Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Kind of Town...Chicago!

Summer is quickly coming to a close, but not before making our promised trip to Chicago! We boarded the Hiawatha Amtrak at 8:15am and made our way to Union Station for a fun-filled day of adventures in Chicago.

Cole anxiously awaited the train pulling into the station...Jim and I were both a little nervous because of his less than stellar behavior lately, but Cole shocked us today. He was so well behaved, even with a very short nap in his stroller after visiting the Shedd.

After arriving in Chicago, we grabbed some coffee and pumpkin bread and made our way to the lakefront- it was a much longer walk than I had anticipated, but well worth it. We made a quick stop in Grant Park to check out Buckingham Fountain and a beautiful park with some crazy people sculptures. Then made our way to the Shedd Aquarium.

We arrived to a ridiculously long line and came to realize it was Free Chicago Day...we didn't think Cole would survive the estimated hour wait, but then we were approached by a Shedd worker who proceeded to tell us there was a stroller entrance around back. I could have kissed that man when I realized there was NO WAIT and we were pushed right to the front. We swiped the credit card for a Total Access Pass giving us access to the whole kit and caboodle.

After realizing we had a 1pm movie and a 2pm water show to check out, we quickly changed our departure time and got ready to explore! The movie was a 15 minute trailer from Ice Age in 4D...Cole didn't like wearing the glasses, but the seats rumbled and shook and we were doused with dinosaur boogers (water) when one of them sneezed. It even smelled like flowers when they were running through the fields. So COOL!

We all loved watching the belugas and dolphins leaping through the air and dancing at the Aquatic Show, but watching the story of the rescued Airdale dog brought me to tears...maybe I'm still emotional about Willie. Petting the sting rays and bringing home our very own stuffed "Ray" was another favorite for Cole.

By 3:30pm we were heading back for our long walk back to Union Station to head to MKE. Cole took a quick nap, but woke up anxiously awaiting the train ride back home. He was such a sweet, sweet boy...

The train is in his line of vision...

All Aboard!

I'm not clicked in!!!

We finally arrived!

You've got to be opened two hours earlier. Thank goodness for stroller entrances!

Chillin' in the dugout

There were thousands of these glowing fish!

Beluga whales from below...

Cole's Yellow Submarine

Petting starfish and other creatures


These itty-bitty jellies were awesome

What a view for lunch!

getting our wiggles out before heading back inside

Yes, "Baby" joined us for our day in Chicago

Pretending to ride the East Australian Current...just like Nemo's Dad 
Squirt..."Focus, Dude...!"

We found NEMO!!! 

The depths of the ocean...incredible

Big a*% shark

sting rays

Nemo found his daddy...Cole was thrilled!

Waiting for the Aquatic Show to start

Dolphin dancing across the water

clapping beluga

These are incredibly smart mammals

they even dance

Waiting for a sting rays...

Cole finally held his hand still enough for one to come close enough

"I love it!!!" That line was worth every penny spent!

Up close and personal with "Ray"

Passing the time on the train ride home...
What an amazing day!!

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