Friday, August 19, 2016

Mama + The Midwest ~ Part II

I'm back today with another recap of our recent Chicago trip. If you missed Mama and The Midwest ~ Part I you can catch up on that here.

Monday morning we woke up bright and early to head to the Shedd Aquarium and I am so glad we did. I've read it gets super busy and you can wait in line for hours just to buy tickets, especially in the summer. We purchased a City Pass prior to going to Chicago, so we didn't have to worry about tickets. But when we were heading to leave it was exactly how everyone had described, JAM PACKED and lines out the door! So glad we were some of the first in line!

 We bought tickets for the Aquatic Show and watched Bennett be magically wide-eyed.




After the Aquarium we loaded up the kids in the car, they both took a little tight snooze (WAHHOOOO) and we met Shane's cousin Zach and his wife Kirsten at The Little Goat for lunch. Holy yum.
 And then we walked to their store, BLVDier. I am so proud of them. They opened up their shop and it is going so well, and it was so fun to see all of their stuff in action! If anyone is headed to Chicago and/or lives in the area and is looking for custom fit clothing - give Zach a call. You won't regret it.



After our late lunch and long visit, we walked around Rush Street for a little while, grabbed the kiddos a cupcake from Sprinkles; headed back to the hotel and took it easy for the rest of the night. Tuesday we woke up and headed to eat some yummy breakfast from Toni's Patisserie and Cafe. French Nutella crepes, amazing coffees and macaroons for the road, sign me right up!

 Lainey with the photobomb.
 A blue for Bennett and a pink for Lainey Bennett :)
 We ate our cookies while we walked across the street to Millennium Park and Bennett got a good look at "THE MAGIC BEAN!"




 GoGo was there too!

 Uhh guys, I'm embarrassed I'm still sharing photos of us in front of the bean. Get it together Katie, one is more than enough.
 Then we loaded up the stroller and headed across BP Bridge to check out Maggie Daley Park to let Bennett have a full day of running splashing and everything in between. Lainey played a little too, but she mostly just napped in the shade! Y'all that park is AWESOME. Chicago had my heart many moons ago, but that put another point for their team in my book.



 And once we'd had enough we walked back across the bridge only to decide we hadn't had enough and B was going to splash once more in Crown Fountain back in Millennium Park this time!

 If you follow me on snapchat, you watched the whole show as it unfolded. Unfortunately I got only video and no photos, but Bennett made the park his own giant slip and slide pad and it was hysterical. He was exhausted and on his 'I have so much energy because I'm overly tired' high and it was so funny. Needless to say, we had a good day.
 After splashing, running, swinging and sweating all day we were spent. It was time for the kiddos to rest, and time for mama and GoGo to get ready and have little toast to vacay!
 The littles finally woke up and joined the party and we headed to dinner at one of my dad's favorite Chicago steakhouses, Gibson's. Max, my younger brother, is dating Alison and she's living in the city for the summer so she met up with us for dinner (fail, no photo included)!
 Wednesday we woke up and trip exhaustion had finally settled in. We tried to combat it with sugar, but the kids were tired. So GoGo played the ultimate mom and grandma card and agree to keep the kiddos in the hotel room to give them a "city break" and let me have some alone time. They stayed in the hotel and had a low key day while I went shopping in the city all by myself.  *Do you hear the bells ringing?! Because it really was THAT magical!*

 Once I came home we got cleaned up and headed to dinner at one of my most favorite Chicago stops, Eataly. It's no where near the real thing, but for a few moments I can take in the flavors and be slightly transported back to one of the most magical times in my life, my semester abroad in Florence, Italy. And lets be real, it's a lot of good cheese, pasta, wine and pizza. So, it's good regardless of if it reminds me of Florence or not. And Alison met up with us again, so the company was great too!
 Bennett tried to lift the Parmesan like they were "bildin bwocks" and then was terribly disgusted that his hands were covered in grease. It's cheese kid, there is nothing disgusting about it. Deal.
 More cheese please!

 After Eataly, we packed up and headed back to the hotel for a little nighttime swim.
 I wish I could tell you I'm finished boring you with my play by play scrapbook of our daily timeline, but I have two more days to share with you. So, there will be a Mama + The Midwest Part III coming soon. Until then, stay fancy my friends.


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