-affectionately referring to Chicago's trolley as "Charlie" because that is what Tess used to call it when she was small. Since we all call trolleys "Charlies" now, I'm not sure that Tess knows the difference.
-making our way through the crazy Chicago driving and getting lost more than once
-singing along to Phantom music as it drifted through Millennium Park's amphitheater
-hearing Tess and Brooke's humorous quotes:
Tess, after running into someone in the L station: "That's all that's happened to me all day--I just keep running into people!"
Brooke, singing OneRepublic's "All the Right Moves" very poorly during our long car ride the first day: "Everybody knows, everybody knows where--"
Tess: "But I don't know where we're going!"
Tess, after we paid a toll on the toll road to a strange-looking woman: "We get all the weird ladies."
-catching a glimpse of rooftop pools from the top of the John Hancock building
-trying to comprehend how crazy huge Chicago is--while riding out of the city, the tall buildings just kept coming, and the suburbs reach forever
-watching Cassie's face break into a smile as she watched a movie on her iPod
-falling asleep to the sound of the L
-feeling the wind from Lake Michigan whip through my hair, cooling down a hot day
-catching my first glimpse of Chicago
I rode a subway. Though, I have yet to ride a legitimate underground subway.
I ate an entire Chinese meal using only chopsticks. Except for the soup, that is. But hey, pretty close.
And most of all, I read Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, completing my desire to have read all six of her novels. I loved it, absolutely. I had seen the movie before, so I knew the story, and I never really cared for it. I always dubbed it as Austen's worse--the least known and least loved.
But reading the book totally changed that for me. It's one of her best in my opinion now. Or at least has the best character depth and development, because in Mansfield Park, her characters are confusing and complicated. They're not predictable or simple, and I like that. You have to work to figure them out, just like you do with people in real life. It was wonderful.
All in all, it was just a fantastic time with the girls of my crazy family. We had such a blast together.
I put together a video with clips from our trip, Chicago mostly. It's set to the song "Brand New Day" by Joshua Radin, which I absolutely adore.