Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Road Trip!

Great Wolfe Lodge 008
The family (minus me) outside the Lodge
I guess I should talk about our road trip we took a few weeks ago.  We had an amazing time, and surprisingly (or not so surprisingly) the kids loved it too!  I was a little nervous about driving an almost-4-year-old and 9-month-old out to Chicago and back.  I figured there would be a lot of whining, complaining, and crying.  Instead, there was a lot of laughing, giggling, and snoring.  They were amazing and Kaelyn still prefers to go for a walk or a car ride to get her naps in.

We started our vacation at Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, Oh. The first thing that amazed us was the room.  Sebastian got to sleep in a "Wolf Den" that had bunkbeds and his own TV! Sebastian didn't want to leave, but we coaxed him to try the water park.  Once there he didn't want to go back to the room!  At first he only wanted to stay in the pool.  He had on a water vest which kept him afloat and he enjoyed swimming without the help of Mommy or Daddy.  The next day we had him try the slides.  He LOVED the slides!  He went on them (alternating with Mommy and Daddy) for hours.
Great Wolfe Lodge 045
Sebastian having a blast.
Great Wolfe Lodge 067
Daddy and Sebastian coming out of one of the tubes.

We decided we have to come back to another Great Wolf Lodge.  Sebastian cried when we had to leave, and it is still his favorite part of the trip.  Kaelyn also enjoyed the water.  They kept the water at a warm temperature and it was relaxing to just float in the lazy river with Kaelyn in my lap while Matt and Sebastian ran around crazy.  (Well, Sebastian ran around crazy and Matt followed).


Our next stop on our trip was to visit our friends Jessica and Arin in Chicago.  They lovingly put us up in their apartment for a few nights.  We had a blast reconnecting with them and getting some Chicago cuisine.  I sampled Chicago's deep dish pizza (yeah... too much cheese for my taste) and some Chicago hot dogs and, my favorite, the beef sandwich!  Yummy!  The best food was the chocolate cake that we got.  It was made with mayo or something, but I loved it.

Chicago kissesWe went to the Lincoln Park Zoo and Sebastian wanted to see a giraffe.  We were on a mission! We had to weave in and out of crazy people, and we walked clear across the zoo and back, but we found his giraffe. We also saw some gorillas that were scratching their butts and smelling their hands.  Everyone around us seemed to comment on that (and it stuck out in my mind too).

Sebastian & Triceratops
Sebastian with a triceratops
The family with Sue
The family in front of "Sue"- the largest T-rex in the USA
At Lincoln Park Zoo
After the day at the zoo.
Chicago skyline
The Rinehart's with the Chicago skyline
Another place we ventured to while in Chicago was the Field Museum (NOT the Field House Museum which I apparently kept calling it the entire time).  Sebastian saw his first set of dinosaur bones while there, and he was mesmerized by them.  He got very worked up when we went through the dinosaur area and there were dozens of them.  At first he thought they were going to eat him, then he thought they were going to move, but eventually he understood that they were just bones.  It was at that point he decided dinosaurs are cool.  He is still quite obsessed with them even after the vacation.   After we were done with the Field Museum we went into the aquarium briefly, but it was crazy crowded and we couldn't see anything so we ended up walking along the pier instead.  It was a beautiful day!

After a few days in Chicago, we drove to Indianapolis, In. We went to the Children's Museum and we were in heaven.  The first thing we saw, before we even got into the building, were some dinosaurs that were breaking into and out of the museum.  Sebastian was astonished and thought there were cool.  After we went into the museum Sebastian was speechless (which is quite the feat).  There, in the real, was BUMBLEBEE!
The family with the real Bumblebee (from the movies)
 Sebastian kept saying, "I cannot believe it!  It's Bumblebee.  He is really real!"  It was so cute.We immediately went to the dinosaur area where they have some real looking dinosaurs set in an area with thunder, lightning, plants, and sound effects to make it seem realistic. At first Sebastian was scared, but he braved it and enjoyed it after a few minutes.  There was a section that was set-up like Egypt and Sebastian made food for us.  There was also a Dora the Explorer area, sand area, water play, and a race car.  There was so much for him to do that we didn't have enough time.  We spent about four hours in the museum, but we could have easily spent 8 hours there.  He loved it and his brain was going crazy!  Luckily, we were able to coax him back to the hotel where there was an indoor pool for him to play in.
Fake Crocodile
Hahaha. I love torturing my children.  Kaelyn DID NOT want to be next to this scary crocodile.  I put her there anyway and Sebastian decided to try to kill the croc.  (It was fake.  I'm not that mean of a Mommy... just a little mean...)
Kaelyn playing with letters
Kaelyn enjoyed the museum as much as Sebastian did.  There were plenty of baby-play areas and the employees played with her more than Sebastian.  That hat is pretty cute.

After Indiana, we traveled on to Cleveland, Oh. The first night there we went to a restaurant called Amp 150.  It was in a hotel, but it used farm fresh and local organic ingredients.  We did a prix fixe menu of 6 courses each.  We each got a different dish so we tasted over 12 dished (they gave us a few freebies to eat as well).  It was delicious!  Can we say bacon powder?  Yes.  They used bacon powder in the dessert.  I want to buy that stuff by the truck load!

One of Eight Views of Xiao and Xiang Rivers (circa 1700)
Picasso painting
The violinist
Cleveland was a little disappointed with the Natural History museum.  They charge a lot for not a lot of museum.  The planetarium was great.  They did a show designed for younger kids and I think Sebastian enjoyed it.  I know I learned a few things, so I am sure he learned more since his brain is designed to suck up knowledge.  After that we went to the Museum of Art.  For me.  No one else likes that sort of museum in my family, but my husband told me I deserved it.  We went specifically for the Japanese art collection that was on exhibit: The Lure of Painted Poetry. I LOVED this exhibit.  It was art.  It was poetry.  It was Japanese (and Korean).  It was nature.  It was exactly beautiful and I wanted to buy everything and put it in my bedroom.  Instead I bought two magnets and a book.  Matt enjoyed this exhibit about as much as I did.  After we went through this exhibit I dragged him and the kids through most of the rest of the museum. I found one of my favorite Picasso paintings too.  Before leaving Cleveland we drove past the house that was used in A Christmas Story.
A Christmas Story house 
How we saw the house.
How the house appeared in the movie.

After Cleveland we stopped by Pittsburgh to visit with my sister, brother-in-law, and new baby nephew.  It was great to see them, and I am proud that I got him to sleep for 7 hours for her.  Well, I don't think I did anything but I like to say it was me. ;) Our last stop was a family reunion on my husband's side of the family.  It was a picnic in a state park and it was a bunch of fun.  It was nice to see people we hadn't seen in a few years.  When we got home we were all a bit tired, but completely refreshed from the day-to-day grind of our normal life.

1 comment:

Heidi said...

Hi, I'm just stopping over to follow your blog. I'm Heidi - your B90 Days mentor. I hope you'll hop over and follow my blog too.