Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Ken and I are southerners born and raised but there is something about living up north that is fun and exciting! For one, where we live we can drive to St. Louis, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis all in five hours or less! We love where we are from but let me be honest, I could drive five hours from my hometown and still end up in a boring, been there done that ten times, kind of location. Ken and I love a good road trip and try to take them often so being up here has been fun and exciting to say the least. Now I will say I am not so fond of the snow and cold weather that drags out for months but for the most part we love it up here!! 

Last week (July 7-10) we were able to take Luke to one of my favorite places, Chicago. I LOVE Chicago for its fun city life, diversity, amazing restaurants, and there are lots of fun and free things to do! We have a zoo/science center membership where we are and that pass got us into the Children's Museum of Chicago for free!! It also could have gotten us in to other fun museums but we ran out of time. We will do those next year. :) Ken and I went to Chicago last summer and I fell in love so we knew we had to bring Luke with us this summer. I think it will have to be a yearly thing but ONLY in the summer. Remember we are not fans of cold weather and Chicago is super cold during the winter months.

We stayed in Chicago for three nights at a Weston near the airport and rode the 'L' (Metro) into town everyday (30 min ride). We got the hotel on the cheap on Priceline. We LOVE Priceline's Name Your Own Price!! Ken and I are flexible and love adventures so we really didn't care where our hotel was (well, within a certain area). We also don't mind walking a lot, love rinding the metro, and the busses are a fun change from the car so this worked out great for us. But if you have lots of kiddos, staying in the city would work best because you would be closer to your hotel and everything. With that said, here are some lots of pictures from our trip. I hope you can get a glimpse of how much fun we had!!

 Eating at Giordano's. We knew there would be a long (45 min) wait for the pizza to be made so we bought a lego set specifically for this place before we came to Chicago. He had fun building it and the time went by so quickly! 

The ginormous Chicago style pizza

Next we were off to the Navy Pier and Children's Museum! This was our favorite area. I know...I know...it is super touristy and all but we love it!! 

Yay!! Free admission to the Children's Museum!! 
(Only because we had a membership at our science center.)

Playing in the cool water area

I think this is a water hose?

This was a cool thing that Ken and Luke did for a long time. They built a flying contraption and moved it way into air with an upwards conveigher belt that they cranked. Then they would then see how well it fell flew down. 

The conveigher belt thing

Stud muffin I tell ya

Luke was wearing special goggles to help with his grocery sales. 
They are working at the moment. 

He loved this 'rock wall'

We might have almost spent an hour here. This kid loves to build!!

This rope course thing was so much fun!! The part you see here is on the third floor of the museum but you can start climbing up from the first floor. Luke was not sure about heights at this time so he just climbed up from the third floor and walked across! He loved it!

We were so excited when he jumped! Remember he was just getting over the fear of heights thing so when he finally jumped we threw a party. I think everyone else did too because they were tired of waiting on our reluctant kiddo. Oh well they could have done other things!

Fire man for the day!

After the Children's Museum we were off to the ferris wheel on the Navy Pier

We could see the awesome skyline from up here

The next day we were off to the beach. Luke loves the beach and referred to it as the big sandbox. :) Ken had always told me that the Great Lakes are beautiful but I never believed him because it is a lake. I don't know about you, but where I am from lakes are where everyone goes but they are pretty nasty to look at. I was wrong about this lake. Last year when we came to Chicago I was amazed at how bright blue and clear the water was! Now the water was still cold when we went but other than that we had a great time!

We love great local places that have a fun atmosphere. On our way back from the beach, we stopped at this unique place. I can't remember the name for the life of me but I loved the lights hanging down from the ceiling, how open it was, and the great food. 

This is where we stayed

Chicago has a Ukrainian village that we visited. It was great! We felt like we were back in Ukraine. I looked up an authentic Ukrainian restaurant that had good ratings and off we went. This place was great and the food was amazing! We were so excited to be there but the staff didn't care that we had just been to Ukraine. Oh well, we had fun anyways!

We all ate off the buffet and ordered a bowl of Borsch (a traditional Ukrainian beet soup)

One day we went to the Lincoln Park zoo. It is a fun and free zoo in our favorite area of town!

Luke had so much fun on his first family vacation! 

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