Monday, August 3, 2009

Post- Half Marathon

Totally switched gears and decided to bring Nikko with me to Grant Park to see Ollie. I wasn't going to bring him as of last night, but was musing over things with Denis and knew that it really was manageable. I woke up around 7a and got Nikko into the car by 7:25. After a McD's stop, where I gave Nikko the hash brown which he happily munched in the back seat, I headed to Grant Park and didn't get lost. What was disconcerting was that the roads were blocked for the race, which is understandable, but they were blocked really far, all the way up to Congress Pkwy. I would have to park somewhere in the Loop, and there were NO spots. I had to resort to a self-parking garage, where the rates are sky high. I put Nikko into the umbrella stroller and got cracking toward the park. I saw the Art Institute and knew what direction to take. Millennium Park is within Grant Park so everything looked familiar like it did two weeks ago. Except when we got near Buckingham Fountain, there were tons of people. We got near the Organization for Autism Research tent and got a text from Kathy that Ollie would be crossing the finish line in 5 minutes. I took Nikko to the intersection of Balbo and Congress where we were swept up in the Sea of Humanity. It was probably slightly less congested than the Taste of Chicago since these were runners and their fans, and the runners wanted to keep moving quickly. I worried slightly that Nikko wouldn't like seeing the crowds darting in front of him, but at one point he looked up at me smiling, then put a hand on my hand as if to make sure I was still there. We connected with Kathy, who brought us to Ollie's husband Jon and kids Anthony, Ava and Nathaniel (aka Ziggy), who then herded us to the OAR tent to wait for Ollie. She appeared, happy to see all of us, and we took pictures while reminiscing about her run. Ollie was wearing a racing shirt which she sewed a picture of Nikko onto her back. She gave me a shirt with the picture on the front, which I proudly wore. Ollie was given a medallion from the OAR which she gave to Nikko. It had a puzzle piece ribbon attached to a gold medallion. Nikko didn't wear it immediately but he did slip it over his head a few times when I wasn't looking. My parents actually managed to come downtown (they were here for a Catholic Archdiocese conference, but still made it to Grant Park on foot) and catch Ollie post-run. Nikko was slightly curious about his cousins, but opted to stretch his legs by sashaying into the sun within a few feet radius of us. Dad kept a watchful eye on him, as did I because he could have easily been swept up by people walking by. Nikko managed to remember where we were even when his back was turned to us. The weather was absolutely gorgeous: sunny, cool/warm, tiniest breeze. It was my perfect weather. We finally headed out back to our cars, and I proceeded to take every major wrong exit on the way back home. I have NO idea why. At least I had great weather to drive in and Nikko fell asleep after being frustrated in the back seat while I was making turns in the UIC district. (sigh).

Nikko spent a good part of his day outdoors in the backyard. Denis took him outside while Ronin was napping. I had Audrey in the living room and we were waiting for Ronin to wake up but he didn't so we went outside. Nikko wasn't doing anything in particular, but when I came outside he was standing near the picnic table bench with a toy trailer in hand. He was just wandering by the fence, by the picnic table, near the plastic toy table, and finally I let him into the sand box. Ronin woke up and joined Nikko, so the inevitable baths followed their sandbox time.

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