Thursday, June 13, 2013


When we first learned we were moving to St. Louis, we took out a map to see what else was nearby.  (Not that St. Louis wasn't enough.)  We found we were only 4.5 hours away from Chicago!  I was so excited to be one step closer to my dream of seeing the Windy City and meeting Oprah.

Jeff's brother, Brian, is doing an internship this summer in Chicago and I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to make my dreams come true.  Last Friday I loaded the kids up in the car and told Jeff to have fun studying for the boards, sucka.  We arrived at Brian and his wife Mani's apartment just in time for dinner. 

Deep dish pizza in Chicago.  Check that off my bucket list.  Members of Chicago's arena football team sat at the table next to us.  They were huge and they ate lots.  The waitress gave them a big hug when they left.  Probably wanted to make them feel better because they play arena football.
The next day we all set out to see downtown by way of the "L."  Now I've ridden the "L" like Dr. Richard Kimball and all those doctors on ER.  We sat next to a woman wearing scrubs and I wanted to ask if she made out with anyone in the supply closet that day, but I didn't.
Jeff was so excited when he saw this picture because it reminded him of "Perfect Strangers."  So secretly all of our knowledge about Chicago is from TV.
Our first stop was Millenium Park to see the bean (or "Cloud Gate", which is its real name that nobody uses).
Right about then is when Miles' lost his ever-lovin' mind.  I'm talking a tantrum of epic proportions, the likes of which I have never seen from this boy.  They could hear him on the other side of Lake Michigan.  I don't know what his deal was, but it may have had something to do with the fact that he slept (or didn't sleep at all) on the ottoman the night before (even after I moved him to the couch).
He clung to my leg and cried like this for the next little while.  Not awesome.

Underneath the bean.  Awesome.
We moved on to this cool fountain.  (That kid on the right dressed as Baby New Year made Harrison really uncomfortable.) 
The kids splashed around in the water and Miles eventually decided it looked like happiness could be found in the city of Chicago.  He especially liked getting Uncle Brian's feet wet and watching the faces on the fountain spit.
We walked down Michigan Avenue past the Art Institute of Chicago (in the background) where my Grandpa Furniss studied.  We had to cross the street so as not to get mixed in with a group of protesters walking down the street and another group of protesters walking behind the first group of protesters, protesting their protest.  God bless America.
Speaking of America, we had lunch at American Dog because their hot dogs were voted best in Chicago.  Their menu includes hot dogs prepared the way they traditionally serve them in different U.S. cities.  Brian got the Chicago dog.  Mani got the Memphis dog.  Harrison got the Philly dog and still remembers it fondly.  The restaurant had really funny pictures of Chicagoans eating their hot dogs.  Mani and Brian recreated one for me:
On our way to the Sears Tower, we spotted this red sculpture.
Brian asked, "Where have I seen that?"  Yeah, it's from The Lake House.  Busted.
We made it to the Sears Tower*, but it was hard to get a sense of how big it is when you're surrounded by huge buildings.  In this picture, these buildings look similar in height.  Check out this picture of the skyline I found online:
Not even close.
Harrison really wanted to go inside, but we just couldn't pay the eleventyhundred dollars for all of us to go.  We did get a nice laugh at the front entrance.
I can't believe I've been throwing away my pants all these years when I could have been using them for planters.  Let that be a lesson to me:  Always consult Pinterest before throwing anything away.
Eventually we headed back into the subway station.  The kids had a lot of fun taking pictures, too.
Here's one Chloe took of me in the subway.
It's always nice to have proof that I was on the adventure, too.
Thanks, Brian and Mani for a wonderful trip to Chicago come true!  Have fun being city folk for the rest of the summer! 
Believe it or not, I have more pictures.  It took me FOREVER to make this movie, because the program kept crashing because of all of my huge pictures.  There were many tears involved in the making of this video.  So please watch it.  Thank you for your time.
*Wendy "Lived in Chicago and Knows Everything" Holt wanted to be sure everyone knew that the Sears Tower is now the Willis Tower.  (That's what it says behind the pants.)  But my dream was to see the Sears Tower, not "Big Willy."  So I'm going to leave it as is.

7 Wisecracks:

Wendy said...

Aw man!!! I looooove Chicago! I miss it so much and your pictures brought back fun memories! Not to get technical though, it's now called the Willis Tower (lame) and the picture of the skyline, is in front of the planetarium where Ben and I got engaged. Glad you had a good time!!

melissa said...

I actually knew it was called the Willis Tower because that's what it says behind the flower pants. I hear people call it "Big Willy." I disapprove of all of that.

Patti said...

The tears were totally worth it! What a fun video. What a fun Chicago time!

Emily said...

Laughing Laughing Laughing.
Baby New Year.

And I'm scheduling a pants planting session next Friday group.

Jess said...

I will need to make sure to eat before reading your blogs, I suppose- all of that food looked amazing. Man, your kids are so lucky that you take the time to not only take pictures of their adventures, but make awesome videos (complete with swingin' music).

Andrea Lee U.R. said...

We are three hours from Chicago. I totally heard the temper tantrum from here. ;) But then again, there are stranger sounds coming from that city.
This makes me realize I need to do more sight seeing when we go there with the kids. So far my kids think the only thing Chicago has to offer is a temple. lol!
I tell ya, you get best mom award!!!

Kaye Peters said...

Love Chicago - even in the COLD winters! Thanks for the video. It was awesome!! Grandma Win