Our Big Day in the City

Of all the big adventures we take around this area, it’s kind of funny that we rarely go into the city. I love the idea of showing the kids all of the sights and sounds of the city. But then the reality of what it would look like to drag four children downtown for a day always scares me.

The kids are old enough this summer that I finally decided it was time. We woke up Tuesday morning, and I announced we were going downtown! Here’s a look at our Big Day in the City.
8:36 a.m.
We rushed to the train station to try to make the 8:38 train. I knew in my heart that we didn’t have enough time, but I insisted on running around like a crazy woman to try to make it! We pulled into the parking lot a few minutes BEFORE the train. But alas, we couldn’t find anywhere to park. We had to wait an entire HOUR for the next train!

The kids actually had a good time and didn’t complain at all while we waited. This is their “bored” pose for the camera.

9:33 a.m.
We finally saw our inbound train coming down the track. The kids excitedly got on board, and switched seats a few times before finding the perfect spot on the upper level of the train.

10:47 a.m.
Since we missed the first train, we had to take the slow train that stopped at every station. By the time we got to the city, we were starving!

11:15 a.m.
Our first stop was for deep dish pizza at Giordano’s. The kids wanted me to take photos to show that I ordered soft drinks, as well. Yes, even Jayda had Orange Crush.



12:30 p.m.
It took a while to get the pizza, but we were finally done with lunch and walked a block over to Willis Tower. This involved even more waiting to get our tickets and get to the top, but everyone was full of excitement. The kids were convinced that the St. Louis Arch had to be taller than Willis Tower. I agreed that it did seem taller standing outside. I think it’s because the Willis Tower is surrounded by other tall buildings, while the Arch is the tallest structure for miles around.
We learned that Willis Tower is actually twice the height of the Arch! In fact, it’s the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere! After riding in that tiny car to the top of the Arch, we loved getting in a big elevator to go to the top of the Willis Tower. We were also very happy to find how large it was at the top and the nice cool air conditioning!


1:15 p.m.
You might be able to tell from this photo that one person in our group wasn’t crazy about heights! The girls, on the other hand, couldn’t get enough! The 7-year-old was giddy from being so high in the air. The toddler started crying because we had to wait in line to go out on the clear glass platform. Once out there, she began jumping up and down!



After that, we couldn’t get her out of the window. You can see in this photo that she refused to turn around! She loved being up high.



Ahh, yes! I did it!! I conquered my fear of heights and stood on the clear glass platform!



2 p.m.
Our next adventure was to walk over to Millennium Park. The kids weren’t nearly as thrilled with playing in the fountains as I thought they would be. After some coaxing, I finally got the big kids to at least take off their shoes and get their feet wet!



2:30 p.m.
We were hot, so we bought ice cream treats from a street vendor. That was $24 of yummy goodness to get us back on our feet!
2:40 p.m.
Our next stop was The Bean sculpture.
Hey look! There’s actually a photo of ME!

The day wouldn’t be complete without making ourselves look like little people in The Bean.
And then making ourselves look like stretchy rubber people!

3 p.m.
Ahhh… A look at city life.
3:15 p.m.
Next, we walked about four blocks north the water taxi. The kids had been looking forward to this all day. They all agreed that the boat ride was the highlight of their day.





4 p.m.
We ran across the street from the water taxi to Union Station, only to realize we had missed the express train by a couple of minutes. The next outbound train would leave at 4:28 p.m. This gave us plenty of time to find our train, get our seats and chill out.
5:10 p.m.
We made it back to the minivan and headed home.
6 p.m.
It was a long day, but we were finally home! We had a great time and a wonderful adventure in the city. We were exhausted, but excited about our big day!



  1. Love this! Don’t know how I missed seeing it before! Makes me miss Chicago even more… such a cool city.

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