By: Jennifer Murray

Summer Quadyssey: Chicago Part II

First off, I want to say a hardy welcome to any of you joining us from the London Times article!  It’s jaw-dropping amazing to think about our story being shared "across the pond". 

Because so much of our Quadyssey took place separately, I decided to make the next couple entries into a He Said/She Said post.  You’ll get to hear Brad’s side of the story (always a treat when he writes!) and then Mama’s side of the story.  Believe it or not , this is the CONDENSED version!

He Said: 

Ja-bi-go, Ja-bi-go, when do I get to go back to Ja-bi-go?  I am crying right along with the other Murray boys this week at having to end our little adventure in Chicago.  The long weekend was fun, exciting, exhausting, liberating, encouraging, scary, and funny all wrapped in to one. Here’s a look at our first day out on the town with Daddy:

Thursday morning, Jen awoke early and headed out for her event, while the boys and I slept in and hung out in the hotel room.  When the boys started chanting "OUT-OUT-OUT!" I knew it was time to start our day.  I got the boys out, gave them each a bowl of cereal, turned on "PBS Kids", and they were happy as clams. 

While they ate, my scramble began.  I had to be out of the Sheraton by 1pm, and was hoping for an early check-in at the Westin  (thanks Dan & Blanca for the amazing discount hook-up), so I had to get our room completely packed up before we left for our adventure in the city.  The boys sat like gems and watched TV the entire time I packed, and our day was off to an awesome start!

Out the hotel I went and into Chicago traffic with 4 toddlers and to my delight, almost every single person we ran into had a smile or positive comment for us.  I was expecting the "Big City" to be at least somewhat annoyed by our giant stroller getting in their way, but almost without exception, every person we spoke with seemed blessed to have encountered us. This included the awesome dudes at the Chicago Firehouse.  Although the boys were too fearful of the new surroundings to take them up on their "truck tour", we had fun checking out the firehouse garage.

We didn’t really do much other than walk down the entire "Magnificent Mile". (Not stopping in a single shop ladies, not a one!)  The Westin River North, offered us a much appreciated early check-in and even an unexpected complimentary room upgrade!   After single-handedly packing up a hotel room, packing the van, unpacking the van, settling in our second hotel for the weekend, AND the city tour, I put the boys down for a much needed NAP! Man was I glad to see mama at the end of the afternoon! 

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She Said:

While Brad and the boys were out on the town, I joined 49 other bloggers and the executives of Ford for a tour of the plant, test drives, and an open discussion on what women want in a vehicle.  (I took all of your great suggestions with me!)  It was a jammed packed, informative, day.  I walked away seriously impressed with Ford’s attention to details, safety, ingenuity, and interest in the consumer’s needs.

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After reuniting with the Fam, we headed over to the conference hotel to pre-register and introduce the boys to some AHHH-MAZE-ZING women!  This was by far my favorite component of BlogHer.  Getting to meet other bloggers In Real Life (IRL), each with their own story and motivation for blogging, was such a valuable encounter! 

There were a few other "IRL" encounters of the day:

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American Gothic IRL

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Nina, from the PBS Kids Sprout Goodnight Show IRL

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And a IRL encounter with the boats on the Chicago River. (My favorite picture from our trip so far).

Finally, no Quadyssey is complete without video!!!!

Chicago Quadyssey Part III is in the works!  So glad we were able to take you along for this adventure!

12 Responses to “Summer Quadyssey: Chicago Part II”

  1. Following HIM
    July 30, 2009 at 8:15 pm #

    WoW…I absolutly LOVE the pict of the boys and the window! WoW…the video was amazing too 🙂
    ~Elyse

  2. Anonymous
    July 30, 2009 at 9:01 pm #

    I was enjoying every second of the video until I got to the train tracks, silly me I was thinking the boys "met" the Chicago "el" but no, a carpet design, that is TOO MUCH!!! Love it!!
    So glad you had a great trip. I'm enjoying reading about it!
    TW

  3. Anonymous
    July 30, 2009 at 9:01 pm #

    And I do mean that LOVED the part about the train track, FABULOUS!!

  4. Midwest Mommy
    July 30, 2009 at 9:48 pm #

    So cute! What a brave daddy!

  5. Barbara Manatee
    July 30, 2009 at 10:59 pm #

    oh, my son would be all over that "choo choo track" too! He walks on our landscape rocks/retaining wall and says its choo choo tracks…anything and everything is a choo choo these days…crayons, play doh, books,…line 'em up and its a choo choo!

    Kudos to Brad for taking all 4 boys out for the day in the big city! My husband has yet to go anywhere alone with all 3 of ours – seriously!!

  6. Mamma Sol
    July 31, 2009 at 2:54 am #

    I have so much respect for Brad for taking on such an adventure while being alone with all four boys in the new surroundings! I could feel my pulse quickening by the mood of the out-out-out chanting, and almost broke a sweat just watching the video. What a marvellous man to keep so cool and allowing the boys to have such lovely experiences. Amazing.

  7. Lisa Stone
    July 31, 2009 at 8:55 am #

    Jen, it was such a pleasure to meet you all and your sons! They are beautiful. I hope you had a super trip to Chicago. See you at BlogHer '10? 🙂

  8. Leftover Creator
    July 31, 2009 at 8:56 am #

    I love your adventures! Keep up the great videos, my three year old loved watching this one!

  9. Anonymous
    July 31, 2009 at 6:03 pm #

    That was one tough job Brad and you did an amazing job caring for your 4 sons in a new surrounding. Your boys are so incrediably cute, adorable and very well behaved. My brother just returned today from a week vacation in the windy city to see a few ball games there. Glad you had a great trip and able to build many more wonderful family memories.~Darlene

  10. AlohaMolly
    July 31, 2009 at 10:55 pm #

    Wonderful adventure!

    BTW I have sent u an award..check out my blog post here:
    http://secondtimeparenthood.blogspot.com/2009/08/my-first-blog-award-and-its-double.html

    Cheers! 🙂

  11. Carie
    August 2, 2009 at 12:04 am #

    How fun! I love Chicago!

  12. Calonder Crew
    August 5, 2009 at 4:20 pm #

    I laughed so hard at the phone part…our boys have recently figured that out, also. Unfortunately, if you don't watch them closely, ours call people and/or leave the phone off the hook for hours on end! It was so funny when I heard the phone in the background. Great blogs and it sounds like you guys had a great time!

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