At one of our pitstops I had the kids get out and run around in the grass. I do have to say that the midwest has got the whole road-side rest area thing down...they were the best I've seen in all my travels. I tried to take a pic of the kids since they were all cutesy and the grass was a nice background but could not for the life of me get the kids to look at the camera!
Our arrival into town was quite congested...they have a lot of traffic in Chicago! Here is a cityscape I took while waiting to move a few inches. I guess all those cars merging from the right were causing a back up.
When we FINALLY got to the hotel, checked in, and got to our room, Rose was so surprised to see this great American Girl Doll bed set up on her bed. I got the sleepover package (the AG Flagship store is down the street from where we stayed) and she got to keep the bed and they gave us all these snacks and junk food. As well as a movie rental that night.
They also enjoyed the fact that all of our hotels had a pool. This one was particularly nice and quite abandoned since it was the work week and everyone else in the hotel was there for some Restaurant Week Convention (this made it incredibly hard to find a room by the way!).
We walked down to the AG store and had a grand time walking around the store looking at everything. Rose ended up getting some food for her Bitty Baby and of course enjoyed looking at everything (aka making a list of everything she wanted). That night we stopped for pizza, but they wanted us to wait an hour for a table (ha!) so I just had it delivered to the hotel (very wise move on my part since the kids were done for the day).
After some more swim time at the hotel, we checked out and drove down the lakeside (very pretty views by the way) to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. AWESOME place. We spent pretty much all day there, and everyone was pooped by the time we left for some late naps while I drove to Schaumberg (more on that later).
This strange looking statue was so much fun. The kids put their face in the circle (near their heads) and it took a quick picture, which it then projected on to the face of the man. They had fun making funny faces every 5 seconds or so. I couldnt get the camera to capture their faces on the man though.
James got his souvenir in the factory section. He put in the 'order' (just selecting from the options available), then we followed along a plexiglass factory line to watch his toy be made. Since they are such visual learners right now, this might have been the most educational bit of the whole place.
There was also this massive doll house. You could walk all the way around it and listen to how the owner built it and what it was modeled after. There was even this tiny little chapel in one of the rooms and it was so pretty.
The one place I could not convince the kids to leave was the imagination station. Luckily they had a small kids play area otherwise John would have been trampled. They really enjoyed the water parts of this area and how all the machinery worked.
Recently the kids have really been into I Spy and Waldo books. So it was pretty neat when we found an exhibit that was a showcase of rooms I Spy style. Each one had a list of things to look for next to it. Very creative and the kids loved it.
This is a submarine that they basically built the basement building around. I think it was a German uboat that was captured and we learned their technology from. They weren't so interested in it since I wasn't willing to pay the extra bucks to get in (think another $30 just to walk through a sub with kids that would probably get hurt climbing up and down the ladders).
When we finally left, it was definitely past nap time, but they seemed to be having fun so they all took a late snooze in the car as we drove north of Chicago to a suburb. We were going to hit up the Legoland there the next morning, but apparently they didn't open til 12 and I really wanted to be on the road again by naptime, so maybe another time.