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|
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|
|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!|