Saturday, July 31, 2010


Some of my family happened to be travelling through Chicago the same weekend we were there, and it was so nice to be able to visit!!  We went out to eat with them.....'them' being my dad, aunt Sandy, aunt LaVaun, and my Grandma K.  Sandy and LaVaun had never met the kids, so it was wonderful for the kids to meet them!  (My brother was there too, but was sick!!! We missed him!!) 

Had to throw in a funny one of Dylan eating a lemon:

My family with Grandma K:

All of us (minus Josh, the photographer!)

Had so much fun seeing everyone!!

Transformers 3 anyone?

While in Chicago on July 16th, Transformers 3 happened to be filming!!  We got to see some cars on fire, a car hanging on a bridge, some huge piles of concrete (well, styrofoam that looked like concrete!).  No actors, unfortunately.  They showed on the news that Patrick Dempsey had been there that day filming, but we missed him!  

Can you see the car hanging over the edge?

Pretty cool...Dustin is eagerly anticipating the new movie!!!

And there's more.....

There were some amazing buildings in Chicago:

Some great street performers:

Some famous places, like Billy Goat Tavern on SNL:

Some more famous, amazing buildings, like the Trump Tower:

Fun times with family (like my aunt Sandy):

Up close and personal with the Trump tower, thanks to my dad!! It was incredible.  We walked through the lobby, the restaurant, and I checked out the bathrooms....just to look!  It was crazy....

This was walking through the lobby:

After walking VERY far to meet up with my dad and Sandy, we took the water taxi back to Union Station....aaaaahhhhh.

Two happy boys:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Riding the rails....and the Sears Tower

Thursday, July 15th, we decided to try the train to get into Chicago.....definitely the way to go!!  Kids are free in the summer, we didn't have to worry about crazy taxi drivers, and we didn't have to pay to park!  That's my kind of travelling!  

Yes, they are LOUD!

Enjoying our ride!

My favorite part is that they have a conductor (actually wearing a 'conductor's hat') come through and punch your tickets.....just like in The Polar Express!!  I had no idea...we were totally reenacting the scene from Polar was SO much fun!  

We decided to go have a look at the Sears Tower....aka the Willis Tower, it's new name.  I don't think anyone will ever call it anything other than the Sears Tower!

Awesome pic from my personal photographer, Josh:

Yep...that's how many stairs there are to the top!  Nope...we did not walk up them!

 We did, however, ride in the elevator!  


Here are the kids standing on the glass floor out over the edge of the building:  YIKES!

Wow...they are brave!!!  Or crazy?

So much worth every penny....

Monday, July 26, 2010

Continuing Chicago...

Yes, it's going to take me a few posts to get all of our Chicago trip on here!! 

After our walk through Millenium Park, we were starving, and we found Pizanos.  Perfect (if you know my children) !!  It was a typical Chicago pizza restaurant....DELICIOUS!  

We then headed on a 'short' walk to Buckingham Fountain...key word is short.  Someone told us it wasn't very far...hahaha....joke was on us!  We made it though, and it was worth it.  Beautiful, huge, famous, fountain.  

I believe that was the end of Wednesday.  After making it back to our car we drove to our hotel in Itasca, where my symposium was being held, and found our room, relaxed, and swam in the pool.  We were all a little exhausted!  

The next day I had classes all day, so Josh took the kids on a trip to Lincoln Park.  It sounded like they loved it!  Did you know it doesn't cost a thing to go to the zoo there?  What??? Free, in Chicago?  Never would have known. So glad they went!

Here they are in the car being goofy....I love this pic!

Lincoln Park Zoo

They got to see polar bears!!!  

The kids with the skyline...lovin' it!
This one just makes me laugh!!! 

Well, that's all for now....

Saturday, July 24, 2010


We took our family vacation to Chicago this summer....thanks to NAWGJ (National Association of Women's Gymnastics Judges).  We had our national symposium there this July, so instead of going by myself, we decided to all go!  It was awesome!  The kids had never been on a that in itself was exciting to them!  Here are the boys:  ( I didn't get one of Josh, but I promise he was there!)

Me and Jo:

All in all, the plane ride was decent. A pretty rough landing, but it didn't bother the kids.  Only me!  We were fine though, and the kids were so happy!

Our 'red hot chili pepper' rental car:  Jodee calls it this because of her Mimi's own little red hot chili pepper car!  We had fun..and it got GREAT gas mileage! The kids were not used to being so close to each other, but it was perfect for the 5 days we were there.

Our first pic of the Chicago skyline:

First stop: Millenium Park!  It was incredible.  Here is the stage--they had a live orchestra playing here...beautiful.

Ahhh....the 'bean'.  I think it has a real name, but most people know it as The Bean.  A huge bean shaped mirror, basically.  We had fun with it!

Our family reflection:

A nice lady offered to take our pic for us....then nicely asked for a donation.  

This was pretty cool too (haha..pun intended!)  They had a huge water area, where it looked like the picture was spitting water was nice to get cooled off!

Too bad they didn't have their swimsuits!

That is not even all of day's going to take me a while to get to all 5 days!  We had fun...I learned a lot,  and we got to have a nice vacation!  Who could ask for more?