Memories of spring break before having kids are like urban legends once you start having them. Pre-kids, the party got started before the plane took off. Fast forward to my family’s Spring Break 2016 and to start, we have a lap baby. It sounds more peaceful than it is. Throw in another toddler and a 6-year-old on the “party plane” and we unofficially wipe out a wing. Party? Yeah right. The only party going on is from all the people lucky enough to sit further than my kids can fling their finger food.
After waiting 12 months, we finally make it to the beach and sink our feet into the sandy goodness. Without warning, the 3-year-old erupts, as sand is now hot lava and there are no cushions to jump back home on. Of the one zillion sand toys, snacks and puzzles we brought to try to buy an afternoon at the beach, hot lava was nothing we prepared for.
Spring breaking when you’re a parent brings laughter and a few tears (mostly from the adults). And now that everyone’s home, and the hot lava trauma was miraculously cured by ice cream, you could be experiencing mixed feelings about everything. If you’re currently feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation, you’re probably experiencing … a spring break hangover.
This week you need to do everything that is humanly possible to make you feel like you could be on vacation, even in Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park.
Get an ice cream cone. With sprinkles. This always makes me feel like I am back on vacation. Brown Cow has flavors for days, something called The Trough and cookies as big as your head. It’s family friendly so the kids can stretch out and enjoy their sugar high, too.
Take them to Monkey Island to run around like wild animals while you sip your smuggled-in Starbucks. Bring a friend who is also experiencing a spring break hangover, sip and catch up while the kids burn leftover vacation energy.
Head to Fitness Formula Club (FFC). While working out is great for a hangover, dropping the kids at the Kids Club and getting a facial is as good as cardio in my book. Finish up with a hummus wrap and a green drink and you’ll be rejuvenated for the new week.
Retail Therapy. Hit up The Hemingway District and welcome Manouche to the ‘hood. They moved from Madison Street to Oak Park Ave., and now share a space with Nora’s Shoes (103 N. Oak Park Ave). You must also pay a quick visit to fashionable neighbors, Sanem’s and Gem Jewelry. Even window shopping at these places put me in a better mood!
Be that girl in your favorite local establishment and ask for the fruitiest cocktail they’ll make you–with an orange slice and umbrella. My favorite cocktails are from Exit Strategy, The Little Gem, Novo and Maya Del Sol. You can’t go wrong with any of them.