Monday, July 28, 2014

Chicago Summer 2014

One morning while the boys were at a morning camp, Nick and I enjoyed a coffee together at Starbucks.  Then Nick started talking about going somewhere for the weekend...about 30 minutes later we thought Chicago sounded delightful.  A quick check of the weather said it'd be perfect for a stroll around the city.  So for the next 3 hours we gave it a little more thought and at two o'clock we decided to leave that afternoon!  Needless to say, the boys were thrilled.  Alec thought Chicago was more of a thing rather than a city, he didn't quite understand but he was still looking forward to seeing this mystery place.  Ethan was just excited to be traveling.

We split the drive up into 2 days which was better for the kids, really.  Adults only would've been an easy drive all the way though, but we all know what it's like with tired and listless kiddos in a small car.  Everything short of quiet and relaxing.

Our first drive through the downtown area, lots and lots of traffic but Nick handled it like he'd lived there for years.

Trump Tower

Navy Pier.  I wanted to ride on the infamous ferris wheel (first one invented!) but the line was crazy long.  So we settled on a snow cone instead.
Cooling off
Ohio Street Beach near Navy Pier

Someone abandoned their castle, so Ethan took it over.

Alec's favorite thing was Nick chasing him into the water.

Back into the water he goes.

He destroyed the castle and built a chair instead.
He then dug a hole and was very proud of it, so proud that I have 6 pictures of it.

Our next visit was to the Museum of Science + Industry of Chicago.  We spent several hours there and didn't quite see it all.  It's great for kids and adults, a little of everything for everyone. 
Air and Weather section
Aviation section

A real submarine!

Space section

Nick's favorite part of the trip was the Architectural Boat Tour, this was our sightseeing boat.

Alec used his LED flashlight keychain souvenir as a camera the entire trip.

Another sightseeing adventure led us to Cloud Gate, or "The Bean" as the locals refer to it.  It's an enormous polished steel sculpture with neat reflective qualities.  This is located in Millennium Park in the Loop community.

See our family?

This is Crown Fountain, also located in Millennium Park.  There are two 50 foot glass block towers on either side of a shallow reflective pool, the towers project images of Chicago citizens making various faces.  Every so often, water flows from the images mouths, which was a surprise to us, Ethan was inches away from getting drenched.

On our walk back to the hotel we saw a beautiful building, the Chicago Public Library.  They were having an art exhibit so we popped in.  The kids were hardly interested, but I did get them to stand next to this character.  Alec looks so excited, doesn't he!

Did I mention we did a LOT of walking?!  The kids were troopers, they kept up and it wore them down just enough that they fell asleep each night without incident, which is a total score!
Corn Cob Buildings (those are condos on top and cars parked on the  bottom.  Eeeeek!
More walking...
This guy...he was just too cute to not add his face here.

Goodbye Chicago!

All four of us had a very good time, we all took turns sharing our favorite part of the trip.  Alec said "sleeping", Ethan thought and thought and never did think of just ONE thing he liked best (I think he liked the beach and swimming at the hotel), Nick said the boat tour was his favorite and I enjoyed the beach part.  We'll definitely be going back, maybe just Nick and I next time.  Grandma, you up for babysitting?!

For our drive back home, we chose to stop off in Des Moines to stay the night.  We could've easily driven all the way through but I talked Nick into one more night at a hotel (the boys truthfully enjoyed the hotels the best).
Alec and his best buddy, Daddy, at dinner in Des Moines.

This is how we felt about our weekend vacation coming to an end.  Mad.

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