Monday, April 28, 2008

This Weekend Chicago--Tomorrow Paris!

The tickets have been bought, the visa has been issued! We're going to Paris!!! And by we I don't mean Sophia. She's staying with Nana & Papa, Auntie Minga, Uncle Dana, Great Grandma & Great Grandpa (GG.) What can I say, it truly takes a village. She'll be missed but well loved. We are meeting up with Nate's little bro, Joseph and his father Abel Ndjerareou. We're looking forward to visiting the seminary his father attended and works with doctoral students.

Nate and I are looking forward to lots of people watching, cafe-sitting and picnic's in the park. There won't be a lot of museum touring this time around. Yes, we're already planning our next trip and so we'll save all that for when we have more time.

Getting Nate's Schengen visa was a small adventure in and of itself. Late Thursday night, it looked like he would have to work on Friday and miss his 9am French Consulate appointment in Chicago (the closest consulate and yes you have to apply in person.) Since we were trying travel with family we were dealing with limited timeline which meant one-shot at the visa.

Around 10pm we got the phone call that work would survive without Nate. Should we go for it? Do women like shoes? Do two-year-olds get into mischief? These are all easy questions!!!! 3am we packed a sleepy Sophia into the car, along with snacks, coffee, a clean shirt for Nate & I (just in case). A couple blankets and outfits for Sophia (plus the mandatory pacifier and backup pacifier). We crept out of our neighborhood in the dark and I'll admit I felt like we were fleeing something. But I'm oddly proud of my ability as a mother to pack up the family in the middle of the night on a moments notice! Good practice for Paris!

The trip was fabulous, we breezed into downtown Chicago and rolled into the consulate long before anyone else (they're French, what can I say)? Sophia captured everyones heart giving hundreds of grumpy looking commuters something to smile about as they waited for their Starbucks. I don't believe in coincidences, I know someone was looking out for us. I texted a friend of mine on the off chance she was in town. Turns out she was four blocks away! 1o minutes later we were watching Sophia run around Millennium Park. Later that day we dropped in on my college roommate Annika and Sophia played with her adorable children. Back home by 10pm we wisely decided to crash with my parents to catch up on a some much needed sleep. Grandparents don't seem to mind the occasional 6am visit by a toddler. All of this reinforced Nate's long held motto: We're Ndjerareou's, we don't plan--we improvise! It goes without saying that God does the rest!


Julie said...

What a fun, quick trip to Chicago--I'm SO happy you & Annika got to visit, how perfect!! I am so excited for you about your Paris trip. When are you planning to go? I can't wait to hear all about it. :)

Katie said...

Oh my goodness! HAVE FUN!!

Paul Smith Family said...

Have a blast - you're in our prayers as always!!

The Durbin Family said...

I'm so glad you're not taking Sophia!! You two will ENJOY your time...not that she isn't a dolly, but who among us couldn't use a second honeymoon?? SO good to see you all...thanks again for blessing us with your presence!!


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