Settle in, I took a lot of pictures!
No day trip can start around here without a visit to Starbucks.
Then it was off to daycare to drop Livvie. We felt awful not taking her, but we were gone all day and she still naps and can't sit still to save her life. It just wasn't practical to bring her. But as soon as she is old enough, she'll get her own special day!
Another quick stop--the ATM. They don't give stuff away in Chicago.
After some drama trying to find a parking place, we are on the train and headed to the city. The 8:16 was the last express train for the morning, meaning it took 40 minutes instead of 80, so we really wanted to catch this train!
Ben spent the entire ride glued to the window. And was thrilled that we sat on the top level there and back.
The plan was to go to the skydeck of the Sears Tower (technically, Willis Tower, but not to us; or, as Ben likes to call the Sears Tower--the Serious Tower). However, as you can see from this skyline photo from the train, the clouds were covering the top, making visibility 0.
Arrive in Chicago. Ben is amazed/nervous about how dark it is in the tunnel where the train pulls in.
We have an hour to kill until the Sears Tower opens (to check if we can see anything), so we get some breakfast. Ben chose McDonalds. Of course. Sigh.
Doing silly faces.
Apparently, I talk too much.
We walk around a bit and see Mike's office building and go over the bridge. Ben sees a "police boat" and it is the highlight of his morning.
The visibility is nill, so the Sears Tower is a no-go. We hop in a cab to the Field Museum. Ben loved the cab rides. It was really weird for him to not be in a carseat.
At the Field Museum. Ready to meet Sue the dinosaur and see some animals.
Ben LOVED seeing all the replica animals. I must admit, they do a nice job. Ben is really into lions and crocodiles right now, so those were the hits of the day.
The 3D Sue movie is about to begin! We haven't taken Ben to the movies yet, but he was so riveted by the movie. And it was short (about 25 min), so it went really well. He was upset when it was over and wanted to see it again. The 3D was pretty cool.
Here is Sue's real head, which is too heavy to display with the full dinosaur bones. 600 pounds--just the head. It is hard to truly fathom how enormous these things were.
There is a nice view of the lake and Navy Pier from the museum, so we took a quick look as we headed out.
We took another cab to the John Hancock building to have lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. Ben sat patiently and quietly on my lap for the 15 minute wait to be seated. And it was all the more clear that leaving Liv at home was the right move--she couldn't have handled all the waiting. Finaly, they call our name and we eat!
Ben had a huge (delicious) strawberry milkshake. We were more than willing to help him finish it.
He was also a big fan of the bread and butter. When he saw the wheat bread in the basket, he got excited and said "Look Mommy--chocolate bread for you!" Hahaha.
After lunch we visited a few stores in the Water Tower Place and walked around a bit. Ben loved riding the escalator up and down in Water Tower. And these police horses really caught his eye.
Across from the Hancock, there is a cute little park with a pretend train and fire truck. We let Ben play for a few minutes before we had to catch a cab back to the train station to head home.
Our train arrives home, and Ben falls asleep in the car on the way to daycare to get Livvie. It was an awesome day, despite the clouds ruining our Sears Tower plan.
We already have plans to do it again around Christmas so that Ben can see the Christmas lights and get his Sears Tower visit in.