Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Fosters Visit the Windy City

These are only some of the photos taken this weekend during my first parent's visit to Chicago. We were so excited to show them where we've chosen to call home. My mom has more photos... so this is not really a comprehensive look at the trip, but I'll just have to mention the parts I didn't photograph myself.

They arrived Friday evening around 8 p.m. at O'Hare. We picked them up and went straight to Ray's work for a factory tour. It was nice being there when the inside of the factory wasn't 110 degrees! Since it was the second shift, there were not a ton of people working, but the machines were operable... so we saw quite a bit. We left his work and went straight to downtown Naperville for dinner at Giordano's... my parents first real experience having Chicago deep dish. We each had a slice and called it a night. :) We headed home after that and gave the tour of our house and were lavished with baby gifts (see this post).

The next day, Saturday, we took the 9:30 a.m. Metra train downtown and started our tour of Chicago at the Sears Willis Tower. Our friend Sandy says that I must not be from Chicago because I actually refer to it by its new name... when a true Chicagoan would always say Sears Tower. Nope, a Californian I am... I must confess. We wanted to beat the rush into "the tower", so we booked it. The wait was not bad at all (maybe 20 minutes in line) and we were at the top of the 103 floors. We walked around, took photos, then got in line to check out the new skydeck ledges. They have 4 new ledges and neither Ray nor I had been on them. We visited the tower last April and they were in the process of being built. We weren't even given access to the 103rd floor-- just the 95th, if I remember correctly. For $16 a person, we were making sure our experience was a good one, and it was. At the ledge area, there is a mechanism that was built to retract the exterior windows for cleaning. In this mechanism, there are parts used from Ray's company. They are not covered and completely visible to anyone who is paying attention. It was quite cool. We made sure to be a little crazy on the ledge before heading back down to the ground level.

After the tower, we headed to the water taxi for a ride to the Wrigley building. It took us straight there and we were able to get some photos. It's my favorite building in all of downtown. Next, we headed on foot to Navy Pier for Chicago hot dogs. Once there, we walked around the insane crowds and had lunch. Once we were done, we walked to Millennium Park, checked out the Cloud Gate and Crown Fountain (bean and face fountains) before walking a bit on Michigan Avenue back to the water taxi. The water taxi took us back to the Union Station area where we boarded the Metra back to the 'burbs. It was a full day and we saw some of the great sites. Future trips will have to include the Wrigleyville area (and a Cubs game) along with Lincoln Park.

Sunday was all about staying local. We went to church in the morning and headed to downtown Naperville for the Last Fling. We walked all over the downtown area and checked out the Naper Settlement. We drove around the neighborhoods in our area, showed my parents some of the landmarks, houses we considered purchasing during that process, and had dinner at Teddy's Red Hots in Downer's Grove. We've been told by our friends Sandy & Chuck that they have the best Italian beef and some good hot dogs. So, that was dinner. After dinner we went to the Tivoli theatre (old, quaint theatre in downtown Downer's Grove) to watch Dinner for Schmucks. I would give it a C rating... but there were a few funny parts. There were far too many unnecessary innuendos. But, we mainly went to show them the gorgeous theatre and relax. My parents love movies, so it was a nice ending to the weekend... before their 6 a.m. flight the next morning!

That's the synopsis, now here are some photos of the weekend that I managed to capture:

Catching the water taxi from the Willis Tower to the Wrigley Building.
About to board the water taxi once more from the Michigan Avenue bridge.
Chicago dogs at Navy Pier
Random moose statue across the street from the Wrigley Building
Many photos here of the Willis Tower experience on the ledge...

Baby W got in on the action. Risking my unborn child's life on a ledge far in the sky!
Views of Chicago below

Getting wild and crazy! Oh, poor Baby W. His mom is a wild woman. Haha.

More views of below...

Those two orange-labeled parts Ray is pointing to are made by his company.
And now... my parents are back in California... and we're stripping wallpaper! It has begun! Our bedroom and office will soon be wallpaper free.


Solange, Nik and Caitlin said... [Reply to comment]

WOOHOOO for the wall paper removal! That ledge on the Willis tower is creepy!!! I love all the cute things that baby received. Your mom has a fabulous talent....I may have to ask her for help in the future :)

So glad your parents had a great visit and you two (three!) got to show off your new home. We hope to be there soon to experience the Windy city with our Wilsons.

d.a.r. said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my gawwwwwshhh, just looking at those pictures on the ledge have me all freaked out. So scary!!

Looks like a fun weekend :) How is the weather?? What should I pack for my trip to the windy city this coming weekend? :)

alli (and tommy too!) said... [Reply to comment]

okay baptism-away with this adorbs idea! http://shannonsswell.blogspot.com/2010/09/oh-man-do-i-love-theme-or-what.html
love your wills photos. i'm thinking we're going to have to pay full price to do that ...

Everyday Mom Ideas said... [Reply to comment]

That made my stomach drop when I saw your photos! Eeek! You guys look like you have a blast. congrats for baby on board! What a fun and exciting time for you two.