I've been itching for a vacation; a fairytale-like getaway free of stress, responsibility and cleaning up sticking fingers.
Right now I would love to be lying on a beach reading Fifty Shades of Grey, listening to the little ones running care free through the sand.
Or how wonderful it would be to be sipping wine in an outdoor cafe in Italy trying to decide between eating the pizza or pasta?
None of those visions are happening now, but how lucky we are to live in a city that is a vacation spot to so many (we even have the tropical weather today).
With my college roommate home for the weekend we headed with the kids to Millennium Park. It is less than 30 minutes from our home and has been at least a year since we've been there. People from all across the world come to admire the architecture and beauty of the free park built in honor of the Millennium.
Cloud Gate, referred to by most of us as The Bean is pure brilliance. Thousands flock to look and take photos at the mirrored structure. From each angle different reflections are uncovered, yet my favorite is the West side view where you see our gorgeous skyline from behind. I cannot imagine any other sculpture that is so breathtaking.
The Crown Fountains attract the kids in their swim suits and keeps everyone cool. Each tower features photos of real Chicagoans and we love to watch their mouth open as the water pours out.
Lastly we stopped by The Lurie Gardens and were impressed by their growth in the past year and admired the beautiful oasis in the middle of downtown. We walked along a combination of grasses, bulbs, shrubs, ponds, birds and trees. It is the featured nature component of the world's largest green roof.
The Jay Pritzker Pavilion designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry really is breathtaking. Pritzker Pavilion serves as the centerpiece for Millennium Park and is the new home of the Grant Park Orchestra and popular music acts. I'm making in a goal to get there for a free show this summer.
On our way home, my little boy unprompted said, "That was fun, thanks for taking us Mom."
At that moment I realized our kids do learn from experiences. When children leave behind television and other electronics the real world is out there and it doesn't take getting on a plane to find it.
That really is better (and cheaper) than any exotic vacation.
Where is your favorite tourist spot to visit in Chicago?