To kick-off #SummerSeventeen the Spires Family spent Memorial Day weekend in Chicago, Illinois. The drive from Lexington is approximately 6 hours, but the long lunch with three kids at a Max and Erma’s in the middle of Indiana made our trip a little longer. My biggest advice about traveling with kids is do not give yourself a deadline and have zero expectatations, stop when you need to stop, and you will eventually arrive at your destination
We used credit card points to book three nights at the Fairfield Inn. Valet Parking was $62 per day. The hotel was no frills, but did provide a complimentary breakfast. Our family typically stays in Marriott Properties- Towneplace, Fairfield, or Springhill Suites as these rooms usually have a fridge/microwave and can accommodate all 5 of us (though are really designed for business travelers). This hotel did not have a pool as I have recently realize that when we travel, we rarely visit the pool, yet all the kids ask is “when can we go to the pool?” so booking hotels with a pool has become a lower priority for our family.
When we got to Chicago, it was dinner time and raining hard. John had plans with friends from his childhood camp, so the girls and I asked the front desk for a kid-friendly dinner suggestion. When we realized there was a Rainforest Café about two blocks away, we were sold! We threw on our raincoats, grabbed our umbrellas, and marched through the puddles towards dinner.
The truth is that none of us had ever been to a Rainforest Café. The food was just ok (the kids’ meals looked promising on the menu but the girls barely touched their food. I am not sure if there was too much going on at the restaurant or if the food didn’t taste good, or a combination of both. I personally loved the Lava Mud kids’ dessert which was chocolate pudding, Oreo cookie crumbles, and gummy worms- but the girls were not feeling three of their favorite foods touching each other). The ambiance was awesome! Every 22 minutes there was a thunderstorm. There were animals and waterfalls everywhere and a person came to our table and made balloon animals for the girls. Overall the girls had a great time and it was the perfect way to kick-off our Chicago weekend!