May 29, 2009

Final Days In Chicago Pics

The day after the wedding we met up with Rob's family and headed to the Shedd Aquarium. We loved that we had family along to enjoy the day. The Shedd Aquarium was very fun, it was a grand opening day for one of the exhibits so I think the crowds were a bit higher than usual. There were so many people in the aquarium it made it difficult to get around and see the exhibits, but we made the best of it and the kids enjoyed it. Once we left the aquarium we went to Rob's cousin, Julie and her husband Dave's house to enjoy a spaghetti dinner that Aunt Rosemary prepared for all the family. We loved spending time with everyone. The next day we gathered at Rob's cousin's, Michelle and her husband Tony's house for a cook out and a day of fun and games. We really enjoyed a fun day to hang out. Later in the day we drove a couple of blocks to a harbor area on Lake Michagan. It was cold and windy but we loved every minute of it. The water was beautiful, there were amazing rocks and a lighthouse, although I am not a scary movie fan, they told us that the light house on this harbor was used for the movie The Ring.

A couple of pics from The Shedd Aquarium

Pics from the cook out at Tony and Michelle's. They have a lot of toys, the kids LOVED driving the golf cart around. My favorite pic is of Sophie driving, she was heading toward a fence, Rob and Derek looked a bit worried, Rob was helping her redirect her path a bit, and Sophie was a cool as a cucumber.

Here we are at the Harbor

This was after our Memorial Day Brunch with Rob's family. They are a generously kind bunch, very respectful of each other, very hospitable. Aunt Rose and Uncle Jim did such a good job raising their kids. We left for the airport right after this pic.

May 27, 2009

Chicago Day 2, The Wedding

The reason our family made the trip to Chicago was to watch Rob's cousin Jim get married to Lisa. After leaving what we thought was in plenty of time from the Museum of Science and Industry we walked into the hotel about 45 minutes before the wedding was set to begin. We got ready in a hurry and made it down to the ballroom with plenty of time to spare. The bus took longer to arrive at the bus stop than we had thought, then Friday afternoon traffic was pretty rough, once we got to the Blue Line Train we made good time.

Here are the kids sitting at our table before the wedding started.

This was the table marker, a mini bottle of wine. The front table outside the room held a bottle for each group/guest, you read on the label where you were to be seated.

Lisa was just handed off to Jim in this pic, everyone is still standing.

After the wedding the photographer had the wedding party head outside for some sweet light. I grabbed a couple of shots out there too ; ) In this pic are Rob's cousins, Julie and Tracy with their cute toddling babies.

Here is the bride and groom, looking lovely and handsome.

Jack walked with me outside so I grabbed a couple of pics of him before we went back inside.

We went in and grabbed the other two and went back outside so I could get a couple of pics of them in their wedding attire.

Here is Rob with his Uncle Joe (Elaine's brother) and Cousin Tom

Baby Nick

Baby Ben, both babies were in tuxes, they were led into the wedding by their grandpa with the wedding party in a wagon.

Rob's Cousin Julie and her husband Dave with their baby Ben. Cute family. Thanks Julie and Dave for being such great hosts.

Here is Rob with cousins Jim and Tom who are brothers. This is the day after the wedding after the big breakfast gathering.

Jim and Lisa the day after their wedding. They are in Hawaii right now.

There are SO many people missing from these pics. Not least of all Rob's cousin Michelle who was the wedding coordinator. She did a great job, she was only still for seconds at a time and I didn't realize that I hadn't gotten her pic on this day. This was the only day I wish I would have had my work camera.

It was a beautiful wedding. We are so grateful that we were able to see Rob's family.

Up next...The Shedd Aquarium

May 26, 2009

Chicago Trip Day 2 Museum Visit

I will have two posts for day two. This first one is from our trip to the Museum of Science and Industry. The second will be pics from the wedding of Jim (Rob's cousin) and Lisa.
Our main draw to the Museum of Science and Industry was to see the Harry Potter Exhibition. Within 5 minutes of purchasing our plane tickets to Chicago I was purchasing our tickets to the Harry Potter Exhibit. This was a big deal for these Potter fans. We woke early to catch the shuttle to the train to the bus..for our 9:45 entry to the HP Exhibit. No pictures were allowed in the HP Exhibit, but before I knew that and before the actual entry to the exhibit area I got a great pic. The pic is not so great ; ) but what is in it was a big highlight. The woman who welcomed us asked for a couple of volunteers, Jack - always ready to volunteer for anything was the second child picked and was sorted by the sorting hat. He was sorted, proudly I might add, to the Gryffindor House. He is so very brave and I have said that before dozens of times on my blog, I am glad that even though it was just for fun, that he was put in Gryffindor, the bravest of all houses. My brave boy Jack.

We wished that the exhibit was a bit longer, but what we saw was very fun and exciting to see the props and costumes from the movie. I was amazed at how little Harry, Hermione and Ron were in the first couple of films. Here is a pic of the group after the exhibit.

The museum was amazing. We were there most of the day and still didn't get to see much of it. Here are some fun pics of Derek along the way.

Some Chicago memorabilia. Blues Brothers, Wind and Hanging Laundry.

One of the most spectacular exhibits was the U505 Submarine. The actual U505 Submarine was within the museum. We paid the on tour guide fee and went inside for the tour. It was so fun to see the inside, and the tour guide really made the tour fun and entertaining. I wish I would have taken a couple of pics but we were crammed inside and the lighting was pretty dim most of the time, like it would have been if the sub was under water. Here are some pictures of the sub exhibit area.

Jack was having his afternoon low ; ) All of our feet were killing us by this point. We packed our comfy tennis shoes, but we had been walking and standing for what seemed two days straight at this point. We all felt what Jack looked like, but we kept on and still enjoyed several more hours at the museum.

Playing some sort of submarine game here.

Another very cool exhibit was the Coal Mine Exhibit. We waited in line for this about 20-30 minutes, but this was free as part of our admission, no extra $ needed which was great. Our Coal Miner was John and he took us in an old klanky elevator down below the museum to the coal mine. He told us about how coal mining was done back in the 1800's up to current day. He was also in character which was fun. We rode on a coal train and saw a lot of the machinery in action. At the end of the tour we entered this station looking room and he asked who was the luckiest person in the room...ofcourse Jack again raised his hand first and so that meant he got the extra chair.

There was a chicken hatching exhibit. One side of the exhibit is filled with eggs that are hatching or about to. It kind of looks like the baby chicks are dead, but they aren't. They poke there little beaks through the shell and rest, which is the theme. Once they get the shell cracked open they are worn out so they sleep or rest, then get up and move around a bit before resting again.

The other side of this exhibit is where the hatchlings are moved to and they get to hang out while we oogle over how cute they are.

This is a weather exhibit. Sophie was under a cloud mist.

Here she is in a Space Suit.

Jack is driving a rover on Mars.

And ofcourse I had to get a pic of Ron's car from HP.

We loved Chicago so much and this museum exceeded our hopes for how wonderful a museum could be. We would definately return with or with the HP exhibit.

Coming up next...Jim and Lisa's wedding.

May 25, 2009

1st Day in Chicago

Rob and I along with our kiddo's headed to Chicago last week for a family wedding. I was a guest not a worker, which was so fun in and of itself at the wedding, but I did try and pull out my little point and shoot as often as I could to document our special family trip. These pics are from our first day in Chicago. We flew out of Abilene at 5:50am which put us in Chicago at 9:30 am and a full day ahead of us. We checked into our hotel by the airport which was the same location as the wedding. After making a game plan for the day we headed to the front of the hotel where the hotel shuttle took us back to the O'Hare airport where we would catch the blue line train and start our adventure. We took the train ride which was about 45 minutes to a bus stop where we grabbed a bus for a 15 minute ride to the Navy Pier. First stop was lunch at Bubba Gump's. Then we walked around the pier and looked at all the shops. Derek bought a Bears cap in the shopping area. Then we took a taxi to the Sears Tower. We only were able to go to the 99th floor as the 103rd floor was having some work done. After the Sears tower we walked to the Blue Line that took us back to the airport where we caught the shuttle to the hotel. On our first day we travelled by car, plane, shuttle, train and bus. Came close to taking a boat ride at the pier but decided to wait for the next time we head out to Chicago for that fun!

Derek with his new hat at the Navy Pier.

Here we are on the Blue Train. The boys are looking dazed here. We had been up since 3:30am and were feeling the tiredness.

These pics were taken at the Sears Tower. Chicago is a finalist for the 2016 Olympics so there is much ado about that throughout the town.

There was also much ado about Obama, everywhere we went there were lifesize stands, mugs, candy bars, posters...Yes We Can was a plenty. I did have to coerce this shot ; )

More pics on our following days to come. Our Harry Potter Exhibition, with Jack being, wedding, family fun.