Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chicago - Day 1 Part 2


I ran an easy 4 miles this morning on the treadmill and then headed to the grocery store, seriously out of everything.  Luckily we don't need much since we are heading home in 10 short days!  Crazy how fast it has flown by, although there were days where it couldn't go fast enough.  

I shared the first part of our weekend trip to Chicago here, so as promised here it the 2nd part of our day.  

After our boat ride down the Chicago river my Uncle Tom grabbed a police car and took us to meet his wife  Debbie and their daughter Dani at the Shedd Aquarium.  We basically were escorted all over Chicago like we were something special, it was amazing!  

The aquarium was packed and the line to just get in wrapped all the way around the courtyard.  I would guess it was at least an hour wait.  Since we knew we were going to be seeing a few of the museums while we were there we bought the Chicago City Pass.  The pass included the Willis Tower Sky Deck, Shedd Aquarium and the Museum of Science and Industry, which were all places we had planned on visiting.  We realized when we got the aquarium that Debbie and Dani weren't going to be able to by-pass the line like us and we sort of panicked.  Jess being Mr. Resourceful asked the friendly girl behind the City Pass booth what our options would be and she gave us 2 free wristbands for the aquarium!  FREE!  He walked back over to me in shock, he couldn't believe our luck, I couldn't either.  Honestly every person we ran into while we were in Chicago was over the moon friendly, such a great city.  

After the aquarium we all headed down to Navy Pier.  As soon as we walked in we saw a Thomas train and the girls were so excited to go for a ride.  

They also had to get some ice cream, I somehow resisted.  I honestly do not know how I walked out of there without a cone myself.  Self control at its finest.  

While we were at Navy Pier the girls caught eye of the Easter Bunny and actually requested they get to sit with him.  SHOCKED!  I jumped at the chance to get them in line and have their photo taken.  They never want their picture taken with Santa or the Easter Bunny.  It turned out pretty cute considering I had no chance to do hair or put on a pretty Easter dress.  

Another picture of a picture, boom! 

While we were doing the pictures Debbie went to get us some popcorn.  I am thinking regular movie style popcorn in the red and white bag, you know what I am talking about.  Ya, I was wrong, this popcorn was insane!  It is from Garrett's and she bought us 3 different styles, traditional butter, Chicago Mix and Chocolate Covered Caramel Crisp, dying.  We were inhaling the stuff on our drive home Sunday night, now I have to learn to live without it.

It was finally time to meet up with Tom, his other oldest daughter Megan and her husband Matt.  Tom and his family took us for traditional Chicago style pizza at Gino's East in downtown Chicago.  UH-MAZING.  I know I am not going to be able to go back to regular pizza, Chicago style pizza is hands down the BEST pizza I have ever had, there is no debate.  Don't bother trying to sway me, we eat a lot of pizza!  

Even better is this is the same pizza place he took my mom when she was a kid.  I still can't believe how much I loved this pizza.  Yesterday I was looking up Chicago style pizza recipes and what sets apart Chicago style from other styles of pizza, it is becoming an obsession.  

After dinner we headed over to Tom and Debbie's house to hang out and spend some more time together.  Jess, I and the girls called it a night around midnight, said our goodbyes and started to head back to hotel.  I am so glad I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with my family and they had the chance to meet Jess and my girls.  I cannot go on enough about how gracious and sweet they were to my little family, it was like we had known each other our whole lives.  Chicago is an amazing city, but it was the people who really made our day so wonderful!    

Stay tuned for Part 3 tomorrow!  

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