Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chicago Weekend


Scott had tickets to a big concert at Wrigley Field last Friday night and he let the whole family tag along for a weekend in "the city". It was a really good weekend and I think our little family handled the travel well. 

I have never thought of myself as a good traveler, but I tried to do my research and things went pretty smoothly. We successfully navigated like eight (okay, really only 3) types of public transportation to make our way around the city and we were so proud of ourselves! 

A car ride from Des Moines to Chicago may sound easy in theory but....it took us double the time we expected to get there. It was something straight out of a horror movie, and I will glady spare you the details! Michael and I dropped Scott off at the O'Hare to catch the train into the city to meet his friend and while I had visions of shopping, eating dinner out, and swimming with Michael our plans were cut short due to the travel time and I spent the evening nursing Michael back to health and doing laundry (just what I want to do on vacation, right?).

Luckily on Saturday everybody was in better spirits and we got up early and caught the train from our suburb of Oak Brook (we had to drive to nearby Hinsdale to get the the station) into the city. The train took us right to Union Station downtown. 

Taking the train was so easy and we got to spend the travel time as a family, enjoying our morning coffees and chocolate milk. Michael had a blast and was being so funny.

"Train go fast! Train really bumpy!" 

Our first stop of the day was the Museum of Science and Industry. We chose this museum because of recommendations from friends and also we could get in for free with our SCI Iowa membership. It was pretty far from the train station so we splurged on a cab ride for $20. We were there for about four hours and ate lunch at their little food court. It was really fun and Michael had a blast.  

The highlight for Michael was the mini train set up and I'm sure he would have stayed there for hours if we had let him. He also liked the children's science zone where the kids could run around like mad men and do all the little exhibits (the most fun being the balls and water). He also loved the tractors and combine simulator but hated the weather station ("too scary!"). 

When we were done at the museum we waited outside for just a few minutes and caught a bus for $5 back down towards Millennium park.  The bus was super easy and it was a straight shot down Lake Shore drive so it was pretty scenic too.

We stopped at "the bean" for photos and man...it had to be 110 degrees around it. It was like a big tanning bed. Wowzers. We made a pretty quick exit and decided we would walk to Navy Pier. 

In hindsight, the walk to Navy Pier was probably overkill as it was definitely the hottest time of day and we were all pretty tired and exhausted.  We caught a cab from the Pier back to the station and got on our train back to Oak Brook. Scott called Giordano's on the way back and we picked up our pizza on the way back to the hotel.

It was awesome! 

Overall, it was a great day in the city. I was worried about staying so far out but at the end of the day it felt good to leave the hustle and bustle of the city. It was so great just to have nothing on our agenda except spending time together as a family.

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