This past Thursday Mimi, Max and I flew to Chicago with our friend Stephanie and her son Miles to attend the Second Annual Ethiopian Blog Union, a gathering of families who have adopted from Ethiopia that maintain blogs, such as I do (even though I haven't been maintaining it very well lately). We had a wonderful time. Stephanie was kind enough to allow us to share a room with her and it worked out great and amazed me at how effortless and relaxing it was for we socially-anxious types which I hope means that we really are destined to be great friends because she is one of the funniest people I know. I bet you can't imagine 2 women and 3 kids in 1 hotel room and everyone getting along, but it's true!! It happened and it was beautiful:
Oooh so you wanna know where we stayed? Why we were guests at the The W - the uber-chic swanky "kid-friendly" hotel (if your kid is over 21, that is). Thankfully nothing was broken and no signs were posted about us when we left.
This was the view of Lake Michigan from our floor. Not the penthouse but not too shabby either, ay?:
In addition to all the other reasons I was excited to visit Chicago for this event was the particularly fantastic treat of seeing my dear friend Stacie and meeting her family. Stacie and I became friends a while back through mutual friends on Facebook and we quickly bonded over our intense passion for adoption, Ethiopia and a little somethin' somethin' called Twilight. Stacie is beautiful (inside and out), smart, thoughtful, quirkly and incredibly funny and I am lucky to know her.
So what did we do? We ate, drank and were merry! We got to know families from all around the country whose blogs we followed. We watched our children play and our children had the wonderful opportunity to see so many blended families bonded by love. What else did we do? Here's a recap:
We went to Gino's East for authentic Chicago deep dish pizza:
We went to the Museum of Science and Industry. Best part of this for the kids? For Mimi it was the rockclimbing wall (Max enjoyed that as well). Max loved all the trains and planes. Me? Arthur Weasley's Invisible Muggle Car!
And then we went for Ethiopian food at Demera Ethiopian Restaurant. It was full of food, families, music and tradition. Mimi even participated in the coffee ceremony! Most of the children wore their traditional clothing from their birth countries and everyone looked beautiful. It was a wonderful and delicious way to end a fantastic trip!
Alas, like all good things our trip came to and end and we returned home. The kids were happy to see Daddy, as was I to see him and I made one with the couch to rest while he made up for lost time. Some say a vacation with kids is work but if that's the case it is the best job anyone could ask for! I leave you with parting shots from the airport. Mimi who showcases her "I hate early mornings" look while Max and Miles display their common knowledge for the three Cs: curiosity, climbing and comedy: