Just like couples, families can get in a funk. Lately, Matt has been extremely busy with work. Mason was stuck at home sick and has been throwing more tantrums than normal. I've been feeling a little disconnected from family with my busy schedule around the city teaching classes, private clients, and events. A vacation would have to be planned way in advance and we needed something right now. Matt and I have done staycations in the past to reconnect, so why not make it a family thing! So for this past Father's Day weekend, I decided to surprise my guys with a staycation at Conrad Chicago for some much needed family time.
Conrad Chicago was perfect for our little family getaway that gave us meaningful memories and, most importantly, the space to reconnect to each other. We wanted a weekend of just doing NOTHING, and to get away from the stress of our house renovations. With the hotel location right off of Michigan Avenue, it was convenient to take a quick walk to all the shopping when we (of course) noticed we forgot a few things. It's not a complete family getaway unless you forget something, am I right?!
For a couple of days we did not worry about schedules, work, or time. Here are some of my favorite highlight of our stay:
A break from electronics.
Like most people, Matt and I spend hours working on our phones and laptops throughout the day...and sometimes even evening. During our stay, we wanted to disconnect from our electronics. No emails or scrolling through social media during meal times. That's typically a rule for us, but we did our best to break away from the phones even when we were just walking around the hotel or lounging in our room.
A Father's Day gift to Matt was a book, Daily Stoic. It's a great read that gives you daily mindful intentions. He took advantage of the break we took off of our devices to immediately dive in. We both love it so far. I've linked it at the bottom of this post for you!
Family Friendly Dining.
NOYANE for dinner was a no brainer. Matt and I attended their opening in May to preview the new menu. The food is so damn good! We also can never get enough Japanese food haha! It's so conveniently located at the rooftop of Conrad, and when you're toting a toddler around you keep it simple. With plenty of gorgeous city views, food to die for, and a perfect summer night breeze we couldn't ask for a better spot. We also figured that being on a rooftop would muffle the moments when Mason got a little loud, which inevitably is going to happen when you have an almost-three year old with you. He did end up throwing a tiny tantrum when Matt ate the last chip from the California Roll Nachos, his favorite thing on the menu besides the shaved ice dessert. You have to order the sticky ribs too. It's a must!
***Bonus tips to get your toddler to sit through a meal at a restaurant (or anywhere): make sure they are ready to eat. We eliminate snacking when possible or at least several hours before our reservation. Order food immediately. Mason is hungry (not starving or hangry) so by the time the food comes, he wants to eat instead of mess around.
No plan, plan.
Like I mentioned earlier, we dropped our schedules for the weekend. I noticed that frustration can happen when we set these perfect expectations for family activities leaving us disappointed when they don't workout. So, zero plans were made.
Okay, I lied. We had ONE thing planned. It was a 30 minute family photoshoot with Hannah Schweiss. I had to take advantage of the beautiful interior of Conrad Chicago. I made it super low maintenance with the first part of the shoot taken in bed with robes. You can find Mason's robe HERE! The other half of the shoot was just exploring the hotel lobby. Doesn't it always feel like it's the mom that's behind the phone or camera taking pictures? Hiring a photographer to do it for you gives you the freedom to be in the moment and not have to worry about capturing the memories yourself.
Our time at Conrad Chicago was short and sweet. Sometimes just bringing it back to basics of quality time, good food, and having no agenda can go a long way. What simple things bring your family closer together?