My son is a Doctor Who fanatic. Actually, fanatic may be an understatement. For crying out loud, we have a 6-foot tall TARDIS, 6-foot tall Cyberman, and a 5-foot tall inflatable Dalek in our living room. He has also successfully converted a dozen friends and family members into fans. It takes a die-hard fan to go that far.
When I found out that Matt Smith, the eleventh Doctor and my son’s favorite incarnation, was going to be in Chicago for the annual comic con, my husband and I immediately started making plans. The photo opportunity ticket was purchased just in the nick of time, because they were actually sold out the very next day. We decided to make it a 4 day trip so that we could spend time with my sister-in-law and her husband.
I hunted around the web for more fun things for kids, planned a day at the Chicago Science Museum, booked a pirate ship ride on Lake Michigan, mapped out a route to the famous American Science and Surplus Store, and then my husband said…
Hey, let’s fly.
I knew it was a good idea, but my sinking stomach screamed no. I have a deathly fear of heights and have never been on a plane. He reminded me that when we go to the United Kingdom in a few years (for our 20th anniversary) we need to fly and I need to take a few short trips before then to get used to a plane. Plus, the flight is only 45 minutes, compared to a 6 hour drive.
So I bought some plane tickets. I might have cried too.
By the way, Matt Smith was very, very nice to my son. According to his attendants, he has a no hand-shaking/no hugging rule, but he gave my son two “man hugs” and called him Doctor several times. I cannot get over the fact that my son looks so tall in that photo, because of his fez and the fact that Matt Smith bent down a bit for the photo.
Turns out that I was afraid for nothing. The flight was a breeze and I absolutely loved it. My son sat next to the window, but I looked out the window almost the entire time. This is a photo that he took on our flight home.
The costumes at this comic con were amazing. Here is my son with 2 Weeping Angels and a Silence, characters from Doctor Who. He felt like a celebrity for a few minutes because when he stopped to pose with these people, about 10 photographers jumped out of nowhere and took advantage of the photo opportunity.
Here he is again with an Ood.
From the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. This is the giant periodic table of elements, showing real life examples of all the known elements.
The Tall Ship Windy. My son even got to help hoist the sails once we were on board. This was an amazing experience for him.
Chicago is a crazy, bustling, noisy city with non-stop traffic that made me want to hide in the hotel the entire trip. We had a lot of fun though and I am very thankful that we were able to spend so much time with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. I miss her dearly since she moved away. I am happy that we experienced all the new adventures on the trip – first plane ride (for my son and I), first ship ride, meeting Matt Smith, a new science museum – but I am thrilled to be home.
It wasn’t until we got home that we discovered there were 22 shootings in Chicago just that weekend alone and that there are also about 2000 wild coyotes roaming the city at all hours of the day. Eeek! I love how completely fearless my sister-in-law is!
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