Every year for the last 6 years I've taken my GK's on a Chicago Train Trip. We save for it all year and then cash in the coins and GO!
I can't help it, even after two decades of farming with my husband I have city blood that cannot be denied. I was raised in the Windy City (named that for the blow hard politicians not for its weather patterns), as was my father, his father and his grandfather. Well my great grandfather George J O'Shaughnessy started life in Ireland then immigrated to Chicago as a teen, but STILL it was his home for many years.
We also had several of dad's siblings who lived there as well including multiple cousins. It was and always will be my home town.
|From left GK Nicole 12, Daughter Raven, GK Allana 9.|
GK Wesley 6
Even now when I hop in a cab I get an impending sense of doom, and yet I never put my seat belt on. Part of the thrill of riding in a Chicago Cab is not knowing whether you'll make it to your destination in one piece.
I forced my own four into the city a few times each year as they were growing up but I will report that the two youngest could care less (now in their 20's) and our oldest traveled enough in his 6 years in the Navy that his wanderlust is for now a bit squelched, but our daughter...she loves going to the city as much as I. In fact she doesn't need me at all, often goes with her friends on her own, imagine that!
She even was able on this trip to show me some places I had not been to before like Millennium Park. Hey it's only been there about a decade, give me some slack. In the midst of that area sits an amazing metal sculpture known officially as Cloud Gate. But all the locals call it simply "The Bean. "It is British artist Anish Kapoor's first public outdoor work installed in the United States.
|Raven and I on steps in front of "The Bean"|
The 110-ton elliptical sculpture is forged of a seamless series of highly polished stainless steel plates, which reflect Chicago’s famous skyline and the clouds above. A 12-foot-high arch provides a "gate" to the concave chamber beneath the sculpture, inviting visitors to touch its mirror-like surface and see their image reflected back from a variety of perspectives.
Inspired by liquid mercury, the sculpture is among the largest of its kind in the world, measuring 66-feet long by 33-feet high. A great place for photos.
|Outdoor theatre at Millennium Park|
Just opposite of Cloud Gate/AKA The Bean was an amazing set of water towers with digital faces appearing on the dies of the towers. The water ran between the towers and of course fascinated the GK's who had to explore it's depths even further.
The fact that it was quite cool that day made no difference and once our leader Allana ventured forth...
So did the other two GK's followed by several other children who convinced their parents they would not perish in the inch deep pool !
We did the other usual tourist stuff like staying in a hotel, hanging out at The Childrens Museum at Navy Pier and eating at Bubba Gump Shrimp. Who doesn't like to eat their burger and fries out of a miniature Forrest Gump Shrimp Boat?
I did warn the GK's that if we make our move to The Poor Farm as planned in the fall, and get to live under the poverty line that it may be our last train trip for awhile...they were too busy splashing in the ice cold fountain water to really care much about what the future may or may not bring.