Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Chicago: Days 1 & 2

On Saturday, October 4, A drove me to DIA where I met up with my mom and dad for our trip to Chicago. We weren't sure how much airport traffic there would be on a Saturday so we planned plenty of time. Of course when you have plenty of time everything zips by without any delays. There was no line to check our bags, barely any line at security and we were at our gate almost a full 2 hours before the plane was due to depart. They ended up boarding our plane early and we were on our way before we knew it! The flight was smooth and I got to watch HGTV the whole way there.

Upon landing in Chicago we got our bags (which thankfully all arrived - I'm always quite the prayer warrior while waiting to see if all the luggage made it okay) and then picked up our rental car. We started heading toward our hotel in Oakbrook Terrace. On the way my dad called my aunt and uncle and we all decided to meet up for dinner first. We went to a restaurant called Portillo's which has really good Chicago-style hot dogs and lots of other yummy sandwiches.

After filling our bellies we went to my aunt and uncles house (in Glen Ellyn) for dessert - my aunt had made my Nana's make-from-scratch brownie recipe and boy oh boy were they GOOD! We made plans for Sunday and then Mom, Dad, and I said goodnight to go get settled into our hotel. It felt great to have my head finally hit the pillow that night!

Sunday, October 5 we slept in a bit (this is a theme for the trip so just know that about each morning) and then met up with my aunt and uncle at their house. We loaded into their car and drove over to Wheaton to go to Cantigny. We drove though lots of cute neighborhoods and Wheaton's very quaint and picturesque downtown on the way there. Cantigny was the home of Robert M. McCormick who was an editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune for 44 years. When he died his home and 500-acre property was turned into a public park with beautiful gardens and two amazing museums. It was cloudy and rained off and on while we were there so I didn't get a good picture of the mansion (which is now a museum), but here is one that I found on the web. The mansion has 35 rooms - all of which are gorgeous!

Robert McCormick was also a Colonel in World War I so there is a Military Museum on the property too. My mom and aunt and I were kind of tired by that point in the afternoon so we went back to the Visitors Center to get some refreshments while my dad and my uncle went to the war museum. The museum has life-size dioramas of some scenes from WWI, WWII, and Vietnam which I would have liked to have seen, but I'll just have to do that next time I guess. A would LOVE that museum so we'll definitely have to go back there sometime.

We left Cantigny about 2:30pm and searched out some lunch. We ended up at a shopping center right near a movie theater and had lunch at a restuarant called Max and Erma's. After lunch we went to the movie "Flash of Genius" which was good, but a little slow at times. After the movie it was back to my aunt and uncle's house for dessert. We skipped dinner since we'd had such a late lunch, but of course we couldn't skip dessert! We hung out, talked, laughed and had a good evening together before heading back to our hotel to retire for the night.

Next Chicago post: Day 3 - the city!


Gretchen said...

Lovely travel tour! I want to see that movie. Do you think it'd be okay for a 10.5 and 12.5 year old?

Faith said...

Wow, that mansion is so pretty! And, we have Max and Erma's here and we like to eat there. They have good soup!

Adventures of Laura said...

Hey Gretchen - My first thought is that it would be okay for the kids. I then remembered that I heard a movie review of it from Plugged In, so I checked it out and now I'm not so sure. It would depend on what you're comfortable with your kids watching - you can check out the review at http://www.pluggedinonline.com/movies/movies/a0004279.cfm. Hope that helps!