeit much better contained) suggested dinner at the house. I’d planned on doing some email and blog updating, but I’m sorry to say, sleep won out. I went upstairs to lie down with Will and the next thing I knew, Kelley was shaking me awake so I could move into the big people’s bed.

Up next: Friday, the unabbridged version…