In less than 24 hours I am heading out to Chicago for four days to attend a conference for one of my jobs. I love traveling, it’s one of my favorite things to do. I have been to Chicago before, most recently about two years ago so I am pretty familiar with the city and have already seen/done a lot of the tourist-y stuff. Is it weird to be glad that the conference is in a familiar city that way I don’t feel like I’m missing out on exploring?
I am most looking forward to having a bed all to myself. It will be really hard to resist swan-diving into my bed at The Drake Hotel. I also am looking forward to indulging in some of my favorite Chicago foods, like Gino’s East, Garrett’s Popcorn, Portillo’s hotdogs, cupcakes from Goddess and Grocer, etc. Ha, all the foods I should probably not be eating on a diet. Whatever, this is sort of like a vacation, right? No rules on vacation.
I always like to pack a bunch of stuff into a vacation because I just want to do everything and see everything possible. It’s hard for me to really relax, even on vacation, I just like to go, go, go. That’s one of the fundamental differences between me and Brian. I nearly killed him on our trip to Hawaii. I think in the seven years we’ve been married that he’s gotten more comfortable with letting me plan out our vacation agendas.
There’s not a lot of free time worked into the conference schedule and as soon as my plane lands back in DFW on Saturday I have to turn around and start packing my bags for a family trip to Tennessee. Brian’s three month paternity leave is almost up and we haven’t had a chance to see my parents again since they came down for Huck’s birth in February. The older kids are also in my cousin Dustin’s wedding the next Saturday. It’ll be nice to see family and explore a bit more in the mountains where they live. Brian and I are taking an early anniversary date night in Nashville also. I’m looking forward to some quality couple time and enjoying some kid-free hours while the grandparent’s soak up their time with the little ones.
We have to come back the following week for work and preschool graduation and then I have another work conference shortly after that. Whew. This is the last summer before Nolan starts kindergarten and unfortunately, since Brian will be back to work after his leave we probably won’t get away much this summer. I also have a pretty packed class schedule, and we’re pretty involved in some extended family needs so there is lots going on to keep us busy. I’m hoping we can sneak away for some day trips every now and then. In the 10+ years that I have lived in Texas I still haven’t been south of San Antonio yet. But we will just have to see if that ever happens.
Right now my biggest concern is praying for sanity, safety, and that my kids will eat more than Cheetos and Nutragrain bars the next four days while I’m away.