Monday, August 17, 2015

Trip to the City

We took Ben on his annual trip downtown. We had beautiful weather and a great time! Last year we went in October when the weather was a little cooler, but since Ben starts Kindergarten next week, we had to squeeze the trip in early as we like to go on a weekday when the crowds are less and we can leave Liv home. :-(

We dropped Liv at daycare and set off for a fun day. I'd love to bring Liv, but she still naps and just isn't ready to handle a full day downtown. Maybe next summer!

After a quick stop through the Starbucks drive-thru for coffee and breakfast, we arrived at the train station. We haven't even boarded the train, and Mike is already annoyed with my picture taking!

Ben chose his Bears shirt since it was their first game that night, so Mike wore his Bears shirt as well. So cute in their matching outfits.

Ben loves going through the tunnel to get to the train boarding area.

We ate our breakfast sandwiches and watched the views as we headed into the city. We caught the express so it was a 40 minute ride instead of over an hour.

Our first stop was the Willis (Sears) Tower. Last time the weather didn't cooperate and there was no visibility. This time we had gorgeous weather, and the Blue Angels were practicing so we got to see the planes up close. Very cool.

We went out on the glass outlooks. It was awesome. Seriously my favorite part of the day. I got in line twice for that part. 

Don't ever hand Mike the camera.

There are the Blue Angels, though it is hard to make out. They were really close and easy to see in person but the camera didn't capture that.

Then we hopped a cab to the Planetarium. Ben really wanted to do the Field Museum again, but we wanted to show him something different. Unfortunately, the Planetarium was a bit of a dud. There were some cool things but definitely NOT worth the $70+ it cost to get in. Seriously, Chicago is so expensive. This is why it is only an annual trip. :-)

Here you can jump and send the rocket up in the air.

Ben's favorite part was "mission control."

This is the actual console that the guys sat in. It is so tiny in person. I can't imagine cramming in this thing--especially since Mike said they spent 14 days in here. Not for this gal!

Ben hung out on the moon.

Then we watched a show that simulates the night sky with stars and teaches you all about the constellations. It was cool but still didn't justify the cost.

We stopped to enjoy the lake view before catching a cab to the Rainforest Cafe for lunch.

Mike's arms are longer, so I asked him to get a selfie of us. I guess he thought a view of a random family was better than the skyline, which he cut off. Again, don't give Mike the camera.

I took back the camera and did my best with my short little arms. At least you can see the skyline in this one. :-)

The Rainforest Cafe was the perfect lunch spot for Ben, who loves jungle animals so much. There was a little thunder/elephant show, a moving snake hanging from the ceiling, and a crocodile. Very cool.

We wanted to burn off some of the calories from our lunch, so we walked from the restaurant back to the train station (about 1.5 miles). Of course, stopping to share a smoothie and get Ben a cupcake negated those efforts. Oh well!

We stopped for the treats at the French Market, which is right across from Mike's office. He goes here occasionally for lunch. I was kind of jealous of all the cool stuff he has to choose from every day. I wish I'd gotten a pic of the market. It has tons of different options and stores. Very cool!

Then we caught the train home, picked up our Livvie Lu, and relaxed the rest of the night... As much as you can with two kids anyway. Until next year, Chicago!


  1. I think the French Market would be right up my ally. Ben looks so grown up. Facetiming with Jaimee, Chris and Henry yesterday made me think all the little ones are growing up so fast! I applaud you for your once a year trip with Ben. Memories are forever.

  2. Oh how I miss downtown Chicago!! I'm glad you had a great trip... I cannot wait to take the kids next time we're up there!

  3. P.S - Mike's pic of the random family vs. the skyline made me LOL! Oh, Mike!