Monday, January 24, 2011

last round of chicago vacation.

Despite the third week of January historically being the coldest week of the year in Chicago, we actually spent a lot of time outside!  There's something about big cities that is so exciting to me! I'm glad we don't live in one- the traffic makes me absolutely INSANE- but I love being a part of the chaos for a few days!
 It was pretty chilly- but the day we spent roaming the city wasn't too bad with us all bundled up!  Being cold with my big fur hat (thanks, laney!) running around trying to get as much done and seen as possible in a small amount of time made me feel like I was in Moscow as a missionary again.   Kent and I would NOT have been good mission companions- and we definitely could NEVER do the amazing race together- but other than that I think we are the perfect match :)
We actually rode the 'L' into town and that may have been the boys' favorite part of the excursion. Being on a train that went through tunnels, underground, along the highway with cars, and above the city between buildings was amazing to them.  It was my favorite part because it was only two bucks for adults and the kiddos were free.  Just parking for a few hours in the city can be over twenty bucks!  We lucked out that our hotel had a free shuttle to take us and pick us up from an 'L' station.
There were a few spots where the train got pretty loud and Ike got scared- but Zeb enjoyed all of it.  I love my  kiddos scared faces.
They especially loved looking down the underground tunnels and waiting for trains to arrive. I love the way the metro sounds as it coming rushing into the station.
We did a lot of walking down the magnificent mile and hit the most important stores like NikeTown and the Disney store (where the rugrats each picked out their very own toy -for five dollars or less),
the Hershey Store where we got free factory hats,
and the Ghiradelli store where we got free fabulous chocolate.
We even stopped in the American Girl store but everybody got bored pretty quickly.  Then finally- when we were all exhausted and Kent was carrying both boys because they wanted it that way- Zeb exclaimed: "We finally made it! Look! there it is!! we made it to McDonalds!".  Funny thing is- McDonalds was never part of our plan and we had no idea it was at the top of the metro stairs- but we stopped and got them some nuggets anyway- because apparently we had been searching for McDonalds all day long.
The last few days of our vacation we stayed at a hotel I'd found for crazy cheap on Hotwire (if anybody is going to book a hotel in a big city- ask me about this fabulous website I found. It gives away the secrets of sites like hotwire). This Holiday Inn express was AMAZING.  Free breakfast buffet, free shuttle to the 'L', fabulous workout room, and a kiddie pool! Have you ever seen a hotel with a kiddie pool?  It was shallow, warm, and had some cool little water features. It was super fun.
It saved me while Kent was taking his eight hour test (the real reason we went to chicago) and I didn't want to go much of anywhere without him.
I did venture out with the kiddos to see the temple and check out the LDS bookstore, though. 
 And then we spent the rest of the eight hours jumping on the hotel beds like crazy monkeys.
 The Leavitts were fabulous enough to host us for the first leg of our trip and gave us a snowy adventure each night we were there.  Steve even got out his ice drill one night while we were sledding and tried to sink us in the pond. 
Have I mentioned that I love my cousins?!
I'm so sad that it's all over!  Until next time chicago!!


brittani c. said...

Somewhere along the lines, we must be related if you have Leavitts for cousins. :) How cool is that?

p.s. I think I was the last one to know about the rice trick. It changed my life.

yaya said...

I do love the city...especially Chitown. It sure looks like you had a fab time. I love the Chicago Temple. That's where we took Craig for his Endowment before his mission. I also love the bookstore. My Mom and I have gone together many times and she loves it..for a non-member it's a great place! Glad you had fun!

Jessica said...

I need your secret website for deals, especially if we hit up Chicago this summer! THANKS!

Michelle said...

You take such fabulous pictures! Chicago looks amazing.

I laughed so hard at Zeb's McDonald's comment. That is just hilarious.

The boys were so SO cute on the train.

Jodee Luke said...

Isn't Chicago wonderful? We miss it! The McD's out here just aren't the same!

HowellAZ said...

Looks like a great time was had by all! I especially love the picture of the boys looking for the metro train to pull up. Adorable!

Marcus José Moraés de Lima said...

Ai,,, gostei das fotos, Chicago e fantástico, os lugares que você e sua família freqüenta são lindos, maravilhosos, felicidades sempre, fiquem com deus, valeuuuuu...!Brasileia/Acre/Brasil

Maria said...

We definitely need the secret website too! Looks like you had a ton of fun in Chicago! I'm always impressed with your adventures : )

mytmom said...

I want the secret website. Can't believe you have kids! Wow does that mean I am old? They are darling!