Sunday, October 12, 2008

Train Trip to Chicago

On Saturday, Isabella and I took a special mother/daughter trip to Chicago. Just us, just for the day. We've never taken the South Shore Train, and I decided that would add to the excitement of our trip. It was $9 for my one way ticket and children ride free!!
It was a beautiful day to be enjoying fall. I loved all the colors. It was pretty fun to be just with my oldest, already 8 1/2 years old! Then when we got off the train in the station I realized I had no map and had not been familiarized myself enough with where we were going. We had planned on taking a bus to the Water Tower Place so I didn't think we would actually need a map. We knew the bus stop was across the street and knew which spot to get off at from reading the South Shore web site. But we were both hungry and wanted to do some walking down Michigan Ave. to find a place to have lunch. And one little problem, I had only been to Michigan Ave. one time, & we were there as a family for maybe 1 hour. We didn't do much just went to about 3 stores on a trip back from Ikea.

So I was thinking, Wow- This was pretty naive to do all by myself, with little 8 year old daughter. What was I thinking?? And feeling pretty vulnerable. I thought I knew the general direction I was going but asked a police officer to be sure. He assured me we were headed the right direction, and then ended the conversation with, "And Ma'am, Keep a good hold on your purse today. Be careful." Well, Gee, Thanks, I wasn't planning on watching my purse or being careful...but now I will." This of course added to the vulnerability state.

After lunch I was in a better state of mind. We were fine, and we had a really perfect day to be out in the city. Isabella's main objective for the day was to spend her birthday money. And guess where she wanted to spend it??

But on the way there....The Nike Store we passed was giving out plastic cards you could take into the store and see if you were a winner of a $1000 gift card they were giving away. So we headed up to the 3rd floor, because of course they want you to navigate through the entire store to entice you as much as possible and then see if you didn't actually win anything. We waited in line on the 3rd floor, for about 10 minutes. I was telling Isabella wouldn't that be something if we won a $1000 gift card and could take new tennis shoes home for the entire family?? We watched as the people in front of us would put their plastic card up to a scanner to see if they were a winner. The results appeared on a huge flat screen T.V. And guess what Isabella, not the $1000....but a sports bag. Which worked perfectly to carry her doll in. She was pretty excited!! Then it was on to the American Girl store.

We had been to the store once before about 2 years ago...and just briefly. So it was fun to let Isabella look around and take her time.

Isabella had been saving her birthday money, allowance, and other money gifts she had been given and we went half with her on a horse. It was something special we wanted to do for her. And want to do with the rest of the children on the start of their 3rd grade year. We will call it our "3rd grade date" The boys will go with their dad when they start the 3rd grade, but somewhere of their special interest. Then again I will be one on one with Suzanna when she enters this phase. We got this idea from our friend Rose. It's pretty cool to glean parenting information from friends who have figured out what works well in relating to your kids in a unique way. I've taken Isabella to many places just her and I. But this was special, this was something of special interest to her.

The horse came in a gigantic box, so we unwrapped it and put her in a shopping bag. She was beyond excited. We generally don't spend this kind of money for a gift. But this was a special day, that came with some special conversations about grown up things, and I wanted her to have a meaningful memento to remember the day by.

We also hit the town for a couple spots of special interest of mom's......the gap and a shoe store. :)

Then made the 4:00 train. What a trip.

Thank you to God for keeping us safe, for my special day with Isabella Rose, and for blessing me with this responsibility of raising her to be your daughter.

Quote from the day:

Me: "Thank you Isabella for being patient when I keep wanting to take your picture. I remember when I was a little girl and my mom would want to take pictures all the time, I would complain."

Isabella: "Well I am getting kinda sick of it."


RosyRose said...

love it Heather! What beautiful pictures! You are brave in so many ways:)! Love ya!

Sherri said...

Heather, I love this idea and what a special memory for you and Isabella!!! One she will remember for a long time!

You were very brave to take on Chicago alone with Isabella, and I'm proud of you!!...what a wonderful lesson you were able to teach your daughter that day on being brave and trusting God to take care of us!

Holly said...

What an awesome idea! I am so happy for you and Isabella! That rocks! Isabella rocks! I am so thankful you both had fun and stayed safe in the big windy city!

Anonymous said...

oh i was wondering how the trip went! it looks like it went really good once you started shopping, i MEAN... went real well after lunch! ;) i love isabella's choice! what a beautiful daughter she is! love that smile.

Crazy Daze said...

Heather, glad to hear that the whole "third grade date" went well! Can't wait to hear all of your tips! Have to admit that I'm a bit envious that while I was spending my Saturday painting (with Brian), you were shopping with Isabella! After all, didn't you know that Chicago is my city...did you ask MY permission to go without me? Didn't think so! Joking! It does look like you had a truly great time though! You two look so sweet together! Catch up with ya later.

Crazy Daze said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Sounds like you enjoyed a great day in the city! You even got to bring your purse home with doesn't get much better than that.

Anonymous said...

I took the South Shore on numerous occasions and it's always so much fun.....gotta watch the purse on Michigan Avenue!
The weekend was so beautiful and I'm so glad you two had a perfect day and everyone was safe!
I love Chicago!

Jenn said...

So sweet! What a wonderful idea. I need to write that down somewhere, so that I remember to do something like that with the kids.

Looks like you had a blast!

Charlotte said...

What a fun idea - I'm sure Isabella will remember that outing for the rest of her life!

The Blissfully Happy Housewife said...

I LOVE Chicago, and the "3rd grade date" idea is awesome!! I'll have to remember that one!! I'm so happy you both had fun!


cheryl said...

What a fun day! I'm sure it's one she'll remember for a long time, even with the "annoying" pix. Ha, the $9 sure beats what you would have spent in gas. Glad to hear you came home with your purse. I'm heading to Chicago this Saturday for a few hours too!