Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Is this Chicago or is this Other Chicago?

Alternate title: The second part of our Spring Break trip.

We decided to break up the trip home from Mirabel and Lainey's house by spending a night in Chicago. We have been there a few times with the boys, but this was Hailey's first foray into the big city. We were excited for her to experience the city and to see the sights, but a bit nervous about the uneven adult to child ratio.

Our first stop was in Schaumberg (or Other Chicago -as it is known around our house). We ran into the IKEA to look at storage units and to buy some wine glasses. We decided to eat lunch there instead of wasting time at a restaurant and really, who am I kidding, their meatballs are seriously one of the best things on this Earth to me. The kids were fascinated by the carts riding down the escalators by themselves, Hailey almost got herself sucked into an escalator and they begged to spend some time in Smaland (the IKEA kid play area that I refuse the name of unless it is spoken in a strong German sounding accent and then you proceed to talk as Dwight Schrute would about his Grandmuter and beet farms).

We then headed over to LEGO land. Where the kids had smiles plastered across their faces the whole time.

Spencer and Harry Potter.

Evan and Darth Vadar.

Hailey and Dickens' best friend.

This picture makes me laugh. We saw a 4-D LEGO movie of Bob and Builder and then stood in line to watch the next movie which I can't remember the name of.

Evan building something out of LEGOS.

Spence testing out the structural soundness of his skyscraper.

We left Schaumberg and headed into for downtown where we were spending the night. The traffic wasn't too terrible, but the drive kinda was. Trent had his iPhone all programmed to the route he wanted to take, but then the iPhone died and he hadn't brought along his car charger. Oops. That means I had to take it all old school and get out a map. Maps and I are not really good friends. Maps cause my husband to get extremely frustrated with me. I figured out the way for us to go with the map and of course the exit that I had taken sweet forever to come up with was CLOSED!

Anyhoo....with no thanks to me we finally found or hotel. (Which was awesome and right across the street from the Drake - that part is very much thanks to me!). We cleaned up a bit and headed out to walk the streets of Chicago to the Rainforest Cafe. It was about eighty degrees out (unseasonably warm) so the ten or so block walk to the restaurant was very entertaining.

When the Rainforest Cafe came into our view, so did the giant pack of people waiting outside of the restaurant. My heart just sank because I knew the kids were already tired and I didn't know how long of a wait they could reasonably deal with. I told Trent I would go ask how long the wait was and he handed me a business card looking thing to give to them. Something that the concierge at the hotel had given him. I gave him a goofy look and took the card. The people in front of me had four people in their party and she told them that the wait would be 45 to 50 minutes. My heart sank a little lower. I told her that we had five and I also had this (the card from the concierge). She looked at the card and said that they would seat us as soon as possible, but they were busy so it would probably be 15 to 20 minutes. I was elated and very impressed with my husband for securing that tiny piece of awesomeness! I was beyond elated when not even three minutes later I heard our name called to be seated. I was beyond, beyond elated when we were seated in one of the best tables in the whole place! Concierges in high end hotels totally ROCK!

It was Hailey's first visit to the Rainforest Cafe and to say she loved it would be a gross understatement. She kept staring over the edge into the waterfall and looking at the alligator.

Evan was very excited about his root beer in the bottle. At the restaurant they offer these giant plastic cups filled with this rainbow slushy type drink. In the past our boys have gotten those and paid dearly for it later in the evening. We put the ke-bash on the slushys this year for many reasons. First and foremost - the puke factor. Second, the fact that they cost as much as a new pair of shoes and mainly because we still have a pair of the cups hanging around our house that have become the bane of my existence. I really don't need another trio to deal with.

You just can't go to the Rainforest Cafe without ordering a Volcano for dessert. I think Hailey ate more of it than everyone else combined.

I love how when Hailey doesn't want to be in a picture, you can tell that she REALLY doesn't want to be in the picture.

Our walk home from the restaurant was at a bit faster pace. The temperature had dropped by about twenty degrees. I love how the city looks at night. I love this kind of spooky looking picture of the water tower. I love that you can see the sign for the Allerton Hotel Tip Tap Top in the back. Spence got the biggest kick out of that.

My tired sleeping babies. A few hours after this shot was taken, Evan got up and threw up "Volcano" all over the hotel room. It never fails, slushy drink or no slushy drink... someone always pukes in Chicago.

The next morning was cold and rainy. My boys walking the streets of the downtown.

Hailey didn't like how noisy it is in the city at all!

Eyeing a giant Hershey bar.

One of my favorite spots on the Magnificent Mile. Some guy offered to take our picture. Is it wrong that I immediately thought that he was going to run off with my camera and was rehearsing what I would shout at him as he ran away in my head - that he could take the camera as long as he gave me back the memory card?

Evan's preferred mode of transportation.

After a quick lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, we checked out of our hotel and hit the road for the Museum of Science and Industry.

The boys at the submarine exhibit. This picture makes me laugh because we didn't tell Evan to salute. He came up with that totally on his own.

Dad hanging out in the 747 with a tired Hailey and a sleeping Evan.
Evan and Hailey were simply exhausted from being away from home for almost a week and spending our days in a flurry of activity. Parts of the museum kept their interest, but for the most part, it was a little to "old" for them. Evan fell asleep in the stroller for at least an hour.
Spencer was in his glory. Science and how things work are right up his alley. He could have stayed at the museum forever.

Evan did wake up to see the baby chick exhibit. I am so glad he did. It turned out to be his favorite part of the whole museum. He watched those baby chicks for so long. He would press his face to the glass (I know...yuck!) and the chicks would run right up to him. He had the biggest smile on his face.

Chicago was a blast. And having all three kids with us wasn't an issue at all. We can't wait to go back to Chicago and to Madison. Or even better yet.... meet Dana and Mark and the girls in Chicago sometime this summer.


dr said...

Looks like you guys had a fun time in Chi-town. At least you are consistent with the puking. We would love to meet you there this summer. Let's start identifying potential weekends. They fill up so fast.

jensenbo said...

What wonderful photos and what a wonderful time you had on your spring break!! Who needs Florida when you've got Madison and the Magnificent Mile? I loved your pictures of the kids (and the one of the water tower was awesome --- photo contest winner) --- they really told a fun story of your trip.

Can I go with you next time??? :))