Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fourth of July

This post is only 20 days late.
For the Fourth, we went downtown to watch the Navy Pier fireworks.  We set up on a hill just off the Lakeshore trail.  It was a pretty sweet setup.
We got there early so we could find a good spot and enjoy the unseasonably cool weather.
I'm not sure what is going on here, but it makes me smile.
We stopped at the Portillo's in the city and got ourselves some very delicious takeout.  Mmm...burgers and Italian beef.
The kids played with some cars.
Albert thought that was pretty cool.
Then Tyler broke out the glowing frisbee.  
Super exciting!  (I'm not sure what he was actually saying but I imagine, "Fore!")
We finally tried out Portillo's milkshakes.  They have a specialty, a chocolate cake shake, that I've heard lots about and really wanted to try before we leave Chicago. I also find Asher's stance/dance in the background very amusing.
Smushed picture.
More spread out picture.
We may have killed some time by taking pictures.  This was the best one of the lot.
Most of them were more like this one.  I love all that is going on here: Elias talking, Addilyn digging some hair out of her mouth, Asher staring off somewhere, and Albert trying to get Asher's hand off his shoulder.  Awesomeness.
Our set up from the top of the hill.
Later on we broke out the bubble gun.  It was quite a hit.
Albert thought it was the best thing ever!  He would make this face every time I pointed it in his direction.  So fun!

As for the actual fireworks, they were okay.  We were set up a little off (due to them moving the barge they were shooting off of just before starting the show) so we had to scramble to be able to see once things got going.  Honestly, the rest was so enjoyable, that the fireworks were a bit of an afterthought for me.  Tyler and I even enjoyed biking our crew through the insane crowds that dispersed through the city after the show ended.  It was like biking through a puzzle.  All-in-all, it was a pretty enjoyable evening.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Epic Fail

A couple of weekends ago, our family embarked on an epic adventure.
The trip had its ups...
And its downs.
It started out with more of an "up."  We took the Amtrak train to Milwaukee.  We've always wanted to take the train somewhere because we thought the kids, Asher especially, would really enjoy it.
The train was quite the hit.  They really enjoyed being able to look out the windows and watch everything go by.  Having never been on an Amtrak train before, I didn't really know what to expect. It was a pretty enjoyable way to travel.  The seats reminded me of airplane seats, only more spacious and a little more comfortable.  We were traveling on a Saturday morning so we could spread out which was nice.

Here comes the "down" part of our trip.  The Chicago air show is Tyler and the kids' favorite part of summer.  Unfortunately, it's held in mid-August which puts it a week after we move to Iowa.  Stink.  Luckily, Tyler saw that Milwaukee was having a very similar (but maybe not quite as spectacular) air show in June so we thought it would be a great way to cross a couple things of our Chicago bucket list (Amtrak and an air show, double score!).
By the way, Albert did get to leave his stroller during this trip; I just don't have a lot of photographic evidence of those excursions.
We took the train to downtown Milwaukee and then walked a couple of miles to the beach for the festivities.  Unfortunately, when we got there it was very foggy.  It was so foggy that it was unsafe for the planes to fly.  That meant we had to find some entertainment while we waited for the fog to burn off.  Elias resorted to watching some kids play a pick-up game of badminton.
We waited and waited.
Some were less than thrilled with all the waiting. It didn't help that it was 50-60 degrees out and that the beach we were seated at was officially closed to swimmers because of an e coli issue.  
The kids seemed to enjoy playing in the sand nonetheless.  They dug around and buried things and generally had a grand ole time.  This just shows me that a real beach trip (where it's warm and they could actually go in the water) is a must before we move.
Anyway, we killed time and waited for the fog to go away for over 4 hours, until after 3 when the organizers finally gave up and cancelled it for the day.  Stink.  We were beyond bummed.

We were a super grumpy group as we headed to find some dinner and get back to the train.  Luckily a decent cheesesteak (apparently the best one outside of Philadelphia) and a long walk seemed to make things ever so slightly better.  By the time we got to the train, we were even able to look vaguely cheerful as we posed with our train home.
So all-in-all, we were able to cross one thing off our list which is something I guess.  And now we just have to find a time to come back for another Chicago air show (which are really the best anyway).