Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Trip to Chicago Part 3: The Exciting Conclusion (many pictures)

On Monday we went to Six Flags Great America. That's the one awesome amusement park in the Chicagoland area. We used to go there quite a bit in my adolescent and teenage years. The park is even bigger now than it used to be. Knowing we would be going here is what made us get season passes to our local Six Flags park (Six Flags America- random huh? It's just America, not Great like Great America! and it really is but anyway...) With our season passes to our park (only $49.99!) we can get into basically all the rest of the Six Flags parks (all much more expensive for 1 day admission). And our season parking pass got us free up close parking at Great America, what a deal. Along with our passes we got coupons for free bring a friend days and it included one coupon we could use at a different park so we got three free tickets for our family people.
We had a fun time at the park. The whole family watching the kids so Bob and I could go on a few rides together thing didn't work out as well as I had hoped due to the very, very long lines on a lot of rides and some general crankiness. That and no one else wanted to go on the water park rides. Kiree is quite clingy, but Kathy and Rusty did a great job with her. Kiree got snugly with Kathy when there was no mommy around. Grammy took both kids while the rest of us waited to go on the superman ride. It took way, way too long to get on (long line + stopped for a while due to a problem). Grammy was then done for the day as far as kid watching went. I was happy that I got to go on a few of the waterpark rides with Bob though as there are several at our park we can't go on since you can't go on in singles.
Jaide is very close to 42" so we tried a trick our friend Nina did when we were kids. We put Jaide's hair up in a half ponytail on the top of her head to add a bit to her height. Jaide went on the 42" water ride with me and then with Bob with no problem. She loved it! Jaide also loved going on a little rollercoaster with me and a big rollercoaster with Bob (the whizzer- twice!)

If you look real close you can see Jaide and I in line for the little roller coaster.
We ended up staying until the park closed.

Tuesday we went down to the Taste of Chicago.
Taste of Chicago is the big food festival in Grant Park near the lake.

They close down several streets and different restaurants from around the city set up in booths and offer some of their signature dishes. We all went down together and then split up. We had some pizza from Lou Malnati's, Home Run Inn, and one more that I can't remember. We had chicken satay with peanut sauce and cucumber salad. We got a roasted corn on the cob that Jaide and Bob shared. We also had a slice of turtle cheesecake from Eli's and some strawberry cheesecake flavored frozen yogurt in a waffle cone. If that sounds like a lot of food, well, the portions aren't enormous and we shared everything between the three of us. We got a few free things as well. That's the other thing you do at Taste of Chicago- get free samples/coupons from different companies that come out. They also have music performances, and other random stuff (like a ferris wheel) which we never really did and didn't do this time either. We did watch some of the street performers like the bronze cowboy and the leopard print unitard wearing contortionist.
Wednesday morning we hung out around the hotel. Rathy (Kathy and Rusty) and Mamber (Mick and Amber) came over to go swimming in our hotel pool. I really wish we had gotten a picture of the girls in the pool. They were so cute. Little Grandma took us all out to eat that evening at a Greek restaurant. I had salmon phyllo which I thought was pretty good. Jaide wasn't too impressed with her meal- no kids menu :( Jaide wouldn't even try to flaming cheese- they put the fire out. I thought it was pretty good too. We made lots of jokes with Kathy about "you don't eat no meat!?! That's okay, I make-a you lamb" She ended up having a salad.

Thursday we checked out and drove down to Lincoln Park Zoo. My first job ever was as an education intern at Lincoln Park Zoo the summer after I graduated high school. That was the summer they were filming Return to Me which was shot partly at the zoo (not while I was around sadly). We met up with our old friend Nancy who was also in town visiting her family.

Lincoln Park Zoo has a "farm in the zoo" which has cows, goats, chickens, and other farm animals. Some people have thought it was odd when we've talked about seeing cows at the zoo, but they're there! Jaide, Grammy, and Kathy went in and petted the goats.

We got to see a lot of my favorites including the giraffes. The giraffes were near these meerkats Bob is imitating. It was a little bit chilly, good thing we brought the red blanket since we forgot to bring any jackets for any one at all- silly us!

At about dinner time we headed back down town. Rathy wanted to go back to the Taste and get some more food. Nancy also had to head back down to the loop to catch the L. We decided to head down since the Art Institute was free admission after 5pm. We didn't end up staying too long though since we did need to get going and it was pretty crazy down town. July 3rd is when Chicago has it's big fireworks show on the lakefront. There were way, way too many people down there. At least not all of them decided to go to the Art Institute. We headed back to Lincoln Park to get the car and we were on our way. It took us a bit to figure out how to get onto the main part of Lake Shore Drive but we finally did. We drove by tons and tons of people camped out along the lake front for the fireworks. We managed to figure out how to get to I80 and went on our merry way. We stopped somewhere in Ohio (sooner than we thought we would but were like totally out of gas) and just decided to stay at the nearby Super 8 and get some sleep. We weren't sad that we did. It did make the next day a longer drive, but we still managed to get home by 8:30pm. On the ride home Jaide entertained herself by taking lots (and lots and lots) of pictures. We'll have to post a slideshow of them sometime, some are kind of funny.

1 comment:

kathy said...

i love the pictures!