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Braving Chicago, Day 2: Shedd Aquarium

Starting the day with bear hugs.

Going into the pool (aka basement) for breakfast.

Arriving at Soldier Field after parking in the garage (it’s kitty corner from the aquarium).

Waiting patiently while we get our free (!!) tickets! 


Getting ready for a 4-D movie short.

Do you know what these are?

How about now?

Shark eggs!

We got a stranger to take our group pic…

But of course I had to do a selfie!

After a somewhat agonizing drive home through rush hour traffic, we arrived to this:

I’m glad we got to see our friends, but after two full days in Chicago I cannot understand how people there don’t go postal. Between traffic, bikers, and congestion, I had a headache almost the entire time I was in a car plus I got stuck in rush hour coming home today so that made it a sucky ending. I understand there is a crap ton to do there but it’s just not for me. So I was right, I will be visiting even less then I visited DC because at least DC was only 20 minutes away. Caitlin, I love you, but next year you’re coming to the ‘burbs. :) :heart:

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I wouldn’t brave Chicago traffic for just anyone.

My good friend Caitlin (that I just had to leave in Virginia) and her kids came to Chicago (they were already in Indianapolis) so we drove down to explore some touristy stuff with them. I hate traffic and congestion so it was a mini nightmare for me… But I did it.

Our first stop was the Museum of Science and Industry…where we spent seven hours (egads, I know). The kids had fun but it was a long day.

At the Toy Maker area, it cost $5 to get your own personalized gravitron—and you could watch as it passed through each station. It was cooler than we thought it would be.

There was a Fault (you can’t see the red light on in the photo) so the human operator had to come in and fix it.

And I was thinking it was just a top but it’s a gyroscope—so much cooler than a top. They had a little station to test it out so we all played with it. Then it was back to the exhibits.

Katie got to create her own fireworks display!

Wind tunnel! Owen wanted no part of it (even though he had to do it at the $2 machine in Virginia at swim lessons).


I should have recorded more of this—the kids had an absolute blast with it:

Ice cream for lunch because why not?!

The kids loved the big tractors SOOO much.

If you stood still, butterflies would land on your shadow.

Then it was finally time to head to the hotel… The drive was a bit precarious with all the traffic and insane bikers…but we all made it in one piece. The hotel was really neat—it was all sports-themed and the rooms were like dorms.

And then after a brief rest, it was off to Navy Pier! The kids really wanted to do the Ferris wheel (like we did at National Harbor).

After we walked around a bit, it was time for dinner—and we wanted to sit down and waste time since we had to wait until the fireworks at 9:30. I figured I deserved this:

The traffic wasn’t actually that bad getting out after the fireworks (thank heavens for small favors) and soon we were back at the hotel, where the kids were all super excited to sleep on the top bunks!!

The kids finally quieted down around 11 and Caitlin and I stayed up chatting until almost 12:30.

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Leave it to a kid to make me laugh.

So Caitlin had taken the kids for the afternoon so they would be out of our hair and able to play with their friends. After the truck left she dropped them off and we said our goodbyes and we were hugging and crying. After she left Owen asked why I was crying and I said it was sad to have to leave friends. And Katie pipes right up “Like Miss Julie who she drinks with all the time.” 😂 Leave it to a kid to make me laugh.

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Movie night with friends

Friends of ours have a standing Friday Family Movie Night that Katie always wants to go go…so instead of crashing their Friday night, we had our own on Sunday night. We went over to play, watch a movie, eat pizza, and make popcorn… Which I think they only lasted through about 45 minutes of the movie before they lost interest and started playing.

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Another afternoon at the pool…

Getting sunscreen on…

When Owen gets the camera…

When mom gets the camera back…

And yes, I actually got in the pool. It was HUMID. And then the sun came out and I got HOT.

Our good friends…

Their toys had gotten sucked in but they were both to scared of the bugs in there to reach in. :)

Sitting out during the break (the last 10 minutes of every hour) plotting their next move in the water gun war with the opposing team.

A new hand-me-down suit from our neighbor Maddie.

Cuddling with Daddy

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Surprise birthday!

It was my friend Caitlin’s birthday and she didn’t think I knew, so we surprised her with cake and ice cream…and took them out to dinner. They just happened to have face painting that night, so three of the four kids did that (Owen stayed at the table watching Nationals baseball with Tom). The face painting lady and I even convinced Caitlin to get her face done as she didn’t think she’d ever had her face painted.

Katie picked the Ice Princess.