I’m back! Actually I’ve been back since about 10pm Tuesday night but have been recovering slowly since then. There was so much traffic on the freeways that it took my hubby and I over an hour to get home from the airport so I got to bed quite late and had to be up for work the next day. It was a fantastic trip but I’m exhausted! lol
We started our trip on the Amtrak which was a 4 day trek that passed through 9 states. There was magnificent scenery and fun times were had by all. Sleeping on the train is never my favorite part of the trip and as I said in comments – never underestimate the glory of a shower. :0)
We left Wednesday the 7th at 10:15am and got into Chicago at about 4:00pm on Saturday the 10th. We bought our 3 day CTA passes (that got us on buses, subways and the L) and made our way to our hotel. My sister took a train from Kansas City and met us in Chicago that night. We ordered pizza and relaxed.
Sunday we headed off to St. James Cathedral and went to church. We moseyed after that and made our way to The Fourth Street Presbyterian Church. My mom attended both St. James and Fourth St. when she went to Moody Bible Institute over 50 years ago. After that we went to see the Water Tower. Built in 1869 it was the only public building to survive the horrific Great Chicago Fire in 1871. I actually forgot my camera on Sunday (duh) so the few pictures I got were taken with my cell phone. We then shopped and took the L red line all the way to the end and then took a bus on the Lake Shore Drive (Outer Drive) that was just beautiful. The kids were really troopers considering how far we walked. The weather the entire time we were in Chicago was really great. Yes it was warm and somewhat humid but there always seemed to be a nice breeze coming off of Lake Michigan.
On Monday we started our day at Ann Sather’s Restaurant on Belmont. If you are ever in the Chicago area and want a fabulous breakfast go there! Seriously good food. They are famous for their cinnamon rolls – which are to die for wonderful. And one order is 2 cinnamon rolls. No this is not diet food! lol Our waiter was so nice and ended up bringing an order of cinnamon rolls for our whole table on the house (yes, that totals 14 rolls), just so we could try them. My oldest stated that she was going to move to an apartment across the street from the restaurant so she could eat the cinnamon rolls every day. Too funny. I had a special called Ann’s Darling. It was hot oatmeal with rice porridge and granola topped with dried apricots, raisins, cranberries and pecans. It came in a bowl as big as my head and was so darned good I had to take half of it with me to eat later. I wonder if they ship food? We waddled out of the restaurant and headed to the Lincoln Park Zoo. Lincoln Park is just lovely and the zoo, which is free to enter, was so clean and well kept. We made our way to the Farm-in-the-Zoo after that which is sponsored by John Deere and the kids loved seeing the goats, pigs and cattle. By that time we were quite warm and headed across the park, and the Outer Drive to Lake Michigan where we took off our shoes and waded in the nice cool water. Let me tell you my kids did not want to leave it felt so good. That night we went over to Grant Park which was quite near our hotel to see Buckingham Fountain. I took a million pictures of that fountain and not one of them came out! Apparently when you put my camera on “night scene” which is the only way that it would show up on my camera it makes everything blurry. What good is that? Anyway, take my word for it, it was beautiful as well.
On Tuesday morning we breakfasted and then headed to the Willis Tower, previously known as the Sears Tower. The building is the second tallest in the world and we headed to the 103rd floor to what is called their Skydeck. It has tons of info on historical and current Chicago and incredible views of the city. My kids also walked out onto the Skyledge which gave me serious heart palpitations. I did step forward enough take a picture through the floor but that was it – there was no way I was walking out into that thing!
My kids, niece, sister and parents headed off to the station soon after that to catch their train to Kansas City where they will stay with my sister and then head back home on the 18th. (They’ll make it back to LA on the 20th.) I was then on my own for a few hours since their train left at 3:15pm and my flight home didn’t leave until 7:40pm. I ate some lunch and then went to the public library that was across the street. Damn confusing 10 floor library, but incredibly gorgeous. I read for a couple of hours and then made my way to O’Hare airport.
That’s my vaca in a nutshell. We walked our asses off – which was good since we ate our way through Chicago! My kids are gone until the 20th so the hubby and I are enjoying the quiet in the house. It’s hotter than hell right now (110 F yesterday) so I’m trying to stay indoors as much as possible. That just means more reading for me, right?
Hope you all are well.
Here are some of the photos I took while on the trip – enjoy! (In case you're wondering my oldest was photo shy for most of this trip so she's not in many pictures!)