Sunday, August 9, 2009

I'm back and Chicago Rocked!

Where do I start? I guess a play by play of each day may be in order and it might take me a week or so to do it all justice.

We left last Saturday for our holiday in Chicago. Why Chicago? Well, quite simply we didn't want to go back to Saskatchewan for our holiday this year, but we owed my sister Leslie and her family some quality time so we let them choose a spot and agreed to meet them there. They chose Chicago because it was part way between the provinces and they could take the train across the country to get there, plus Chicago had lots to offer for a family holiday.

Our first mistake was taking the cab drivers flat rate without being assertive. We paid $60 and it should have cost us closer to $40 - we learned! We arrived at the Hyatt Hotel and didn't expect my sister to arrive for a few hours so went for a walking adventure. We walked to Soldier Field (Chicago Bears Football) over a bridge. Underneath the bridges are all the tracks for the train system. Devin was mesmerized by this and could have spent hours just watching the trains. When you ask Devin what his favorite part of the trip was, he says "going on the airplane and seeing the trains, going in the big car (limo) and the bus." Not hard to please that kid!

I took lots of pictures of bridges with labels just like the one above. Central Station, Grant Park, Lakefront... it was just such a neat walking area! This picture of Devin is him watching the trains.

We returned from our walk (over an hour and a half) to find my sister, Leslie and her family had already been there for over an hour - boo, hoo :( We went out for sandwiches and pizza and learned our second lesson - we didn't need to order so much food. My friends had all warned me that sizes were big, but with no fridge at the hotel we wasted over a whole pizza - again, we learned!

Everyone was tuckered from a day of travel, so we headed to our rooms to bath the kids and headed for a good night's sleep (sounded like the train was not ideal for that). We woke up the next day and headed to Navy Pier!

Navy Pier is the biggest tourist attraction of Chicago. The Pier is just that... a big dock out into the water of Lake Michigan. You could take every kind of boat tour from there, tall ship, sea dogs or a dining cruise ship, but we had our heart set on the Wacky Pirate cruise, which did not run from Navy Pier. (It only ran on Friday and when Friday came around, it was unfortunately sold out! Our pirate costumes went to waste - shucks! It was a sign, because it ended up raining that morning anyways!) We started with a basic tour of the Pier, the girls, Jasmine and her cousin Allison did the Fun Maze, which was dark, had strobe lights, loud music and a mild elevator drop. They did this with the help of Uncle Jay and although Jasmine was scared she did like it and later wanted to do it again. Then we chose what delicious Chicago treat we wanted and Tyson had a churro, while the rest of us shared funnel cakes with ice cream. The kids did the carousel next and then it was off to the Children's Museum, which is right on Navy Pier.

This was a great museum for the kids and my kids truly could have spent all day there, which I never imagined was possible at a museum. Lots of apartasus's for climbing, materials for building, dinosaur digging, airplane flying.... just a great kid's activity! We ended by splashing through the fountain and taking a bus to the condo and checking in!

Leslie said, she wished we had a video camera going when we arrived at the condo, because our expressions would have been priceless. The view was really breathtaking! Here are 3 shots from our front windows! This is the very end of Grant park and you can see statues of large metal legs in that first section. In the second one you can see Navy Pier through my zoom lens and the last one is the pool on the 7th floor!

Time to put the kids to bed, so tune in tomorrow for day #2 - The Museum of Science and Industry!

1 comment:

Kerry Rasmussen said...

Chicago is my very favourite city in the U.S. I have so many fond memories of my trips there, and Navy Pier is certainly high on the list. I'm looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip!