The Ritz is for the Rich. Not toddlers.

I've decided to start posting some weekly highlights (mainly for me to look back on, but also as another way to document a form of lifestyle photography that I offer to my clients.)

Last week, we decided to take a small family trip to Chicago where we chose to spend a little more money and stay at the fancy Ritz Carlton. "It will be amazing, Xander is such an awesome kid, he'll love it, and we'll love it! Oh, and we HAVE TO GET GARRETT's POPCORN"  <-- We learned a valuable lesson from that one.  Murphy's law states:  If you have the most well behaved, polite toddler who is consistently happy, shares with everyone and rarely tantrums... the minute you step foot into a luxury hotel, your toddler will exhibit the exact opposite personality traits... and only during the entire duration of your stay.  Don't worry, when you get home, he'll go back to his normal self - but you'll never get that popcorn you were dying for, so there was no use intentionally booking a hotel that was right down the block from the popcorn shop.

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It all started during the visit from the candy-man.  The candy-man (in this case a woman, who wasn't wearing the cool hat that she was supposed to be wearing) is a pretty sweet concept {no pun intended}.  However - all  Xander wanted to tear the jar tops off of all the candy jars (glass by the way) and blew a gasket when he found out that wasn't allowed.  We even received a courtesy call from the front desk asking if our son was ok after that short little break-down in the hallway.  We'd been there less than 20 minutes.

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Shortly after, we had dinner reservations at the super fancy hotel restaurant.  Sure enough, there was a ginormous decorative water fountain smack dab in the middle of the place.  Giant water fountain to rich people = worlds largest water-table to a toddler.  We spent nearly 10-15 minutes trying to get him away from the fountain or stop him from climbing in with all of his clothes on.  Two failed attempts at getting him to the table and into a high-chair, and we landed back in our rooms eating dinner in bed.  We didn't even bother going anywhere for breakfast either for that same reason... so that we ate that in bed too.  Xander was happy for a brief period during breakfast because he was able to do something that would never be allowed at home: eat blueberry muffins on crisp white bedsheets. Surprisingly, no blueberry stains.

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Following breakfast, we thought it would be a nice transition to our next scheduled event {a trip to the aquarium} to allow daddy and Xander some bonding time.  It worked! (for a few minutes).  Xander had his "just like dad's" shaving kit with him so they both had some serious bonding time over a nice clean shave.

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Xander Shaves

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Oh - but we did have one delightful family outing during our visit...we spent an entire eleven minutes at the Shedd Aquarium.  I'm exaggerating - it was a little longer than that.  More like, 17 minutes.  The only moments of pure happiness and calm during this visit occurred when Xander got to stare at the same crummy little swamp fish for about 10 minutes straight.  He had no interest in viewing anything else at the entire aquarium except a large flight of steps where crowds of people were migrating up and down.  It was the coolest jungle gym that he wasn't allowed to play on.  Those steps ended our aquarium visit.

Staycation_15Staycation_16$750 and NO Garrett's popcorn later, we were on our way back home feeling flustered.  Did our 1.5 year old turn 2?  Nope - as soon as we got home, the baby monster disappeared.  Just like murphy's law predicted.  I'm glad I've already reached the point where I can laugh about it.  You would never be able to tell when looking at the pictures, right?  If only you could have been there! :)