After attending Paul’s weekend conference in Florida, it was my time to catch up on some of my own learning, education and research at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) in Chicago! I had the fortunate opportunity of presenting some of my cost-effectiveness work and dietary intake research at the 2017 DDW. It was another opportunity to drag along my husband and child – so we decided to road trip to Chicago with a brand new 2 year old!
The road trip went surprisingly well. The little man was a dream. He enjoyed his car nap and the few stops we made to run around. He even went to the bathroom on some wayside potties – can’t argue with that! We checked in to our hotel and settled in for the night.
During the days I spent my time at the conference and presented posters. Paul and the little guy ran around Chicago in the squeaky stroller and spent the day at the Children’s museum. We met for lunch at Harry Carry’s on the Pier, as all good tourists do. We walked around Millennium park and went to the top of the Hancock building for a slice of cheesecake and the view. We also had some spare time one evening to go on a boat tour of the river and Lake Michigan shoreline. It as getting late, so the little guy was slightly stir crazy, but the views and the architecture was gorgeous and well worth freezing on the boat’s top deck.
We had a great time in Chicago visiting the city. The morning pancakes were as wonderful as all the family time we were able to soak up. Heck, even our dog got the nod to join us in the Windy city. He didn’t warm up to peeing on the concrete, but he seemed to survive his stay in downtown Chicago without too much anxiety. Although, he did get off leash at one point and dart into another hotel room while the cleaning ladies were chasing him down and shouting… never a dull moment really.
On our last morning there we went up to the suburbs to visit Alyssa and her adorable daughter, and then to Erik and Cara’s in Madison! Lets just say our visit to Erik’s house was nothing short of chaotic. Drew was pooping and running circles in the house… and so was our dog Dale who immediately decided to poop on their rug, then their deck, and then their neighbors yard. It was an unfortunate glimpse into the chaos of dog and toddler parenthood, which they will soon experience as new parents, hahah! Sorry guys!
After the chaotic visit to the Winsand residence we met with Paul’s brothers for dinner at the Old Fashioned, one of my absolute favorite restaurants. The cheese curds and cheeseburgers were nothing short of amazing. Drew was also served his water in a cocktail glass, which he loved a little too much. It was so nice to catch up with the boys and see where they were living! It made me miss our Madison days. Luckily, I was able to get a slice of Mac’n’cheese pizza from Ians for the road trip back to the Fox Valley.
We spent the rest of the week soaking up time and memories with Paul’s parents, my parents and family. Andrea was kind enough to host a BBQ at her house so we could visit with family and friends all at once. What a life saver! Lyssa met us there, and Drew was able to play with his cousin all night long on the slide. They talked toddler to one another and ran around the back yard, keeping themselves entertained for hours. It was a blast!
We had a great time in Chicago and visiting family back home. It was wonderful to see everyone, and it was one of the very few times that Paul and I were able to travel together. We are already looking forward to more family trips!