Fall Breaking, Part 3: Shedd and Millennium Park

Well, Christmas has come and gone and we had such a great one but SO busy! There just hasn’t been a free second to sit down at the computer even once and catch up on the blog.  I guess I’m just going to always be hopelessly behind but I really would love to catch up this year.

From October 13th-

After the boat tour we were all starving for lunch.  We looked up the closest Portillos (our fave Chicago dog chain that we don’t have anywhere near us at all) and were walking there when we came upon a Shake Shack.  We’d heard great things about Shake Shack and since we were all starving and we don’t have one here we decided to try it.  The place was packed and we got the last table.  We all got burgers, fries, and a couple of shakes to split.  It was all really, really good! Everyone else’s burger was better than mine since I got the gluten free bun.  Live and learn!


From there we were headed to the Shedd aquarium by city bus.  Abbi was so happy to be on a bus.  This girl loves her various modes of transportation! It was so much easier traveling in Chicago this time logistically.  With phones and mapping programs we knew when buses would be arriving and it was so much easier to get places.


Shedd Aquarium! We’d been before, a few times.  Lilli had been when she was little, but of course didn’t remember.


We ended up only having about 3 hours for the museum.  We got tickets to the last dolphin show, and made sure to move through all the aquariums pretty quickly to get to the best part of the building with the dolphins, whales and larger sea animals.  They kept stressing to get into the theater for the last show and we left the sting ray touch area more quickly than we would have.  That was a total mistake because there was plenty of seating and basically we had to keep Abbi from running wild for 20 minutes while we just sat there – 20 minutes where we could have been seeing more exhibits!

Overall the show was pretty lame.  It was only about 15 minutes long, so we spent longer waiting for the show than the actual show lasted! The girls enjoyed it, but compared to other shows we’ve seen this one was just nowhere near as good.  Overall the aquarium is getting a bit dated and definitely wasn’t worth the admission price.  It’s something you “have” to do once, but Brent and I have done it at least 3 times now, maybe 4, and next time it’s something we’ll skip unless they really add something exciting and new.


The penguins are always my favorite animal to see.


We took a picture of Lilli with this same penguin last time.  I think she’s grown a little since her last visit to Chicago!


One thing that was really interesting – the new bag tax.  Which we ended up paying most everywhere we went since we were tourists and didn’t have shopping bags with us!


And our first experience with the soda tax!


From the aquarium we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous day and walk up to Buckingham fountain and Grant Park, and visit The Bean.  We knew this would be our best day of weather the entire trip so we wanted to make the most of it.  Can you tell rush hour was starting??


My favorite picture of Lilli on the trip, and maybe the entire year! She looks like quite the sassy urban girl here! She just loved Chicago and skipped up and down the streets in her sparkly boots every day.


We told her how last time she was here she nearly made it through the fence before we could catch her – so she wanted to try again and see if she’d fit.


Chicago vibes!


And the famous Chicago Bean! It’s amazing how popular this crazy little attraction is and all the fun stuff you see people doing in their pictures.  I think the girls could have posed forever at the Bean.


The four of us – Abbi looking thrilled.


We really don’t remember why we were doing the strange arm motions.  I wish we did, especially since it made the Christmas card this year.  I’m sure there was a very good reason the girls were sharks and I was a tea pot.




Inside the Bean.  Such a neat art piece.


From there we took the Subway back towards our hotel to find a spot for dinner.  At this point poor Abbi nearly got stuck a subway turnstile going the wrong way, nearly headed back down in a subway tunnel after we’d come up, and was basically trying her best to get separated from us and get run over in traffic.  It had been a long day with a 4 year old.  We eventually stopped at a small soup and sandwich place for dinner and then did a little shopping.  It was Day 1 and I needed some Garrett popcorn.  You can’t be in Chicago for 24 hours without stopping for some Chicago mix.


This particular mall was right around the corner from our hotel and housed American Girl as well as the Lego store and about 7 other floors of shops.  From there we headed back to our room to prop our feet up after a long, but fun, day in Chicago!


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