Our first family trip was a year in the making thanks to Pop! In April when he told me we were going, I put a million of excuses not to go but the main reason I was scared to get on the plane myself. I also worried how you would react and who would stay with JuanGa. I grossly underestimated Papá; he had back up plans for JuanGa and even for us.
On May 24th we said good bye to Juanga and we went on a plan. Lots of work had to go into getting us to the trip and that meant Mamá and Papá had to work extra hours to make sure that we had insurance car and travel health, someone to stay with JuanGa (Jenivette and Ramon) and that we had places to stay when we got to the U.S.
Pop made sure you saw videos of how a plan takes off and lands. He researched how to ease air pressure pain and book hotels and basically did everything we needed to make sure our trip was fun.
Uncle Rahul picked us up from the airport and you went right to him. Him and Papá set up the car seat and we were ready to roll. We got to his house which was a huge apartment building and he lives on the 24th floor. Things you enjoyed about his apartment; the stairs, the fancy area carpets, the pillows and blanket while viewing movies, and the cuckoo clock. Every time the cuckoo came out, you ran to the clock and acted just like the cuckoo.
What we did in Chicago:
We went to Navy Pier and the Chicago’s Children’s Museum. You excavated a huge dinosaur in a tar pit with other kids.
We went to Lincoln Zoo. You asked to eat on the grass and we had a picnic. You loved it.
We went to the Field Museum of Natural History but before that we stopped at a Memorial Day weekend ceremony. That is when you saw your first squirrel thanks to a husky dog. We walked and saw Lake Michigan We saw Sue the TRex and you were scared of the underground world of bugs. They were all robots and it freaked you out. But you still keep talking about the crawfish and its claws.
We went to Millenium Park and saw the coolest fountains, sculptures, and more fountains. You loved the face fountains and your face lit up every time water came out
We went to the Mall where you shouted in American Girl Place how you hated dolls. You loved the Lego Store.
We walked up and down Michigan Ave with Uncle Rahul and went to the park around his house. We were by the Water Tower in Chicago. You loved the area because of all the parks.
We were across the street from one of the tallest buildings in Chicago! You loved everything about the place. The only thing was that you didn’t want to bath because it was too cold, your sleep habits were terrible, and you actually took naps during the day. We had you going for long periods of times.
Wisconsin to North Dakota Bound
We rented a Kia and took off in the morning on the 28th of May and headed west to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We stopped off to eat lunch at AJ Bombers and met up with Papá’s friend Joe Sorge who owns the restaurant. You loved watching the airplane bomber drop peanuts in the pan. We also met another of Papá’s friends named Jonathan Brewer. We had so much food and loved every minute. Papá drove on towards Bloomington, Minnesota and it was a long drive.
You took a nap and we stopped to get gas and use the restroom. Because you had been in the car for a bit, you wanted to stay out of the car and we decided to walk and then you wanted to walk into a path in the forest. Papá was not crazy about the idea, but we indulged you and you wanted to keep walking. Mother Nature intervened and sent a huge bumble bee and that actually made you stop wanting to walk and we turned right around. We kept driving and finally arrived in Bloomington, MN where we stayed at a hotel that had bunk beds. You said they were your beds even though you slept with us. You had pizza and you were wired and hooked with the television. Funny thing that happened was that every time there was a commercial, you got mad because we don’t have cable and youtube videos don’t have commercials. It was pretty funny trying to explain this too you.
In the morning, we met up with our friend Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria, a spoken word poet, who engaged you beautifully because he also has children. We went to the Mall of America,it was across the street from the hotel and one of the biggest malls in the U.S.! It has a theme park inside with a miniature golf area and even an aquarium. This place is huge with tons of shopping stores that we didn’t even get to visit. We were in awe of the place and you wanted a muffin for breakfast so we went walking and sat across this huge Transformer made from Legos. Of course we went to the Lego store and there was a lego play area and you played. We then took off for North Dakota. All the while we kept seeing beautiful farms, cows, bison, horses, deer, nature all around.
We got into North Dakota in the afternoon on May 29th and checked in to another hotel; you were mad because in this hotel there were no bunk beds and you didn’t like the room. We had early dinner and met up with some of your Papá’s friends at a little cafe. There you met Charlie and his parents Valerie and Mark from Guernsey, a little island between England and France. Kind of cool when you think that two kids, from different parts of the world, meet and they both live on islands.
You hit it off with Charlie so well, that his mom and I decided we should hook up and take you to do something fun. We rested at the hotel while Papá was off to a function at night. We woke up really early and went to eat breakfast. You and Charlie were running around when you saw each other and we met tons more people. I had breakfast and you and Papá took off to the park. You enjoyed your day with Papá and then I took over. We went to eat with Berni Xiong another of Papá’s friends we wanted to meet and then we went to a party at an art gallery. We did not stay long and we went back. You stayed up watching cartoons and Papá got mad at me for falling asleep. Your sleeping habits were way off but you didn’t mind it we had to work with or better yet Papá did.
The following day, Charlie and his mom, and both of us, hoped in a cab and went to the Red River Zoo in Fargo. We had a blast despite the rainy weather. We saw all types of animals, llamas, cows, goats, peacocks, all types of reptiles, amphibians, and even madagascar cockroaches.
We headed back to town and we ate lunch above the street in a skywalk. We headed back to the hotel where we relaxed for a bit. We went to walking through Downtown Fargo and played in a store called UnGlued. We went back to where the conference was being held and waited until the end.
Later that day you went out with Papá and you were upset because you were not going to hang out at night for the closing. I decided to stay in because the weather was making me so dehydrated. Your dad came back early in the morning, 4:30 a.m. and you and I woke up and went to get breakfast.
After your dad said goodbye to his friends, we headed back to Bloomington for the night. We played on some jungle gyms and you went down the slide. We went to the Mall of America, we bought you three lego man figures that you put together and you even helped clean up the lego section where the kids were playing in. We had Japanese and it was the first time in the entire week that I saw you eat a complete meal that wasn’t just french fries.
We got up the next morning and headed to Madison, Wisconsin for lunch and we walked around the town for a bit. As the afternoon proceeded, we headed back to Chicago and in arrived about 6 p.m. just in time to meet up with Uncle Rahul and eat dinner. We walked for a bit one last time through the city of Chicago’s Michigan Ave, and then headed back. We went to bed extremley late and had to get up the next morning very early.
You barely slept on the plane and then the last 30 minutes you decided to nod off. We did not have breakfast nor lunch and with the rocking of the plane, I got sick. Your ears started to hear and pop was worried. When we landed we took a cap home, and when we walked in the apartment, JuanGa was waiting for us and almost knocked us all over.
We went shopping, I was throwing up everywhere Marshalls, Freshmart, and at home. You had a fever. Needless to say we were glad to be home, with our puppy, and back to a regular routine.