Fun with the Chicago Bean

To quickly recap: Tuesday night I didn’t have the best Chicago experience because I couldn’t get my card to work in the elevated train card reading machine. This was after the game in which there were a LOT of people waiting behind me to get through to the train. The people behind me weren’t excited by my train card machine ineptness and I became the picture of freaked-outness. When we got on the train Craig looked at me and said, “Are you going to be able to do this this week?” Honestly, I wondered, too.

Yesterday I surprised us both. The girls and I walked a little over a mile down to Millennium Park and stayed there for the bulk of the day. We saw everything Millennium Park has to offer, courtesy of this treasure map they give out that encourages you to go all over the park looking for clues to fill in the blanks and then turn in for a very coveted collection of plastic kazoos, tambourines, harmonicas, and other items designed to drive the good folks on Chicago subways completely insane.

We saw and did it all, including participating in craft making (Native Mexican Animal Masks) in the Family Fun Festival tent, followed by much hoola-hooping and jump roping. We saw all the artistic structures, played in the Crown Fountain (very, very cool), explored the Chicago Cultural Center, danced to the folk concert for kids, and of course took way too many pictures of ourselves in the bean (or, Cloud Gate, if you want us to be proper). Here’s a sampling:

The Girls in the Bean

The Girls in the Bean

Me in the Bean

Me in the Bean

Chicago in the Bean

Chicago in the Bean

We took a train most of the way home, and I’m happy to report that I managed that experience like a seasoned tourist, with no freaking out (though I probably did sound a little tight about making sure the girls stayed far enough away from the blue area on the floor that, if you cross, you fall into the subway flooring, so yes, I’m not completely relaxed about that one yet).

Later that night I took the girls to the 96th floor of the John Hancock building, where instead of paying to go to the very top, we got to go to the near-top and have very fancy desserts. (Thanks to Jennifer for this most excellent suggestion!) We dressed up for the occasion. All in all, we paid about as much for the dessert as we would have for the top floor, but the desserts convinced us we’d made the better decision. The girls enjoyed seeing the city from the top, but I think they enjoyed the dessert-eating more (they get that honestly). Craig got back in time to come over and meet us there, which was a huge highlight for all of us.

I’ve discovered that our super swanky hotel (paid for by the school – we are here for a purpose, after all), along with its living room, bedroom, two bathrooms, two television sets, and kitchen (we’re LOVING it!), isn’t used to having a stay-at-home-blogging-mama-type needing its wireless internet service in the evening. because from 4:00 through the end of the evening last night, I had no access. So I’m making up for it this morning.

I need to go now, because we still have much of the city to take pictures of explore today. We’ve got a ton of pictures up on our flickr site. Most of them have the privacy setting on them. If you want to be one of our flickr friends (and I know you), let me know and I’ll let you in the account. We do reserve this for actual friends. I think you will know if you qualify.

Off we go!

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16 thoughts on “Fun with the Chicago Bean

  1. Mark Peach says:

    Nice pictures! The Chicago in the Bean is fantanstic. Yeah, Jennifer is right. The 95th is the way to go. Basically the same view with the added dessert bonus and lower price. Make sure you get up to the Lincoln Park Zoo. It is FREE and you can catch the 151 bus right on Michigan Ave. The 151 will let you off right in front of the zoo. Fullerton beach is right next to the zoo as well.

    Like

  2. Lyra says:

    We’ve done dessert on the 96th floor, too! So fun! And, the bean looks so cool! Glad you’re enjoying your trip, although those subways can be stressful with kids! You are so brave!

    Like

  3. april barber says:

    looks like you are having so much fun. love the pictures. i love chicago too. the restaurant a top the JH building is one of my favorite things in the city! didn’t you feel like royalty?

    Like

  4. Jeffrey Brannen says:

    I’m trying to track down “The Clown Song” by WAMP’s “Inedible Grapes” – my google search linked me to your other website. Do you have any information about this song? Thanks.

    Like

  5. Amy P says:

    Are you stopping by the American Girl place, or as I call it “Girl Disneyland”? I don’t know if you can get 4 girls through there without having to buy some new baby clothes or wanting a new doll. When I was there it definitely looked like I place I would’ve loved as a 7 year old. Glad you ladies are having a great time!

    Like

  6. jennifer says:

    Yay! I’m glad that going up to the top of the Hancock building worked out!! It does make it so much better when you realize you’ve paid the same for the dessert AND the trip to the top for the view as you would’ve paid just to get to the top.

    Like

  7. RT says:

    I’m enjoying your Chicago trip vicariously! Fabulous photos in/of the bean… very cool.
    *I may be in St. Louis next week. Plans are still being worked out, but if it’s a go, then I’d love to meet up for a little visit. I’ll let you know more when I know more!

    Like

  8. Mark Peach says:

    Nice pictures! The Chicago in the Bean is fantanstic. Yeah, Jennifer is right. The 95th is the way to go. Basically the same view with the added dessert bonus and lower price. Make sure you get up to the Lincoln Park Zoo. It is FREE and you can catch the 151 bus right on Michigan Ave. The 151 will let you off right in front of the zoo. Fullerton beach is right next to the zoo as well.

    Like

  9. Lyra says:

    We’ve done dessert on the 96th floor, too! So fun! And, the bean looks so cool! Glad you’re enjoying your trip, although those subways can be stressful with kids! You are so brave!

    Like

  10. april barber says:

    looks like you are having so much fun. love the pictures. i love chicago too. the restaurant a top the JH building is one of my favorite things in the city! didn’t you feel like royalty?

    Like

  11. Jeffrey Brannen says:

    I’m trying to track down “The Clown Song” by WAMP’s “Inedible Grapes” – my google search linked me to your other website. Do you have any information about this song? Thanks.

    Like

  12. Amy P says:

    Are you stopping by the American Girl place, or as I call it “Girl Disneyland”? I don’t know if you can get 4 girls through there without having to buy some new baby clothes or wanting a new doll. When I was there it definitely looked like I place I would’ve loved as a 7 year old. Glad you ladies are having a great time!

    Like

  13. jennifer says:

    Yay! I’m glad that going up to the top of the Hancock building worked out!! It does make it so much better when you realize you’ve paid the same for the dessert AND the trip to the top for the view as you would’ve paid just to get to the top.

    Like

  14. RT says:

    I’m enjoying your Chicago trip vicariously! Fabulous photos in/of the bean… very cool.
    *I may be in St. Louis next week. Plans are still being worked out, but if it’s a go, then I’d love to meet up for a little visit. I’ll let you know more when I know more!

    Like

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