Road trip Day 1-4 Minnesota-Chicago

It was short - it was sweet, but it was our first real road trip in over a year.

And if I had to find one picture that sums up the whole experience it wouldn't be the one where Kooka danced at the Joffrey Ballet:

 Or the one where Tiny sort of learned to swim:

Or even the one where Punk mostly decided where he wanted to live for the next four years of his life:

It would be this one:

The one where Rico got out of the wheelchair, and pushed. After a full day at the Field Museum, Tiny was tired, and Rico gave her a lift (with Kooka for added stability). A year ago, he couldn't walk across the backyard without running out of breath and having to take a nap, but yesterday - there was this.

Of course he thinks pictures can be deceiving. he says they don't tell the whole story - and he's right, they don't. But it tells the good part, the part I like best.

But the reality is that being a disabled family is hard. Being a disabled family in the city is reallllly hard. The world may be more accessible, than it was 50 years ago, but it is also more crowded. The city assumes you use public transportation, it assumes you can run to catch an elevator, it assumes that handicapped parking a third of a mile from your destination is good enough.

But we can't do those things. Rico couldn't finish Punk's college tour with him - there was simply no way to keep up. Several people cut in front of us at elevators or just let the doors close, because we couldn't get in fast enough. We couldn't use metered parking because it was just too far to walk, and even then, the parking ramps with handicapped accessible spaces weren't much closer.

While we don't believe there is anything we can't do, we're still navigating how difficult it can be to plan our excursions.

Rico and I met in Chicago. One of the first things we noticed about each other is that we were both speedwalkers, and we could cover that city on foot faster than we could call a cab.

It's different now.

We still held hands.
Still snuggled in the wind.
Still visited the dinosaurs and the lions of Tsavo.

But it's different.
We all know it.
But still, I am grateful for how it is.

The sign said it took 132 guys to move this pyramid brick. But I had my money on the ballerina, two theater kids and a first grader.

Yeah - this happened.

SUE! Punk's favorite sine kindergarten.

MAC's at the Dells - yeah - it's worth the drive.

Zoe pointed us to Chicago dogs at Devil Dawgs - she wasn't wrong.

Chicago Children's Museum.

Best Restroom winner 2011

In honor of Pa, we stopped at the Vet's museum in Madison. If you go - it's free, it's short, and we loved it.


Juliette said…
I had to catch up on your blog tonight. This trip looks great! I love Chicago too. I would have to say it's my favorite BIG city. I'm so glad you were able to do this road trip and that things are looking up for your family. Thank you for being a part of my girls' lives each week.
j said…
Thank you for sharing them with me - you've raised some truly wonderful people.