31 August 2011

Chicagoland in a Flash

The other day I told you all about the first part of our family vacation. Today I wanted to share the rest of it with you: Chicago!

It was our first time to Chicago~because flying through doesn't count. Vince and I have done big cities before, but this was our first time to do one with kiddos. A bit of a different story, I must say. But a fun story, too.

We arrived in town after a full day's drive from Ohio, just in time for the evening rush hour traffic~makes me happy to live in a small town. We finally made it to our hotel though and freshened up, then turned around and headed downtown for the Navy Pier.

There we took advantage of the children's museum's free admission on family night. The kids had a great time playing, even if it was just for a short while. I wish we had more time (thank you, never-ending-traffic), because it looks like a really fun children's museum. We only had time to explore a portion of it. The kids loved the *fort* room that was filled with nothing but furniture and things to make forts with. I wish my photos from in there had turned out, but they were all blurry because of the kiddos' constant motion:)

After playing in the museum, we headed to the top of the pier where it's like a carnival in the sky. The Ferris wheel is beautiful! Although I must admit we didn't ride it. I know Vince was disappointed, but I am terrified of them. I was willing to suck it up and ride with the family because they were enclosed cars, but Mr. B would have none of it. Apparently they scare him, too.
We did enjoy walking around and looking at the city lights though~it was a gorgeous view!

After a good night's sleep we were ready the next morning to head to the Legoland Discovery Center. The kiddos~especially Mr. B~had been looking so forward to this all.week.long. They were SO excited! Frankly, we all were:)

And it did not disappoint! Your first view of it is this adorable huge giraffe poking right out of the building; isn't Le-La cute?

There was just one exciting display after another in this Lego wonderland! I took a bazillion photos, of course, but these are some of the highlights.

The Star Wars display was definitely a favorite. We also enjoyed walking through the Indiana Jones jungle, watching a 4D Lego action movie, seeing how Legos are made, going on a couple of rides and much more!

The Princess was impressed with this Lego version of Van Gogh's *Starry Night*. It was amazing!

There was also a room where you could just play and have fun creating your own Lego masterpieces.
One of my fave displays was Einstein. He greeted us as we walked in the front door~his eyes even move! Quite impressive!

After that we had worked up an appetite and decided to try one of Guy Fieri's recommendations: Paradise Pup. It had some yummy, classic Chicago foods that we loved like Italian Beef and Chicago hot dogs. We had fun eating with the locals!

Then we were headed back downtown to the American Girl store. The Princess was in heaven!
And I must agree, it was such a fun store! Even for moms:)

My girl currently doesn't have an American Girl doll, but believe me, she has made her Christmas list and there's one on it. So...I'm making some plans.

Lucky for the guys there was yet-another-Lego store next door to the American Girl store. It had an even bigger selection than the store at the Discovery Center!

And of course there were more incredible displays! I could look at those for hours!

We were pretty tired by that afternoon~did I mention that Vince and I had both come down with nasty colds while on vacation? I know..boo! So we were dragging a bit. But lucky for us, all the kids could talk about (after they were finished looking in the stores) was going back to the hotel and building the Lego sets they had bought that morning. So funny!

So we spent our Friday night in Chicago grabbing some take out pizza at Giordanos and staying in to build Legos. It was a good night!

And it was a very fun vacation! The next day we headed for home and we were all ready to get there. We were full up with memories, a few souvenirs and lots of dirty laundry~home never looked so good!

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