One of those things is occasional weekends in Chicago. Until we took our children to Florida last summer, Chicago was their favorite place in the world. Even after experiencing Disney World, the Windy City still ranks quite high on their list.
There were still things we had not done during all our previous trips, things that felt so iconically Chicago that we could not forgive ourselves if we didn't experience them while we lived just hours away.
So last weekend, we loaded the boys up and made the drive one last time.
First stop was Giordano's for some deep-dish Chicago style pizza. We were so hungry by the time we got there, we devoured the entire thing before it even occurred to me to get a picture of the amazing, cheesy, 10,000 calorie goodness.
Early the next morning, breakfast consisted of doughnuts. Not just any doughnuts, but the amazing doughnuts at Firecakes.
While the boys ate giant vanilla glazed doughnuts (Duck happily eating his cinnamon gluten free doughnut from Do-Rite Bakery), Hubster and I enjoyed more gourmet flavors. Pineapple-bacon-maple, Meyer lemon, peanut butter mousse.
We munched happily on fluffy sugary deliciousness, enjoying early morning next to the Bean in Millennium Park.
After two meals of that proportion, it was time to walk all those carbs off.
So we headed over to The Art Institute of Chicago.
We had been debating about spending the morning here versus Navy Pier. However, our children may be the exception to most children and they are not huge fans of most rides and both Monkey and Bug were feeling a little too old for a children's museum. So when all the votes were in, the decision was made to spend the morning among Monet, Van Gogh, and Picasso.
Watching Bug in an art museum reminds me of what an old soul he is. He carefully examined the art, often wandering off by himself to look at paintings. He became excited when he found ones he recognized.
Monkey, on the other hand, was difficult to impress. He claimed to have already seen the art and could not be convinced that there was any real difference between seeing it during class at school and now standing in front of the original.
After wandering the expansive Art Institute, lunch consisted of Chicago dogs with all the fixings.
After that, it was time to catch the "L" up to Wrigley Field for a Cubs game.
The boys were very impressed by the train system. We road the Red Line, which has an underground portion and an elevated portion. They enjoyed their first subway experience (even with me anxiously hovering behind them to make sure they were well away from the tracks.)
The ball park was beautiful! The ivy covered walls and red sign were just as wonderful as I expected them to be. Even though our seats were near the top, we still had a beautiful view.
Most of my experiences with pro sports events have not been positive, due to crowd behavior and such. Our afternoon at Wrigley Field was wonderful. All the fans were great, the stadium was beautiful, and the game was great. (Cubs won!)
After riding the L back downtown, we let the boys play in Crown Fountain in Millennium Park while we snacked on popcorn. Every time we go to Chicago, we never come prepared to play in the fountain, but every time we end up doing it anyways. And it starts the same way, with me telling them to not get their clothes wet.
That always works out well.
After walking miles over Chicago, everyone slept great that night.
The next day, we met some friends at our children's favorite museum, the Museum of Science and Industry. We have been to this museum several times over the years, and it never gets old. Each time there is more to explore, things we haven't seen. As the boys get older, they also are able to get more out of the exhibits.
Although the Tesla coil scares them all, every single time.
It was a short trip, but we did so many things, things we had been meaning to do for years. I'm not sure when we will make it back to Chicago, but we will have enough good memories of the