I had been warned that the expo was a nightmare. Two separate friends went to pick up their packets for the charity walk for them and their kids and waited for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. One took time off from work ( so was kidless), the other had her youngest (3 yo) with her in a stroller. They both offered to pick our packets and drop them off at our house. I declined. I had told the kids I was going to take them to the expo and I wanted to see what it was like since this is my first race.
As the day went on FB was full of complaints about how badly the race management had planned this expo. Waits were still long at 330 when I picked the kids up at school. I brought snacks and warm clothes for them and we headed downtown. I was hoping to make it by 5 to avoid more people arriving after work to pick up their packets. We parked at 505. The line was down the length of the parking lot and then wrapped back around about half way. I was about to start giving the kids snacks when a guy waiting in line told me that they were letting people with kids in the back door. We went back there and sure enough scooted right in. We'd barely gotten inside when one of the race workers saw us and escorted us to the packet pickup so we could get our bags.
Now time for fun. Little Reader joined a game of musical chairs and won a hat, all three bounced in the bounce houses, they all made signs for me, and of course we had some hot chocolate.
By the time we left around 6 it was getting dark and the city was all lit up. It dawned on me that they had never seen the skyline at night. It was a very clear night so they really got to see Chicago at its best. They actually complained a bit when I headed West to get on the highway cause they couldn't see the buildings anymore.
So what could have been a miserable afternoon ended up being a lot of fun. The only bummer is I never got to use my ace in the hole. I had brought along some sidewalk chalk figuring if they got really bored standing in line they could color on the asphalt. Oh well, I'll save that for another time.