Friday, March 26, 2010

Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago

We went to Chicago a couple of weeks ago. It started out fine. We took a long time to get there due to numerous stops in the Travel Plazas along the turnpike. They have these cool ceilings.Aleks' freckles came out from sitting in the sun in the car.
We stopped in Indiana to go to a Hanna Andersson outlet store I'd heard about. There's a nuclear power plant cooling tower overlooking the outdoor mall. Plus the store had none of the jammies or long-sleeved t-shirts I wanted.
In Chicago, we checked into the hotel. We enjoyed the television right away, since we don't have one at home.
The view from our window...
Natty cut Bastian's hair.

Then we got dressed to go swimming.
Before getting on the elevator, we looked down on Grandpa Jim and Aunt Lilly eating in the restaurant below.
Everyone except Natalie nearly drowned. Plus the water was super cold. This was not the best hotel pool experience I've had. I should have remembered the boys' life vests and floaties.

The next day, we met up with Rachel, Max, and Otto of Almost Always Hungry. First, we had lunch.
Bastian whined while Rachel and I had to get money out of the atm and decide how to get to the other mall.
I observed decorative themes.

The lunch cafe was right across from this tile store where mannequins wore clothes made of tile in the window. Rachel and I were fascinated at any rate.
Then to the Lego store! We don't have one of these in Cleveland.

Indy grabbed Lilly's butt.

We got signed up for the Lego VIP club. Whatever that is. We earn money off purchases, apparently, in order to create loyalty with direct-ordering.
We usually skip on bags, but giant yellow ones with the Lego logo was too enticing.
Natty found a boyfriend.

Then we walked to the John Hancock building. First, we passed by the Water Tower, famously not demolished in the Great Chicago Fire.

I was there too. But not Papa.
The Hancock building. Not as tall as the Sears Tower, but if you go to the bar and order a drink, it's free to go to the top.

Shirley Temples.

On the varying cab rides, I noted Chicago architecture...

The new Trump Tower that everyone hates.

Natty stole my camera and took photos of herself all dressed up.
We really went to Chicago to see Lilly's school's annual awards ceremony. Aleks and Bastian hung out with Rachel, Max, and Otto in the hotel (where they generously stayed the night as well to make this easy), while Grandpa Jim, Natty, Lilly, and I went to the show and then dinner.
Each floor of the building had different colored lights. Natty in green.
Jim in green.
Lilly in green.
Lilly in orange.
Lilly in white.
Back outside, ready to go eat.
The next day, things took a turn for the worse. We spent an hour in a public restroom with Bastian, who came down with some nasty bug. We therefor missed out on visiting any museums at all, like we'd planned.

Later, he seemed better, so we visited Rachel, Max, and Otto in their home. Rachel and I drank tea while the boys played.
It was like being in a famous kitchen!
I'd seen it many times before, but never in person.

We said our goodbyes, went to dinner with Lilly and Natty, then in the middle of the night, Bastian started vomiting. It took us many, many more hours than it should have to get home the next day. The beginning of the trip was great though.