On Friday, August 1st, the first plan for the day was a scavenger hunt. Trent and I really didn't know what to expect since we'd each have to take a kid (we had already been split into teams). We knew we couldn't bring our honkin' double stroller running around the city and we didn't even think to bring the Baby Bjorn on the trip (big mistake). We just tried to have good attitudes and headed down to Millennium Park, with the whole family, where we met the guide. Turns out this was an underground scavenger hunt of the Chicago Pedway, a system of underground tunnels beneath the heart of downtown. The more I was hearing about this scavenger hunt - running up and down stairs and what not - the more I decided this was absolutely not going to work with me carrying Janie in my arms. My family is pretty competitive and I didn't want to slow my team down. Then Aiden, who was on Trent's team, had a meltdown and started crying and that was it, I was out! My aunt Krystal was so kind to walk back to the hotel with me and the kids and help us get situated. So we had an easy-going morning in our hotel room, which was probably just what the 3 of us needed.
After a few hours, Trent made it back (the scavenger hunt took longer than everyone expected) and we headed out to grab something to eat. We wanted to check out this neat place called Eataly that everyone had been talking about. It's basically a marketplace with 23 different little restaurants inside. You can look them up to learn more. We only had a few hours to go before dinner so Trent and I each just got a crepe. Mine was a basic Nutella one with bananas, but it was divine!
Then we had a little time to go shopping along Chicago's Magnificent Mile. It's always a fun time to shop with my sisters :)
Then we all congregated back at my grandma's room (she got the ritzy Presidential suite) to all walk to dinner together.
Janie with Aunt Amy and Bryn.
My grandma with 2 of her 8 great-grandchildren :)
Funny that Adler and Janie were looking in opposite directions ;)
Jordan and Adler were matching :)
Getting to know one another ;)
Hopefully they'll become close little buddies at the reunions :)
Trying to get them to hold hands..haha.
We had dinner that evening at a restaurant called Bellweather. Our family took up the whole loft area upstairs. We were served a wide variety of foods and it was all family style. It was kind of a fun experience.
Aunt Krystal jumped in front of the camera..haha.
Meg, Jill, Janie, Jen, myself, and Jordan.
Next we headed down to a local bookstore, After-words, to all pick out a book. This was a tradition my grandpa started where we each get to choose a book at every reunion and it has become a tradition we all look forward to very much. Thanks to Gram for keeping it up :)
I ended up getting The Book Thief, Trent got The Rithmatist (recommended to him by Krystal) and Aiden got My Friend Rabbit (recommended to us by Scott).
We all headed back to my grandma's room to end out the reunion (it was the last night :( ) with family reports (something we do at every reunion as well). Each family takes a turn to talk briefly about what each member of the family is up to and involved in.
Here is a picture of just some of the family. The room was packed with us all.
The next day, Saturday, the 2nd, everyone started to trickle off. It's always so hard to say goodbye. Jen, Jill, and Amy headed out that morning with my grandma, followed immediately by the Clark's (besides Bryn and Dayna) and then the Lund's and Jensen's. Our flight wasn't until 5 so we still had some time to get out and do some things. First we got all packed up since we had to be checked out of our room by noon. Luckily Dan and Meg were staying until Sunday, so we were able to leave all of our luggage in their room while we went out and about.
My mom went off to the Art Institute, which we would have loved to check out, but it probably wouldn't have been good to bring the kids. So Amber tagged along with us to the John Hancock Center. Josh and Tiersha had actually just gotten back to the hotel from a bike ride with their family, so they walked down with us as well, before they had to turn around and start their trek home. We went up to the Observatory which is 1,000 feet above Lake Michigan. It's always fun to see the city from up high.
So many boats anchored down in the water.
You can see the ferris wheel in this one on the Navy Pier.
They have this feature up there called the Tilt. I'm not exactly sure how to explain it, but I'll try. Basically you stand at this window panel that tilts you out over the Magnificent Mile and Chicago's skyline 1,000 feet below you. You can see a video of how it works HERE. They tilt you 3 different times and each time you're facing more downward. It was pretty cool! And a little nerve-racking..haha.
Before the tilting began.
Can you see here how we're more tilted. This was after the first tilt.
There was a photographer in there.
This was after the third and final tilt. It doesn't look much different from the first, but trust me, it was!
Amber had stayed out with the kids and then she took a turn.
She's furthest right.
Feeding Miss Janie.
Aiden had zonked out.
Waking up. He is so handsome.
The ceiling was mirrored..haha.
Aiden taking a look at the view.
He backed away when we noticed all of the spiders hanging outside the window..haha.
We headed back in the direction of the hotel and made our way to Noodles (which we miss so much in AZ) for lunch.
I noticed this cupcake truck across the street while we were having lunch and had to try one.
They are not your ordinary cupcake, and almost have a cheesecake consistency, but they were still a yummy treat :)
Then we headed back to the hotel, grabbed all of our luggage and were off to the airport. It was so hard to leave and come home and face reality again. We definitely hope to make another trip to both Nauvoo and Chicago in the future!
We had such a wonderful time (even if we had to miss out on a few of the activities) and can't wait to see everyone again! Thank you to Gram for another wonderful reunion!
We were all so wiped out when we made it home late Saturday night :)