B / children / life / Little Dude / photos / Travel

A Vacation Quickie

If you follow me on Twitter or we’re Facebook friends then you probably know that in lieu of a party (which we had anyway) The LD chose to go on a train trip as his gift from me for his birthday this year.

He is slightly obsessed with trains and has a series of DVD documentaries on the railways in North America. He saw this train museum  on one of the discs and requested a trip to Elgin, Illinois of all places. I did a bit of research on the area and seeing that it was rather small and that there really wouldn’t be much for us to do after our trip to the museum, we compromised.

We would go to Illinois, but we’d stay in Chicago – and we’d take the train, of course.
He was more than thrilled to make that compromise because “OH MY GOSH – UNION STATION IS IN CHICAGO AND THAT’S ON MY DVD AND WE CAN GOOOOOOOO THERE, MAMA!”

Man, I love my kid. heh.

So, off we went, last weekend.

I let the LD take photos for most of the trip so I didn’t get many great ones – mostly just a lot of photos of his feet – but here’s a few anyway!


We didn’t get to do everything we wanted to do, but that just means we have an excuse to go back!


I think one of his favourite parts of the trip was the hotel itself – probably because we got to eat pizza in bed, have crazy dance parties and there may have been some jumping the beds.. *cough*
He actually told me that he just wants to stay at the hotel and do nothing the next time we go on a trip! haha!

At the hotel


The weekend we were there was pretty cold and rainy so we tried to save the indoor activities for when it was really chilly and we spent our first full day in Chicago at Shedd Aquarium – after a very cold 2 hour wait outside. The LD made some friends while we were in line and ran around playing with them, so that made the wait go by just a little bit faster… for him.


Waiting in line at Shedd.


Aquariums – or anything to do with animals – is something he loves, usually. For some reason this trip, he had no interest in looking at and learning about them. He just wanted to snap a photo and move on to the next thing. I think if it hadn’t been for the penguin play area, we probably would have been in and out in under an hour. Luckily he made a little friend, who promptly asked her mother if he could come over for a playdate and who he invited back to Canada with him!  The strapped on some penguin bellies and slid down the penguin “glacier” and we ended up staying until they closed.


Sliding down the mountain – way too fast for the camera!

Watching the dolphins at the aquarium.


We spent our Sunday at the Lincoln Park Zoo and, again, he had no interest in seeing the animals – all that we saw were the lions, the sea lions, the river otters, the beavers and some reptiles – and only because they were either in, or in between the play area and rides.
He spent most of his time on the tree-top canopy and the carousel – with a brief stop at the kiddie train, which shut down shortly after due to rain. B, his mom and I even got on and went for a ride on the carousel toward the end. The LD just made it look like so much fun!


Climbing the canopy


We parted ways with B and his mom after it began to rain again (and we found a bus to the subway, after walking in the completely opposite direction, thanks to me not having a sense of direction there) and headed back to the hotel for our last night. We didn’t do much, other than order some room service and play with the toys he somehow acquired over the course of the weekend.

We made our way to Union Station Monday morning, sad to be leaving and sad that we hadn’t made it to the Navy Pier for our ferris wheel ride but I think we were both exhausted and ready to be getting home!

Outside Union Station

On the train


As tired as I was by the end of it, I’m so glad I was able to do this for him.
He got his Amtrak train ride and his birthday wish and I’m elated that it made him so happy!
Up until his party yesterday, it’s all he’s talked about since we returned.

It was most definitely worth all the headaches I got the week before we left!
I can’t believe he will be 5 before the week is through…


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