Friday, July 29, 2011


Summer has been fast and furious in this neck of the woods.  The long days that summer bring have been filled to the brim with swimming, riding bikes and many adventures.

One of our many adventures took us to Chicago. 

The last time we were Chi-town as a family, Gibson was a toddler and my belly was bulging.  It was winter, and due to our circumstances our options were limited. 

For this adventure, we had a much different set of circumstances. Now, we were hitting the city with a six and four year old in tow, and the possibilities were endless.  Armed with our three day bus passes the boys and I took to the city.

As the boys learned how to read bus routes, we took in Lincoln Park Zoo, Shedd Aquarium, Adler's Planetarium, the City Beach, John Hancock's Observatory, the Lego Store, the Cheesecake Factory and many more experiences that Chicago has to offer.

At the end of our stay, I realized just how smooth of a trip it had been.  The boys were at a great age.  They had the stamina to keep going and going and going, and they took in each and every experience. 

I then realized just how valuable those experiences were when on the last day, as we were on our way to the park, {to enjoy our two pieces of cheesecake and a rice bowl to die for} we happened to miss our stairway back to our bus stop.  Instantly, Elliott stopped us and said, Momma, that's the way we need to go.

Amazed by his awareness amidst the streets upon streets that seem to blend together, I told him how impressed I was.

To which he replied....

Chicago's my city.

And with this statement I knew we accomplished our mission.  We attacked the city taking away more than money could buy. 

Tips for Navigating Chicago Solo:
1. If you are going to visit any of the museums in Chicago, I highly recommend buying the CityPass. I made the decision to buy one after standing in line for the aquarium, by myself with two squirrely boys, for 30 minutes. {with an additional 40 minutes still looming ahead}  With this pass you have 9 days to visit several Chicago Museums and it serves as a fast pass, which means you don't have to wait in line.  If you visit two of the listed sites you essentially pay $10 to skip the lines.  If you visit three you save money.  It's a bit pricey, but lets face it, what in Chicago isn't?

2. Buy a bus pass.  For $14 I had a three day, all access, bus pass that could take us anywhere in the city.  Added Bonus: kids ride free.

3. Just Ask.  When in doubt just ask.  There were several times that I was unsure of what bus to take, and each time the drivers were more than happy to tell me which bus I needed for each destination.

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