A Great Visit to the Windy City

Land Acknowledgement: This is the land of the Peoria, Bodwéwadmi (Potawatomi), Myaamia, Kaskaskia, and Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo) people. They were stewards of this land from time immemorial. Click the links above to learn more about these native people.

We rolled into Chicago around 5:00 (after a bit of a delay on the end of our AirBnB) and unpacked in our lovely "garden apartment" (aka basement :). The neighborhood (North Center) was great with lots of trees, older houses, and families. Bonus was Trader Joes was three minutes away :) After dinner and a walk around the neighborhood, we headed to bed so we could get a full day the next day.

The next day was school and work, but first we headed out to Trader Joes for staples and snacks. As we were headed there, we ran into our "neighbor" who lived next door to our AirBnB and chatted a bit with him. He had lived in Chicago for 50 years and in the same house for 47. He recommended the zoo and Riverwalk to do (as well as giving the stamp of approval for the other items on our list). With so many options of things to do in Chicago we had to narrow it down, so we went with the Shedd Aquarium, a river cruise, and the Museum of Science and Industry. As a bonus because our river cruise wasn't until later that day the kids and I decided to check out the Lincoln Park Zoo. We found out it was free and we scored a free parking spot too boot - SWEET! Because it was free and we have been to the Woodland Park Zoo many times in Seattle I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but it was great! We had a glorious sunny day and enjoyed it immensely.

After heading home for an early dinner we headed out for a 6:15 Architecture River Cruise through downtown Chicago. It was a lovely night and we got to enjoy the sunset and the lights coming on in all the buildings. It was a great way to see the city!

The next day we had plans to go to the aquarium in the afternoon so we did some school, walked to a playground that was overrun with preschoolers (so we didn't stay), but it was a lovely walk through the neighborhood. We ended up headed to the aquarium around 3:00. Unfortunately (for us) it was a free admission day for residents of Illinois so it was packed! There were some fun animals and the kids enjoyed the dolphin show and petting the sting rays. As we were leaving there ended up being a lightning/rain storm, so we ran to our car amid the downpour. We then drove through downtown Chicago and back to our place for a late dinner.

Our last day in Chicago didn't go as exactly as planned. We had hoped to get to the Museum of Science and Industry around 12:00 but Noelle had gotten bit by something and it kept getting bigger and more swollen so we decided to get it checked out at a well-rated, nearby Urgent Care. They actually got us in rather quickly and we were seen by a great PA who got some stuff to reduce the swelling and itching and an antibiotic prescription in case that didn't do the trick. After that adventure, we got back to the AirBnB at 12:30 and then with work wrap-up and lunch we didn't make it to the museum until 2:00 which meant we only had 2 hours to see this amazingly cool museum. :(

We made the most of it though and started off with the special exhibit on LEGOs which was quite cool. There was even a fun interactive part at the end and we all enjoyed playing with the LEGOs. We then raced around trying to see as much as we could and closed the museum down. We then drove around the city a bit and saw some Frank Llyod Wright houses and then parked at Millennium Park to see the "Bean" and the fun water art feature. We also found some cool playgrounds and then walked a bit of the Rierwalk. We ordered pizza from Pizzaria Due - Chicago Deep Dish and picke dit up on the wy home. The kids were less than impressed with deep dish, but Kyle and I both enjoyed it!