Sunday, July 12, 2009

St. Louis, and the end of our vacation...

On our way back home, we decided to stop in St. Louis for one final adventure. We took the boys up in the Arch! They thought it was awesome. Right before we went up, we watched the documentary on how the arch was built. That was interesting to see...and the boys got a kick out of seeing just how much work went into it. Up, up up we went and when we finally arrived at the top, we were all amazed. Even tho Josh and I had been up before, I think it still took us by surprise just how neat it was to see, and be up that high! We pointed out the stadium where Uncle J's favorite team awesome if they would have been playing right then?? :D Pretty dang cool, and a great end to our trip!

4th Of July!!!

Independance Day dawned rainy and cool in Lombard Ill!! :D We enjoyed a quiet day hanging out with Betsy and Jason, and also Dad and Connie who'd come thru on a big trip up Michigan! Also, Carina came in from the city to party with us crazy people. We grilled some burgers and hung out, and finally, it cleared off enough for us to go to the fair in Lombard. The boys were estatic! Papa T bought them tickets to ride whatever they wanted, so off we went. There was one ride called Cliff Hanger that everyone (minus Nana and Josh) rode. Laying on your belly, you go on a "flight"! It was pretty darn cool, but it was after that that I found out that I am too old to ride those dang things! About 5 minutes after we "landed", I tossed my burger back up! Ughhh....gross. We watched a few fireworks and headed on home!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Warren Dunes State Park!

I cannot even beging to describe to you how beautiful this place is!! It is utterly amazing, and I fell totally in love. SO did my family. Warren Dunes is about a 2 hour drive from Chicago, and it is where my dad grew up! Near there anyway...he would go there with friends all the time when he was young (SOOOO long ago!) For the first time in my life, I felt my "roots" when I was there...corny, I know. BUt I LOVE IT. We will be returning! When we first pulled in, we could see these HUGE dunes on one side, and the lake and beach on the other. I cant even tell you how huge theses dunes were, more like sand mountains!! The boys wanted to climb first thing! So up we went. The view was amazing! We were all huffing and puffing by the time we reached the top! But the run down was well worth it! :D After that, we headed to the beach. THe boys automatically went into the water, and JOshua started on his first sand castle. We ate a quick lunch (Micah got so frustrated with the sand on his hands!!) and then back to play. Josh and Jason created a Jabba the Hut which got many many looks and lots of pictures too! A little girl behind us, whom Micah had befriended had pink sand that she asked to put on his tounge! So cute! The boys could have played for days and days. When we wrapped up swim time, we headed to explore and find more dunes to climb. Of course, the boys wanted to climb the tallest ones! Up we went...Betsy stayed down to take pictures of our was pretty cool to see how tiny we looked! Exhausted, we headed back to B&J's. What a fantastic day. That day was my very favorite. Playing iwth my family in the sand, relaxing with not a care in the world......

Chicago Beach Day!!!

When we asked the boys what they were most excited to do in Chicago, their answer was "Legoland and the BEACH!!" All 3 of them agreed!! Amazing!! Thursday we finally were able to hit the beach! It started out cloudy and cold, so we headed to the Hancock Tower, which we hadnt been able to fit in earlier. They thought it was so cool to see all the buildings and the water...and especially the pools on top of the buildings!! After doing that, we headed downstairs for a quick lunch in the courtyard before heading to the beach! When we finally made it there, Clay was the first one in! The other boys soon followed. It was dang cold, but of course, that didnt matter to them!! Josh and Jason were such good daddy and uncle, they were in it with them nearly the whole time. I think they had as much fun as the little dudes! Micahs favorite thing was to be buried, then jump up and run in the water to wash off! Ethan spent a ton of time digging a huge hole that they eventually all ended up helping with! Clayton just loved wandering around, in a out of the water. Betsy and I worked really, really hard on our tans!! :D It was a great day. But every day there was great! We already want to go back!!!!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

White Castle, Putt-Putt and PIZZA!!

Wednesday afternoon found us hunting high and low for pants for the boys!! Chicago got a bit of a cold front, and it was chilly!! We finally found some (pajama pants!!) and off we went. Our first stop was White Castle...oh yes, sliders!! The boys loved it, and even to this day are talking about "Oh, those sliders just hit me again!" Too funny! After that, we were off to play mini golf. Such fun. Ethan got the first hole in one...he was so proud!! Josh got one too, and Micah made on on the very last hole. CLayton ended up being the winner so it was good all around! :D We wrapped up golf and headed to a famous Chicago pizza place called Giordanos. Big fat huge pizza! Yummy!! Great way to end a fantastic day!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Field Museum, Planetarium, and Aquarium!

So, our second full day in Chicago, we went to the Field Museum (history). It was pretty darn cool. Lots of neat stuffed animals to look at, ancient and current. The boys like the big giraffes. We got to meet Sue the Dinosaur...that was pretty darn awesome! A big ol T-Rex! My favorite was the exhibit about the Ancient Egyptians. We also got to do an exhibit that "shrunk" us to 1/2 an inch tall! "Through the Eyes of a Bug" neat. YOu got to see the underground world from a bugs perspective. We also did a new pirate exhibit, but it wasnt as cool as was all reading, and the little boys had no patience for that! If we'd have had the time, JOsh, Ethan and I would have enjoyed it.
After that one, we went on down to the Adler Planetarium. The exhibits were alright, but the coolest part was the shows we got to see! They did one of the night sky in CHicago, and what we would be able to see that night! So neat!!! After that one, we saw a show called cosmic collisions, which was interesing and made for great conversations with the kiddos! Finally, we headed to the Shedd Aquarium for a quick tour. It was pretty dark in there, and of course, the animals were behind glass, so not many pics from there. But we got to see beluga whales, dolphins and penguins! So neat. Oh, and sharks too. About at the end, Clayton realized that he'd lost his wallet, so Josh called the aquarium and they had it!! So he ran the 1/2 mile or so back to get it and then back up to meet us! Clay was very grateful. It even had the rest of his money in it! A great day over all!!!

Chicago Day #2!! Museum of Science and Industry

Whew!! Sunday, we went to church with Jason and Betsy, had some awesome lunch, and then we headed to Rockford to meet up with some Newtons!! The boys had a blast with Uncle Tom and Josh, along with Alyssa flying kites! Aunt Jeanne made us an amazing dinner that we got to eat out on the deck...the weather was so great!
Monday, we headed to Chicago for our first full day downtown. After a bit of a late start, and a few hiccups with the train/bus schedules, we finally made it to the Museum of Science and Industry! Such a cool place! We scoped out all the galleries, and then the boys all headed into the Harry Potter exhibit. No pictures allowed...darn it! They thought it was pretty cool...lots of artifacts from the movies. After they were done with that, we explored a bit more getting to see inside a full size plane, and touring the submarine U-505! That was a cool ship! Lots of neat stuff to see in that exhibit...the boys couldnt get over how big it was! Josh got to go on a tour inside that was pretty awesome, but again, no pictures! We finished up with the space exhibit where the boys got to land a simulated space shuttle. It was pretty darn cool!
We ended the day with a trip to the FOX studios to see my friend Carina who recently got a job up here! She was able to turn on the camera and lights so the boys could sit in the reporters chair and see waht it was like to be on TV! They thought that was so awesome. We finally headed back to the train station...carrying Micah for part of the way, that poor dude was TIRED! They all were! A good nights sleep was had by all. :D

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Chicago Day #1! LegoLand!

Our first full day in Chicago was great!! We headed to LEGOLAND which was fantastic. The boys LOVED seeing all the cool things that were made out of legos. They had a full "jungle" of animals created from them...then some other cool statues. We got to tour a "factory" to see how Legos were made, and then, a huge play room where they could build with legos as long as their hearts desired! They had a car building station and you could design and build your own car, then race it. ALL the boys loved this part! Dad and Uncle J had a blast helping the kiddos. After we finished there, we topped off the day with a lovely trip to Oberweis for some ICE CREAM!!! A very successful start to our vacation! :D