Thursday, July 12, 2012

Chicago Day 2 & 3

I don't have any pictures of Monday, so I'm not 100% sure what we did that day :-)  I know we all checked into a hotel (big family = needs more space than one house can hold!) and spent some time together.

But Tuesday morning, we were all headed downtown with the cousins!  Yay!  We were up and ready before anyone else, so we decided we had time to head to one of our 'Chicago bucket list' locations.   The observation floor at the Sears (Okay, Willis, but it will always be Sears to us!) Tower.   We were hoping to - park, get our tickets, get up to the observation deck, and get back down AND over to the museum complex in time to meet the rest of the family at the Field Museum.  Whew!  It was a tall order, but we were up for the task!

We arrived about 9 and found a parking spot just a block from the Tower.  I will say - the universal rule about tourist spots being less crowded in the morning was very true here!  We parked, had our tickets, and were headed up the elevator in less than 20 minutes!  When we left, the sign said the wait just to get tickets was 30 minutes.  Yikes!
The views were amazing of course.

But what we really wanted to see were the glass 'boxes' they have installed on the observation floor.  Can you believe this?
It kind of freaks me out, but Big Daddy even jumped on them.  They were built to hold an elephant, so I guess he was okay.  :-)  The engineering behind these glass boxes really is amazing.  As you can see below, they even designed them to move in and out on these huge tracks, in case of high winds.

We got a great family shot.  Thank goodness for the Photoshop app for the iPhone!  Our faces were so dark in this picture, but a little editing in Photoshop and we were good to go!

See how close we were?  That black awning sticking out is the Sears Tower.  That's what we call Rock Star Parking.  :-)  Also, we were pretty much the only truck the entire trip.

We made our goal and joined up with the cousins at the front of the Field Museum just as they were arriving!

Yum!  Lunch was from a street vendor - Chicago style hot dog.

A little stop by Soldier Field.

Check out the beautiful Chicago Public Library Building!

After a long day downtown, a nice relaxing swim sounded perfect, so we headed over to the club:

After dinner, we decided to go see a local fireworks show held on July 3 every year.

There was a live band:

And the show was amazing!  At first we weren't sure if we wanted to go, but I am SO glad that we did.  It ended up being better than the show we saw on July 4.
It was a great end to a great day!