Wednesday, September 4, 2013


We had a blast in Chicago. We left around noon and the kids did mostly great for the 5ish hour drive with the exception of the last hour when I ended up having to sit in the 3rd row behind Matthew and feed him baby puffs to keep him happy. He had had enough of everything by then.

We stayed in a hotel in the 'burbs which was perfect. Walking distance to the mall. Free hot breakfast (that was good with eggs and french toast and more!) It had an indoor pool that we never had time to visit, and best of all, it was only about 5 miles away from IKEA.

Day 1 in Chicago we took a train to the city and then hopped on a bus to the Shedd aquarium. (Helpful hint- if you ever go to the Shedd, bring a stroller, even if you don't have a baby, you get to go in through the accessible/stroller entrance which has a much much shorter line then the regular entrance. I saw someone with a teddy bear in their stroller...seriously.) Anyway, besides Matthew having a blow out from his diaper while we were waiting for the train to take us to Chicago, which forced me to run about 1.5 miles to the car and then back (literally minutes before the train arrived), for some dumb reason I decided to CARRY Matthew with me for that fun walk/run. I changed his diaper in the van quickly but looked at the clock and knew I didn't have time to change his clothes so that was just fun all around. Anyway, minus that little incident, we had a great, exhausting day.
Petting the stingrays

We ended up skipping the dolphin show because the kids were just too antsy and we were just there last year. After a bus then train ride we were back to our hotel with two sleeping kids. When they woke up we walked across the street to a bar and grill type restaurant and then I managed to talk Joe into a trip to IKEA. It was supposed to be "just to look" because we were all IKEA newbies, but I ended up buying a bunch of stuff for the kids. (Dishes, a roads rug, train sets, some wooden toys, etc.)

The next day we woke up, ate breakfast, and hit the road for our Day Out with Thomas. The thing was actually about 1.5 hours from Chicago (in super rural Illinois) so we strategically picked out hotel in the middle so we had a 45 min drive there. Some people who had done it before strongly suggested that we get tickets for as early as possible because it gets crowded, that was VERY HELPFUL.

Random sidenote: Chicago people do not mess around with their strollers. When Joe asked if I was nervous parking it (because at the zoo and stuff it does make me nervous.) I laughed and said our stroller is probably the cheapest one there, and it was.

It was a really fun day. They had everything. Train tables, tattoos, a Thomas movie tent, playground, free train and trolley rides, an electric train table, etc. It was really more like a Thomas-train themed fair. Luke was in heaven and I think Joe was too. It was a hot day (figures!), but we had so much fun it was totally worth the drive.

Staking a claim on trains
Serious stuff.

FWIW, the train tables and trains were pretty lame for a Thomas event. A piece of board and less then 5 trains per table. Good thing we did this first before it was crowded. But sheesh, our library has more stuff.

The line for just one car for our trip. They had 5 cars full of passengers and went out on trips every half hour from 10 till 4 pm. So yeah, it was crowded.
Matthew surveying Thomas

Luke and me looking

Only Matt looking. (You can sorta see his tattoo on his forearm.)

Only me looking

Every other kid was wearing this Target Thomas shirt. It would not have been a good day to lose your kid.

One of the old trains from the train museum that hosted the event

Luke driving the free trolley ride

Old men love talking about trains. Luke and Joe got stuck there waiting for him.

Watching the electric train table

And then the official ($22!) picture that I took a picture of...
Luke wasn't happy we made him stand there and Matthew was unimpressed.

This has nothing to do with Chicago except this guy is 10 months old now and I can't believe it!


Brooke said...

Sounds like a good time--glad the car ride wasn't bad. Your stroller comment made me laugh--I actually bought a bike chain at the zoo because I was paranoid about it!

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