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Vacation – Day 1

July 29, 2011

We’ve been very blessed to be able to take some great family vacations.  When it came to planning a trip for this year we were a bit stumped.  I thought about Colonial Williamsburg but the kids weren’t thrilled.  Too educational.  They don’t believe you should learn anything on vacation.  LOL!  We also tossed around going to Hershey, PA but Tay hates chocolate (and I’ve heard the town smells like chocolate) and she also hates big amusement park rides.  We eventually decided that Chicago was the place to go. 

Tay & I had been to Chicago once before with friends to visit the American Girl store.  We were only there for one day so the only “touristy” thing we did was walk Navy Pier.  I had a lot of learning to do about Chicago family fun.  It’s a good think I like planning vacations!

My original plan was to stay outside of Chicago and take a train into the city each day.  After working (and reworking) all of those plans we decided to shift gears and stay downtown.  I found a reasonably priced hotel and got things booked.  I also purchased City Pass booklets that had tickets for several popular attractions.  Things were planned and ready to go.  A week before we left, Tay mentioned that she’d like to do a double decker bus tour.  More research and tickets purchased.  The great thing was the bus tickets were good for three days.  We could park our car when we got there and use the bus for transportation.  Worked out {almost} perfectly.

Anyhoo…the day to set out on our trip finally arrived.  Our first stop was the popular vacation destination of New Carlisle, Ohio. 

{What?  You’ve never heard of it?}

We dropped the dog off at my parents’ house {thanks Mom & Dad for dog sittting!} and then we were on our way.  We made it clear to Huber Heights before we stopped for lunch at a nice little place called Wendy’s. 

The trip through Indiana was uneventful until we got a little north of Lafayette.  We noticed a strange looking windmill on a farm and then found ourselves driving several miles with windmills all around.  It was like something out of a science fiction movie.  Very strange.  On the way home I made sure to have my camera handy to snap some pictures. 


Once we got closer to Chicago we were going crazy with the toll roads.  Have you been there?  It’s crazy!  The first toll was 60 cents.  Then $1.50.  Then $3.50!  And the roads weren’t even nice!  The funniest thing was a McDonald’s restaurant right smack dab in the middle of the toll road.  Wish I had my camera out for that.

We finally made it into downtown and to our hotel.  The drop off zone was full so we had to circle the block one time before we could pull in.  We stayed at the Hampton Inn.  It was nice.  The rooms were small but the location was perfect. 

We got checked in and everyone was tired so there was some grumbling & complaining about silly things that we had no control over.  Thankfully that didn’t last long!

I had a list of a few restaurants that we could walk to from our hotel so we decided to go for Chicago style pizza.  We walked to Lou Malnati’s and then waited a LONG time outside in the HEAT {it was very hot that week!} for a table.  Totally worth it.   I think it was Nick who said “best pizza ever”.  Brian’s not a fan of thick pizza but I think he liked it okay.  Sadly I forgot my camera and didn’t get a picture of the pizza.  Brian snapped this shot with his phone. 

It was getting late by the time we finished dinner so we went back to the hotel to swim in the cold pool and sit in the hot tub.  We also discussed our plans for the next day which included the bus tour.  No one was thrilled when I told them it was a 2 hour tour.  There’s NO way we can stay on a double decker bus for 2 hours in this heat.  No problem.  We can change things up a bit.  Or will we? 

To be continued…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kimberly Binkley permalink
    July 29, 2011 1:17 pm

    Educational vacations are the best! Jocelyn and I love them! Sounds like fun in Chicago though.

    • July 29, 2011 2:31 pm

      There may have been some educational moments in Chicago (we went to too many museums for there not to be!). Shhh…don’t tell!

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