It was great to see my sister and her family. She was so gracious to let us stay at their house for the week. Her daughters let Terry and I sleep in their bed, Maddie was in the pack-n-play in our room, Nathaniel slept down in the basement, and Caleb was going to sleep on a mattress on the floor in the boy's room. The first night, Caleb woke up crying at about 2 in the morning. My brother-in-law went in the room and brought him to us. (I wasn't awake for any of this) Caleb woke up sad and frightened. He didn't know where he was, or where we were. So, we ended up putting the mattress on the floor in our room. We were all snug in the room for the week, but it all went well.
We left at 6:00 A.M Monday morning. We made 2 stops for food. Breakfast was at Perkins (YUM) and Lunch was at a Truck Stop. We only made one other stop, and that was to get gas in a city just about 15 minutes from our house. We got to my sister's house at about 5:00. It seemed like the drive went quickly, and the kids were amazingly happy. We really didn't have any major issues or crying spells. I will say I am happy that we have a portable DVD player. We did watch a couple movies on the way out there, and a couple on the way home. Monday night we just hung out at their house and chit chatted. The kids had a fun time connecting and playing together. Suppertime! Caleb, and his two cousins. The one in the hat (Z.) is 6 years old, and his younger brother (E.) will be 3 in September. Caleb and E. are only 3 1/2 months difference in age.
Here is some of the clan! My sister's daughter, E. is the one in the white shirt, and she is 5.
E. and Maddie. E. was excited to have Maddie come. She loved playing with her. E. is a very girly girl, and so is Maddie, so they got along great.
When the kids were out playing in the back yard, a bird decided to nail Nathaniel with his deadly weapon.
I am sure that the bird knew Nathaniel was a hunter (or he does with his Dad) so, the bird fought back. ~LOL He did have his camouflage hat on. I thought it was pretty funny. Nathaniel wasn't impressed, to say the least.
Tuesday, we slept in a little bit~ like 7:00 A.M. ~ and just hung out in the morning. We decided to go out to eat for lunch. We went to Applebee's. Then, we drove to Aurora to the train yards to watch trains. Caleb and I took a cat nap. Then, we went to a park to play for awhile.
It was fun to just spend some time together as a family. Next we went to look for a swim suit for Terry. Can you believe that Walmart in Illinois does NOT carry swim suits in August? That is crazy! I think they should sell them year round! People travel in the winter, go to the gym/hotel, or other things. That was silly. In the evening, we just visited with my sister and her family. I didn't feel well that evening, so I am glad things were low key.
Wednesday, we drove to Chicago and went to the Shedd's World Aquarium. I love this place! I went there when I was in High School, and I loved it then! We saw so many great looking fish, and other aquatic animals.
What a big fish!! (and what a big baby bump!!)
We saw the dolphin show, but I will say I think it wasn't as great as I remember it to be.
We ate lunch at the Shedd's restaurant: Soundings. We had a great view of the city of Chicago from up there. The prices of the meals were spendy there, but we didn't have cash on hand to buy from the vendor's outside of Shedd's.
The Dolphins were really fun to watch! We were amazed at how fast they swim! I read on the Shedd's website that the Oceanarium will be in construction for 9 months starting in September and be closed. So, I am really thankful that we went when we did!
This crab was crazy looking. He even had the Ocean animal life growing on him, as well as it was growing on the rocks in the tank. I am not sure what it was. It was fun to watch him, though.
These are some Sea Horses. What amazing creatures!
We also watched a Dive Show, where a diver went in with a pool of fish and talked about what they did, liked, how they responded to things in the ocean, etc. It was a great experience, and fun to learn more. The kids all liked our day there, but they were tired when we were done. When we left, we were walking on the sidewalks. We noticed two squirrels chasing each other, and it was so comical. Then, the one squirrel took off, and one was left behind. So, we decided to feed something to the squirrel. He got pretty close to Nathaniel, and I think he would have got a little closer, but Caleb made some sounds and got out of the stroller.
A seagull joined in on the snack time, and I think they wanted to have a fight over the cereal. It was a fun time, and we enjoyed the interaction.
Next, we stopped at the Children's Garden, located near the Shedd's Aquarium. The kids had a great time playing in here. It was a "yuppie park" as Terry called it. I thought it was interesting and fun.
Madelyn loved the rocks.
The floor under the jungle gym was squishy, like a soft foam. There were some planets, spherical shapes, that the kids played with or on, too. Maddie really liked playing with the rocks. After the park time, we decided to head back. We did a little sight seeing, then got back on the road for my sister's house. We noticed we needed gas, so we pulled into a gas station. $4.47 a gallon in Chicago!!! Isn't that terrible? We only got 4 gallons to get us back. That was a ridiculous amount to pay for gas! My sister said Chicago is the most expensive for gas anywhere in the state. I believe it! We had a late supper Tuesday night...it was about 8:00. The kids were very tired from a long day.
I will write more about our trip over the next few days, and share photos that we took. I didn't want to write it all in one, because there is so much to share with you. So, stay tuned to what happened next. :)
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