Yesterday, we spent the first day of our vacation week in Chicago. Gabe has always begged to ride on a train and so we decided to take the train into the city and enjoy some time at the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum.
We were in the car by 5:45 am - yes, I said AM!! - and had the joy of watching the sun rise over the horizon.
The kids were thrilled ot spend time on the train and actually did very well for the hour and a half ride. Much better than expected.
Once in the city, we walked about 2 1/2 miles to the aquarium. In hindsight, if you have a long trek and small legs along for the walk, opt to walk on the way back instead of on the way there. By the time we arrived at the aquarium we had some rather cranky children!
We tried to make the walk more interesting by stopping at Macy's (Marshall Fields). We saw all of their Christmas decorations, looked at their famous window displays and drooled over the toy section. We also stopped at Millenium Park where we had our picture taken at Cloud Gate and watched an artist work on a painting.
We finally made it to the aquarium (and did I mention that we had gorgeous weather? Almost 70 degrees in November!) and received our free admission. The hi-lights were watching the fish get fed by someone actually swimming in the tank - with sharks and giant turtles and eels! - and a very busy octopus.
Now this octopus was remarkable! Apparently, he very rarely puts on a show. But we got lucky. He came right up against the glass and spread out all of his legs. We were able to see his mouth and watch as he swam around.
After the aquarium, we went on to the Field Museum and again gained free admission. We looked at a fair amount of the museum and enjoyed seeing the diversity of God's creation.
Once we finished it was finally time to start home. Because we all had exhausted legs, we opted to ride the bus to the train station. We had our snacks and sat in a comotose manner for the ride back to the van. Around 8pm we decided that we really needed to get some dinner, so we stopped at the first place we could find - which happened to be a Super WalMart. We gathered bread, meat bites, cheese and cough medicine and headed towards the lines. Suddenly a teenaged girl raced past us at full speed. We thought perhaps she was playing a joke on some friends, hoping to sneak up on them. But then two WalMart employees came running after her and caught her just by the door. She had met up with two friends there and all three were taken into a separate room. Our guess is that she was trying to shoplift. It was an adventurous end to our day in the city!