Tuesday, March 24, 2009


So as part of your last exams in medical school, the students are required to pay a grand to take a clinical skills test in some far away location. Tyler's test was scheduled yesterday in Chicago so we decided to pack up the family and go out a few days early for a fun weekend trip....Let me give you a glimpse of what our weekend was like.

1. The night before our drive out, we pop a tire...(at least we hadn't hit the road yet!)
2. Tyler realizes that his test is scheduled monday from 3-11pm and not in the morning as anticipated. Ashton is scheduled to have a CT scan in St. Louis Tuesday morning at 10am. I decide to still go with the kids and somehow make it work.
3. We get off late, of course, which makes us have to stop twice for food, gas, and to feed Isaac. The drive takes 6 hours instead of 4. Once we hit downtown the GPS told us that we were 7 minutes from our destination for 28 minutes. The kids were screaming and I needed to use a bathroom. BAD COMBINATION!
4. We realize that our hotel in downtown Chicago charges $44 a night for parking. Tyler drops the kids and I off and drives the car to the airport and takes the subway back downtown. This is such a hassle that he is gone for 2 hours (without his coat in the Chicago cold).
5. Sunday morning...the breakfast at the Embassy Suites was fantastic. We eat and head out for the Shedd Aquarium. Ashton is excited to see the whales and penguins. Holly is excited for the dolphins, her favorite! Upon arrival signs indicate that whales, dolphins, and penguins are off exhibit for exhibit reconstruction. Ashton is tired and grumpy almost the entire time we are there. We did see some cool exhibits and lots of fish, sharks, and turtles...Ashton associated a lot of fish with his favorite flick, Finding Nemo.
6. Sunday afternoon, spent playing in the hotel pool. Ashton has a great time. Poor Isaac hasn't cracked a smile once the whole day and it is apparent that he is getting sick. Runny nose. Cough. Poor eating. Lots of sleeping (that part was convenient for us).
7. We go out for some Chicago style pizza at Giardano's. It is FANTASTIC!!! Hooray for good pizza.
8. Monday morning we pack up to change hotels. We had pricelined and only expected to stay 2 nights but the test time necessitated that we stay a third. We are downtown. The car is at the midway airport. Our new hotel and test location is near the O'hare airport.
9. Ashton nukes the peanut butter for a whole minute and a half while we are packing. Luckily Tyler noticed when he did. The microwave is just his height and has a turn dial. It was set to run the full 10 minutes.
10. We spend 3 hours on subway, shuttles and cars trying to make it to our new destination. We make it, and so do the kids...without naps.
11. Ashton dumps all the cooler water onto the hotel floor and is sooo happy with his new found form of entertainment. He is splashing and throwing his back in laughter and delight.
I become upset...water where it shouldn't be....AGAIN.
Ashton gets time out in the hotel closet and loves it...I decide not to be mad. He loves water...
12. Tyler gets an iron stain on his white coat before leaving for his test.
13. Isaac and I chase Ashton around the hotel. We are having a ball. Ashton discovers toy cars in the gift shop and begins to play. Isaac begins to fuss and I turn my back. I hear a big cracking sound, and then another. I turn back around and see Ashton taking a mini-bat to the cars...
14. Tyler gets done with his test an hour early and brings back McDonalds icecream. We enjoy some time together while the kids sleep.
15. 5:30am we begin the trek back to St. Louis and straight to Cardinal Glennon. Ashton was NPO after 8:00am. Didn't mind too much and did awesome for his test. No sedation and a stuffed animal for doing great. We're home by noon...
16. Everyone naps.