During my weekend in Chicago I really wanted to go take my daughter on the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier.
I first rode on the Ferris Wheel in 2004. It was the Monday after Thanksgiving. I had attended a wedding in Wisconsin and it was ten days after my Grandma Sullivan died. I had found out while I was working. It was a Friday and my father and I had been planning to leave that day to try to get to Massachusetts before she passed but we were too late.
I can still remember what I did in those ten days:
Friday- Grandma died.
Saturday- Went to Massachusetts (5 hours away from my home in Maine).
Sunday- Grandma’s wake.
Monday- Grandma’s funeral.
Tuesday- Went back to Maine.
Wednesday- Helped my mother prepare for Thanksgiving
Friday- Flew from Bangor, ME to Madison, WI (via Cincinnati) to attend the wedding of a friend that I had attended university with while I was in England. My cousin (from the other side of the family) was crazy enough to fly up from Florida to attend as my guest.
Saturday- Wedding just outside of Madison, WI
Sunday- Went to Milwaukee with my cousin. We went to the Milwaukee Public Museum, had lunch at Usingers, and toured the Colonel Pabst Mansion.
I couldn’t resist posting this Wayne’s World clip.
On Monday my cousin was crazy enough to take a bus to Chicago with me. She was crazy enough walk around Chicago with me for 12 hours in the cold, November rain. We had pizza at Gino’s, walked by Wrigley field, went to the top of Sears tower and rode the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier.
I have no pictures of myself on the Ferris Wheel but here is one of me on the El.
And because I talking about the cold November rain got this song stuck in my head…here you go-
I returned to Maine that Tuesday.
There were lots of things that I did not know at that time. I had just gotten involved in politics but I had not even heard of the Young Republicans. 18 months after that trip to Chicago, I would attend the Young Republican Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. On that trip, I would attend a party at the Romanian Embassy and on the shuttle bus ride there, I would sit behind a girl from Chicago who would become on of my best friends. (You met her here)
In the fall of 2007, I was living in Southern Indiana with another friend from the Young Republicans. I was on a three months contract for work. My roommate and I drove up to Chicago to see my best friend and another good friend in Chicago. We had dinner at an Italian restaurant and then went to Navy Pier. And we rode the Ferris Wheel.
In 2007 we were single girls travelling around the country, attending political meetings and partying with future leaders and elected officials (some of them surprised us).
In 2012, we both got married. I got married in September in Albany and she got married in December in Mexico. Her location was a bit more exotic than mine but it didn’t matter. We were both there for each other on our big days.
We both had our daughters in 2014. Her daughter came in April and mine came in September. They are exactly 5 months apart.
And she was there for me when Bryon died. She made the trip to Albany (along with the other lovely lady in her wedding photo). They actually already had the plans to be in NYC the weekend that ended up being the weekend of Bryon’s funeral. His birthday was the day after his funeral and she made arrangements to meet my father halfway between NYC and Albany to bring our daughter to see him for his birthday. I told Bryon that he would see our daughter, as long as the doctors said it was okay. He was excited.
But he died a week before his birthday.
And now I am here. A widow. Travelling as much as a I can this year to make up for the fact that I spent most of 2016 in an ICU room watching Bryon slowly die. And because I promised him as he was dying that I would still take our daughter on adventures.
So that brings me to Chicago in 2017. With my best friend and our young daughters. And I wanted to go to Navy Pier to ride the Ferris Wheel…again.
Both of the little ones enjoyed the ride. I can’t remember if it was my friends daughters first time or not. I think it’s safe to say that when my daughter and I return, that we will go on the Ferris Wheel again. Maybe next time, she will be tall enough for some of the other rides.