The weekend also happened to fall on St. Patrick's Day, and Chicago on St. Patrick's Day is something we had always wanted to see.
After my presentation Saturday morning, we all decked out in our green and walked downtown to see the famous Chicago River dyeing, where the Chicago River is turned a brilliant shade of green. Despite the massive crowds of green-clad people, we were able to get phenomenal viewing of the dyeing, where boats add pounds of powdered vegetable dye to the river. The dye initially looks orange, but when it mixes with the water, it turns the entire river bright, Irish green.
I was worried that I wouldn't be able to capture exactly how bright green the river is (since it's a rather murky green the rest of the time.) But these are the actually photos, no Photoshop adjusting. That river is bright!
The boys were suitably impressed!
All of us decked out in green
After the river dyeing, we went to the St. Patrick's Day Parade. I still have mixed feelings about this. It was so crowded, with what felt like easily a million people all trying to watch the historic parade. We were four rows of people back, with ten more rows of people behind us. People were very nice and let the kids up front by the barricades so they could actually see the parade. I spend the majority of the time crouching down, making sure I could still see my boys' shoes through all the legs in front of us.
Sometimes, I think we should have just skipped the parade and spent the afternoon at Navy Pier, but we've now done it once.
The boys were completely exhausted after the parade, so we made our way back through the now intoxicated and rowdy crowd to our hotel, both to let the boys take a nap and let the craziness outside quiet down.
I attended more of the conference.
We then spent the evening walking the streets of Chicago. I love the buildings and all the architecture. I could take hundreds of pictures, just of buildings.
I love how when you walk down the streets, it feels like entering a canyon of glass, metal, and concrete, with buildings looming over you.
We spent a lot of time at The Bean. The boys just adored the sculpture and couldn't get enough running about, crawling under, and just touching it.
We spent the next day at Lincoln Park Zoo, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. Since the boys enjoy a zoo more than just about anything else, it was the perfect way to end both our trip to Chicago and Spring Break.
Over all, we did a lot of walking, wore a lot of green, ate a lot of deep dish pizza, and had another wonderful weekend together, just further confirming in my boys' minds that Chicago is one of the best places on earth.
And oh, yeah, I went to a conference.