Saturday, July 12, 2008


We finally made it home from Chicago - and boy is it HOT in Atlanta! I'm ready to move! We walked out of the airport and it hit like a firey wall.....oh yes, we are home. My hair began to curl immediately - that's humidity for you.

I wanted to blog all week while in Chicago, but for some reason (likely my blondeness) I could only get my blog title in when trying to blog from my iPhone. I finally just gave up, so now I need to cram an entire week into one post. I also fear I've "lost" some of the magic since I've had time to let things settle in. We did have an immensely wonderful week and I've got loads of fond memories, but here are a few highlights.....

Navy Pier - always fun for the kids, the Crystal Garden, the giant anchor and all the carnival-ish fun.

Lou Mitchell's Diner - two words "free donuts".

Notebaert Nature Center - not quite what we expected, but the kids had fun none the less. They list a Butterfly Cafe with natural and organic lunch choices so we held out to eat there. BAD choice, the cafe was an upright cooler with a few pre-made sandwiches and some hotdogs. Luckily we found an ice-cream cart on the street.

Hard Rock Cafe - two words "free SOCKS!" Thanks to Kapgar, I got some free Wii socks. I also got to meet some fantastic blogging friends for dinner. Kapgar & Kilax (plus her husband, Steven) came into the city to meet me for dinner and they even tolerated my kids. Luckily, Kapgar is a total dork and made my kids laugh, he was also game to letting them slap him around, so they definately thought he was cool. My little one found him ,"dorky, like Daddy". I hope Kapgar took that as the highest honor possible because NO ONE tops Daddy. Poor Kim (Kilax) lost her ears as she patiently listened to my oldest child talk them right off her head - these two clicked like legos and who knows what they talked about. I'm certain that Kim probably knows some things that I would not have likely divulged. Kim was so sweet and we even met up with her again later on in the week - and she brought my kids presents! How cool! My girls can't stop talking about her, and I like her a lot, too!! Thank goodness I didn't get cold feet and back out on this meet up - I'm usually introverted and I was thisclose to cancelling because I'm still new at all of this. What a loss it would have been to me!! *photo*

Millenium Park - my kids played in the fountain and had a blast, we took a picnic and towels and had a nice rest in the shade. My little one was so exhausted she actually fell asleep under her towel and almost wasted an entire bowl of icecream - now that's tired - luckily she has an awesome mom to help her out, and I ate it for her. I'm a giver like that. *photo*

FREE STUFF - on just about any given day that we were in Chicago there was a truck giving out free samples on Michigan Avenue at the river. The best was Burn Notice - free ice cream. They had Blue Bunny ice cream sandwiches and Bomb pops. Awesome. I also ran into rollerbladding Burn Notice chicks later in the day and got a ton of free chapstick. Eh.

American Girl - can any girl go to Chicago without a visit here? We went and spent - it was later in the evening, after happy hour, and there was a mom there with her little girl and she was stone cold DRUNK (the mom). She could barely talk, kept falling over and bent over far too many times in her short skirt. It was sad to watch. Even my kids noticed she was acting weird. People were just staring, it was embarrassing to no end. The upside is that the little girl convinced her to buy a TON of stuff, so she definately took advantage of the situation.

The Hancock Observatory - we chose Hancock over Sears Tower by suggestion from our Frommer's guide. We were not disappointed. It is AMAZING and the screened in area is wickedly windy. We spent a LONG time up there listening to the headset tours and then a HUGE storm rolled in and we were literally IN the lightening. Crazy and amazing and an incredible view. I haven't been to Sears Tower and I don't believe I'm missing out.

Rainforest Cafe - eh, nothing new there. It was late and we were all tired, but we ate.

Shakespeare Theatre - we took the kids to see Willy Wonka and it was a blast. The entire performance was done by 8 actors, all playing multiple roles. I wasn't expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised. Patrick Andrews was sooo good as Charlie Bucket - I just loved him! The kids' favorite was George Andrew Wolff as Augustus Gloop - he was hilarious. I can't say that anyone wasn't good in this show. It was really good for the kids and Kevin and I enjoyed it as well, we think this is a great family show, but we are completely wrapped up in Willy Wonka which is an all time favorite book and movie for my kids. We all love the original and the remake and all of their differences.

Buckingham Fountain - my kids were amazed to find out that all of the marble used to build this gigantic fountain came from our home state of Georgia - also that running the jets and the light show for this fountain in downtown Chicago is all operated and monitored 700 miles away in Atlanta! It is also extremely close to the building used in the movie GHOSTBUSTERS, who ya gonna call??

River & Lake Tour - we decided to 86 the Science & Industry Museum and go for a boat tour. Nice choice, we learned tons about the architecture of the city and a lot of historical facts. We also got to go through the lock and out into the lake. It was definately a highlight. The kids loved watching the water cannon shoot over the river - they would have loved more if the boat captain would have taken us under it!! *photo*

Billy Goat Tavern - this is what makes my husband happy - a giant bacon cheeseburger. This place cooks it up and hands it to you in waxed paper - no plates, no trays and no messing around. *photo*

And as you can see, Bad Monkey got around quite a bit while we were in Chicago.....though that doesn't surprise me one bit.
From top:
Kapgar and Wii socks - THANKS, KEVIN!
Sleeping in Millenium Park - spare change anyone?
Burn Notice Bomb Pops - I'm soooo cool
Kilax looking all professional and me looking like a crazed tourist
A happy, happy man (that's MY Kevin) at the Billy Goat
River Canon - and kids wanting to get wet