We flew to chicago in the afternoon - R was a TOTAL angel in the flight - interested in looking below and giggling and leaning into me.
When we reached the hotel they were not ready to check in.So we went out and had lunch . I get REALLY grumpy when i am hungry (and also because of the diet )and so does R .
We went to an Italian bistro where everytihng was a grease-fest - I did find a three bean salad and R ate some pizza . Just before I got the pizza he was so tired that his face crumpled into tears.
My heart just breaks when he cries like that. Each time this happens I think how terrible it would be if I actually did not have food for my child.I plan to do more for "Second harvest" this year.
I go to the opening of the conference. A legend in research opens the conference.But he is a drag and speaks in cliches.
In the evening I walk back to the hotel with J -my collegue - we all go to dinner - we walk the streets of Downtown - we want to eat somewhere that is unique and Chicago-like. Also something that we would not get in my corner of the world - so we wander and wander hunting for food and finally settle in a place called "Feast" Their black bean burger is to die for !
But R is very tired - I snuggle him a little and he cheers up and then behaves beautifully throughout dinner ( he stims a little but we dont mind it)
J is very nice and says several times how wonderful R is. R of course has a fond feeling for her as she is the one who gave him a" byce"( bicycle) last week .
The conference is all day. In the evening I come back an feed R his dinner. He has gone swimming in the hotel pool on the 23rd floor each day with DH. He has been an angel. DH has gone to meet a friend in the suburbs in the day and he has been in the train for 3 hours! But he loves the train and has not complained or whined.
When I leave for an hour or so to meet my friends-I bribe R with a Blue Raspberry Dum Dum -I tell him I will go out . But promise to be the one to give him a bath and put him to bed.
This evening I meet my two E -friends - its sooooo lovely to meet them.
They are also members of our exclusive sorority as my friend Kara calls them ( mums of Auties) I love them and I love their kids. One of them is a doctor -also here on a conference and another is local.I meet them for the first time but its like we know each other forever( which we do) - and we keep interrupting each other trying to fit in everything in the hour we have.
In the evening despite my strict instructions - Dh has NOT ordered oom service - he does not want hotel-food in Chicago and so we go out LATE in the night to "The Grill"- Its 11 but we take DH's computer so R can watch a DVD and he does in peace amidst coiling around me though its late . I eat the best grilled veggies I have ever had.
R has been such an angel through the past 2 days that DH and I ( who are country mice for sure ) wonder if R is really a town mouse who loves the night life.
The conference ends at 3 today and as our hotel and the conference location are on two ends of the Magnificent Mile - we start walking towards each other - we meet in a park and R does his happy jig- hopping with excitement. He ends his dance in his charming way by gently kissing my nose.
He hugs J and J is so touched and that R is not like any ASD kid she has met. This of course causes me to clamber on to my soapbox about how autistic kids are misunderstood and how they are all affectionate. Some just are unable to express their emotions in ordinary ways due to Sensory Issues.
We bid J goodbye - she is going to an airport hotel and we are staying in Downtown and will leave tomorrow
We loiter around the streets - R is entranced by the wide open concrete spaces and all the flowers - Really Chicago downtown is the best I have ever seen !
These are a few new attracions on the road
The big BEAN
The photo waterfall are simply gorgeous as is the terrific architecture
Its VERY cold so we all end up buying jackets.. Here R is wearing mine.
What a small fry he is !
The weather has been gorgeous these past two days but ut suddenly starts to rain
And we run inside a coffee shop - I have a cappucino - R has some chips and Sprite and we watch the great Downtwon crowds throng past
Its the best cappucino I have ever- why does everything taste so much better here?
And I have the pleasure of watching the surly large barista blush in pleasure when I tell him I have never had a better cappuccino in my life
One of my friends says that she is always strong aginst attacks, its the compliments that touch her and make her feel vulnerable.
And its so true
One of the things I have detested about this trip has been the constant hunting for food.
DH is determined to find interesting things to eat thingshewouldnotfindinTennessee and Chicago has this grand illusion that there is something exciting just around the corner
Of course all the exciting things have long wait times.
So we hunt for Sunda ( a vietnamese place ) When we find it eventually (after hours of walking) it turns out that it has a 90 minute wait. We eventually go to the Ranforest cafe - DH's never been and R is stunned into silence by the gorillas and the elephant.
He really cannot understand why we are eating nonchalantly while all this deadly wild life is burgeoning around us
Really we put him through so much change - but I believe its kind of good for him
We loll around in the morning - R eats a massive slice of pizza- and we set off for the Hancock Observatory.
The ticket lady is very sweet and though I tell her R is 4 and therefore I need a child ticket for 10 dollars - she says - 0-3 firmly to me and does not charge us. Though she is being kind, I feel horribly guilty and cling on to the feeling till we reach the top
And then on the 90th floor of this building all I can think of is beauty .. sheer spectacular beauty
I have no other words
Chicago is gorgeous from up above
Whether you look at the things that man has made
Or those that are a gift of nature
We eat at Jamba juice and go to the airport . At the airport right at the moment that we are in the midst of a major discussion checking our bags in - R has a major meltdown over a Blue Raspberry Dum Dum and wails UP UP UP he chants and dances like a angry dervish.
People watch us amused!
He has been so angelic - a tantrum is overdue - and I pick him up! And tell him he can have the Dum Dum but he cannot whine any more
He sleeps in the flight back home and while its lovely to be back - I am deeply tired
Is a day of extreme drudgery to get ready for the week and I am feeling terribly nostalgic for Chicago