Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer Vacation # 1

On Thursday, June 2nd, Josh and I celebrated the LAST day of school for this school year! It is such a nice feeling when we can send these kindergarteners off into the summer knowing we gave them all we've got! It's sad to sit back and think how many more years of teaching we have until retirement! Don't get me wrong, we both love our jobs, but how nice would it be to be retired :)

Josh and I had been planning on doing some traveling this summer-nothing crazy like to Japan (sorry Heidi) or a remote island (sorry Josh-that would rock)...but trips within driving distance and short enough to travel with our own Diva-Callie :)

Callie trying on some sunglasses with daddy!

For quite some time, we had been emailing Blake & Brittany Pawlikowski back and forth about making the 5.5 hour trip to Huntley, Illinois. After going back and forth on different dates, we realized the kick off to our summer would be best celebrated with good friends in a fun location!

Our venture began on Friday morning, June 3rd. Our goal was to depart from our house at 11:00 AM. After remembering we needed to stop, get gas, and deposit some Pampered Chef checks in the bank before leaving, we hit I90 at 11:15 AM. Callie was already asleep - PERFECT planning...begin the travels during her first nap! We figured she'd sleep for 2-2.5 hours tops! This would be good :)

15 min. into our trip and she's already asleep!

Daddy's ready to go :)

So is mommy!!

Surprise to us - Callie slept the first 3.5 hours of our trip! After stopping in Hick
Town, WI (now I only say this because the gas station there didn't have pay at the pump and they ONLY accepted cash...SERIOUSLY?! We ate at Red Robin's for supper. I tried teaching Callie how to say "YUM" so we could sing "Red Robin...YUM" - but that didn't work...maybe next time!

We arrived at Blake & Brittany's BEAUTIFUL home in Huntley, Illinois around 5:30 PM (I believe)...Poor William had an ear infection, so Britt was heading out to get him some medication. Poor guy. I'm sure he just wanted to cuddle and get lots of lovin' from mommy and daddy, and now he has to settle with MORE lovin' from us :) We had a delicious Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza from Lou Malnati's. It was so good! There were a couple places that Blake recommended, but we were only there until Sunday. I think it was at that point that we realized this needs to be an annual trip!

On Saturday, we decided on heading downtown to Chicago...a first for all of the McRae's! Blake told us that he had been to Chicago several times, but never did the "Touristy" first for him as well ;) Britt is from Illinois so she has done a few-but really, not anything near what I expected!

Callie being silly :)

Callie LOVES William so much that she has to give him HUGE hugs :)

Callie and Daddy playing with bubbles while we waited for the trolley!

I was so happy this was going to be a fun filled day :) Britt's sister borrowed her Acadia to us so all of us could ride downtown together! Boys in front, girls in back, kids in the middle...poor William!

Kids are ready to go to Chicago :)

The meds hadn't kicked in yet so his poor ears were hurting. Every time he would find a comfortable spot in his car seat, Little Miss Diva would shout out something and make him more uncomfortable. If we look at this in "future" terms...I think William was just annoyed at Callie for talking...he was only hearing "blah blah blah blah blah"

Sunscreen applied, snacks & drinks ready...Alright Chicago - here we come :)

We started out be touring Sears Tower (now it's called Willis Tower, but we'll still call it the Sear's Tower-sucks to be Willis when you know this tall building is still referred to as "Sears"...HA!) The trip up the stairs to the 103rd floor was very interesting with two kids. Callie wanted to climb the whole way! Just kidding - we took the elevator :) My ears were popping though - I can only imagine what William felt like & Callie, who was just getting over her ear infection...
Panoramic view from the top!

Chicago :)

They had these great Sky Decks that you could walk out into. In my opinion, it looked like these huge plexi glass boxes that you stood on above the city. Too much weight and those suckers were going to break! Luckily, it was made out of glass or something else...held LOTS of weight! But for someone who is afraid of heights (both Josh and I), it was kind of creepy to walk on. Beautiful views and totally worth it!

:) I love him!

The McRae's on the Sky Deck!

Pawlikowski's on the Sky Deck

So this is the view from the outside...see the little sky deck boxes?

Oh yeah -there they are :)

We also bought tickets for Chicago's "Hop on-Hop Off" tour. I am so glad we did this! We saw some amazing buildings, learned some great history, and had a GREAT time exploring Chicago with our friends :) I look at some of our photos now and wonder what the names of these buildings are, and what were those great facts we were told that I wanted to remember...

Our Family on the Trolley - I love this picture :)

With SEVERAL tourism attractions, we decided to head to Field Museum...we really wanted to see Sue - a male T-Rex who by the way is the most complete T-Rex ever found...discovered by a girl named Sue (coincidence...I think not- I'm singing that song in my head right now)...We literally had about 30 minutes in the museum.
Checking out Chicago :)

This is the 2nd EVER McDonald's!

Sleepy girl on Blake!

And now both kids are zonked out :)
(notice we pawned off our daughter)

Let me paint this picture for you!

We're on the TOP of the Trolley, headed right for the museum. The Pawlikowski's have already informed us that William had a blowout and was beginning to leak through - GREAT! I was sitting on the side holding Callie as she relaxed with her legs up on the side rails, looking at all the big buildings.
Relaxing, checking out Chicago with Mommy- pooping on her shorts!

Josh looks down at my WHITE shorts and says "I think Callie pooped"...WHAT! I don't smell anything...I didn't feel anything...oh but yes, right there on my WHITE shorts...a little piece of Callie! So now we have 2 kids with massive explosive diapers...the weather has done a complete 180 and went from hot and sunny to huge raindrops pouring down at us. We're trying to get to OFF (remember, we're heading into the museum) and everyone else that was on the upper deck wants to get out of the rain! LET US OFF PEOPLE!!! Britt & I take off running with our crap filled kids while the guys get the strollers! We get into the museum, and OF COURSE...the only bathrooms are AFTER you buy your tickets! We made it, the kids were cleaned and all was good :)
Mommy's hand with the giant gorilla

Callie's hand with the giant gorilla

The McRae's with Sue :)


This really is pretty neat!

Callie loves drinking from the fountain!

Daddy's with their kids :) were TOTALLY worth it! And my shorts are now clean :)

After we hopped back on our trolley and headed back to the car, we wanted go to Millennium Park to see the infamous "Bean" that Blake & Britt told us so much about :) Let me tell you, I wasn't sure what to expect. I was thinking it was going to be this huge kidney bean - same color and everything. I'm sure it had a great story behind it and I wanted to see it! NOPE - Wrong again! This "Bean" ROCKS! It is a ginormous bean that is made out of highly polished stainless steal plates which look like mirrors. It's great! Looking back, I was sad we didn't have a "group" shot of all of us! It wasn't until I got to our "Bean" pictures and realized WE DO HAVE ONE :) WHOA WHO!!!
The infamous BEAN!

The only group shot we have...

Callie seemed to like it!

REALLY like it!

Daddy having fun :)

McRae's & the Bean!

That evening, we headed home and called it a night! We were shot, the kids were shot (which by the way - skipped their naps, ate like crap and were hauled to and fro all day in the heat...but they were SO GOOD!!!)

Chicago Library
(after the Chicago fire, this library was built
and thousands of books were donated to get it started!)

Loved seeing this in person :)

This building was SWEET!

Another view of it

Sunday morning, Josh played in Blake's softball league. I didn't go, so I don't have much to report on that. He said it was totally different from what he's used to. Josh quotes, "I didn't play that great, but I had a game winning triple in the second game!" They told Josh he is on their roster and can play any Sunday! Blake, keep him posted on game times, I'm she'll he'll make the drive :)

In the meantime, Callie and William were having a ball playing together both with toys and in the bathtub (which didn't have water in it yet...). They also enjoyed getting back on their routine of being able to take naps and relax! For lunch we ate at Portillo's - another Chicago must have! They built this place up to be something fantastic, and holy cats were they right! This place was AMAZING! Josh had a French Dip Sandwich without the dip - because it was already soaked in the Au Juice...SO GOOD! I had a delicious Italian dish. I would definitely go there again! Lucky for me, I was able to enjoy my leftovers for lunch the next day :)

William was about to take a bath....Callie wanted to join him!

Tickle tickle tickle! Hahaha

Playing in the tub together!

I quickly learned how much Callie adores Blake! She was running up to both Blake and Britt for hugs all weekend (she's quite the lover), but she loved cuddling with Blake and being held by him :) She sensed he is one of Daddy's best friends and knew he was a keeper :)

Blake teaching Callie about the importance of a Droid!

Josh and I packed up the car and said our goodbyes...we had such a fun time with the Pawlikowski family :) We WILL make the trip again next year for sure :) This has become an annual trip that we will be so happy to make (as long as you don't mind having us every year!). One of these times we'll have to get on that boat...I forgot to sit in it!

This was a common sight this weekend - Blake with both kids :)

Hugs goodbye!

Pawlikowski's - Thank you for a GREAT weekend...WE LOVE YOU!

We love you for Chicago - WE'LL BE BACK!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Great post...even if it's 2 days after mine. ;) We loved having you all visit and you're more than welcomed any time! Can't wait to see you guys again sometime relatively soon.


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