Monday, September 29, 2008

Chicago: The Field Museum

We were really excited many weeks ago to find out that Tommy (Robby's brother) and his wife Doris were coming out to our part of the country. They wanted to see Chicago, and since we are a few hours away we thought we would meet up with them there to do some fun sightseeing together. Before the trip Robby and Tommy talked on the phone and made up lists of what they wanted to see. Robby's list was far too long to complete in one day, so if any of you want to see us we are up for another day or two or ten in Chicago!

Our first adventure together took us to the Field Museum where we met...

Sue, the T. Rex! She is the largest, most complete, and best preserved T. Rex in the world. Uncle Tommy and Lil' Robby could definitely have taken her on, don't you think?!

Jenna loves hangin' with Uncle Tommy!

Enjoying a rest near Africa.

Olivia was glad that Aunt Doris was willing to sit and let her eat.

In the museum they have a fully authentic meeting house from New Zeland. It had faces carved in the exterior of it with lots of pearly eyes staring at you. Kind of like this guy pictured below...
It reminded me of being at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Deep in contemplation.

Jenna tries to show the tiger he doesn't scare her!

Olivia was happy for a ride.

Can you tell we had fun?! (One moment that I know Robby wants to make sure I record happened in the museum a few minutes after I had loaded Jenna into the backpack. We started walking to the elevator and I was doing my usual head count to make sure we were all together. My heart skipped a beat when I couldn't locate Jenna's little bouncing head nearby. I exclaimed, "Where's Jenna?" Everyone turned and looked at me like I had lost my marbles or something. Then I realized, she was on my back! Okay, I felt stupid.)

On the steps to the museum. Olivia is playing peek-a-boo with you!

And we were off to our next adventure in the Windy City.

This is the best, when you can get your child to do all the work pushing their sibling.

Chicago: The bean and the pizza

Our next stop on our one day Chicago visit was to see "The Bean" in Millennium Park. Along the way we stopped for Robby to take our picture since Robby and I are always the ones taking the picture.

So what is the Bean you ask...

It's actually a huge sculpture that looks like a bean so it is nicknamed "The Bean."

In case you are wondering, its real name is Cloud Gate.

This was a really fun sculpture to play around with. Here is our distorted family reflection from underneath "The Bean."

The kids really like to play with their reflections, too.

This is what it looks like just about your head when you are standing underneath it. Wild, isn't it?!

The five of us and "The Bean" (of course, Olivia wasn't interested in having a picture taken when she was busy admiring herself.)

Who is that, Olivia?!

Oh, it's me!

After stopping at "The Bean" we went to try some authentic Chicago stuffed pizza at a highly recommend pizzeria called Bella Bacino's.

Olivia thought it was great because she got to sit in a restaurant high chair for the first time! What a big girl!

And here is the pizza! Okay, so it doesn't look quite as appetizing in this picture, but it did look nice when they brought it out. I must say though that is was a very cheese-y experience. Stuffed deep dish pizza = 10 times more cheese. It was very good, but we ended up with a lot left over because we were stuffed! I had to laugh because Robby and Tommy discussed whether they should get a 14" pizza or a 16" pizza before ordering. They settled on the 16" pizza, but I think that we would have still had left overs with a 14", because we had 3 big pieces left to take home.

Chicago: Navy Pier

Our last stop of the day was the amusements at Navy Pier. Robby, Chap, and I had to check out the advertised mirror maze on the pier.

The boys were goofing off while they waited for me to catch up to go in the maze.

Upon entering we saw this caution: The cougar might get you!

We liked the mirror maze part of it, but the best part came later...

Once again, the cougar will get you if you are not careful...

Now here was the best part of the whole maze. There was a tunnel with a catwalk and handrails right through the center of it. The wall of the tunnel was like a tube and covered in black fabric with little lights sticking through to look like stars. What made it really cool was that the wall of the tunnel was rotating very quickly around the catwalk, and it gave you this optical illusion that the catwalk you were walking on was spinning. The funny thing was that no matter how hard you tried you could not walk upright through the tunnel. No joke...

We went through it several times and for the life of me, I could not walk upright no matter how hard I tried to convince my mind that the catwalk was stationary, I would still lean over and get really dizzy. It was awesome! If it weren't for the dizzy tunnel the maze would not have been worth the money we spent!

Back outside we met up with Uncle Tommy, Aunt Doris and the girls. Jenna was having a great time walking with Doris.


Jenna showed us how she was going to put her arms in the air and scream on the big ferris wheel.

We all had a great time taking a turn around the ferris wheel.

Olivia was fascinated looking out the window at the skyline.

We had a few extra rides on our card for Navy Pier, so Robby and I took a ride on the Wave Slinger.

We couldn't figure out why no one else wanted to go with us! It was a blast!

Our last ride, or so we thought, went to Jenna on the Lighthouse bouncer. She enjoyed using her rollercoaster skill by raising her hands and screaming.

We thought we were done and then Jenna turned on the charm and convinced Daddy to take her on the carousel.

The view of the city as we were leaving Navy Pier.

And one last look back at the pier.

Thanks for coming out Tommy and Doris! We had a great time with you!

Before I close, here is a Jenna moment for you.
We were driving into the city when an ambulance passed by with it's lights flashing and sirens blaring and Jenna exclaims, "It's an ice cream bus!"