Last week, Sonia and I had a rare day with absolutely nothing planned, so we hopped in the car and headed toward downtown Chicago to bum around Millennium Park. We had such a lovely time! We emerged from the underground parking garage and immediately explored the Lurie Garden, which is such a nice oasis. We also happened to find a great place to take a picture in front of the building (Prudential II) where I worked at my very first post-college job:
Other than going to the Shedd Aquarium and the Museum of Science and Industry, which are both on the far edge of downtown, Sonia has been downtown only two or three other times. This is the first time we really spent a good amount of time just walking around, soaking up the crazy downtown aura.
Sonia and I were bummed that the Great Lawn of the Jay Pritzker Pavillion was blocked off to help restore the grass from a long summer of outdoor concerts..... It looks like a fun place to run around!
Sonia was so confused as to why I kept referring to Millennium Park as a "park". "Where are the slides and swings, Mommy?" she asked several times. That stopped once she saw the bean (AKA the Cloud Gate).
Little Narcissus loved looking at herself from all different angles.
I wish I had a video of the silly dance she was doing while I snapped these next two pictures.... That bean thingy sure put her in a silly mood!
So ridiculously awesome....
A nice passerby offered to take our picture together as we were walking toward the Crown Fountain (which Sonia loved).
Crossing over Monroe Street on the Nichols Bridgeway, which connects the park to the Art Institute:
One of the main reasons for our impromptu visit into the city was to meet up with one of our favorite people in the entire world: Emily Borlik! We kidnapped her from work and went to lunch at the fantastic and shockingly kid-friendly Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe. Sosini's beloved "Auntie Em" is going to become a bona fide aunt around Thanksgiving time-- so exciting!! Congratulations to the whole Borlik clan....
Sonia was positively despondent when she realized that we only got to spend one measly hour with Emily! Seriously, Sosini almost had a full-on sobfest when I told her we had to walk Emily back to work. (It is a testament to how awesome Emily is that she took this as a compliment rather than being horribly annoyed by Sonia's sudden crabbiness!) But Sonia rallied, and when we went back to Millennium Park, she had a good time pretending to watch the Fresh Beat Band perform on the stage of the Pritzker Pavillion.
Ice cream also helped cheer Sonia up!
By the time we finished our ice cream, I could tell Sissy was getting tired. Little Miss No-Nap was so wiped out from exploring Millennium Park that she passed out cold in her car seat before we even got on the Stevenson Expressway to head back home. I love when she car naps! There is something so peaceful about driving in a car with a sleeping child in the back seat. It was the perfect end to a really nice day with my Sonia Balogna.