My Beamish Brood

My Beamish Brood

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Independence Day in the Big City

The Yantes Family decided to take on Chicago! We spent the 4th of July weekend with Uncle Glenn, Auntie Monica and Nathaniel, and we packed a ton of fun into a few short days. Glenn kept us well fed (mmmmm, steak....) and they both graciously welcomed our hurricane of a family into their home. We arrived late Wednesday night, and the boys were thrilled to discover that they would get to sleep on an air mattress in the guest room!  I'm actually quite shocked that it was still in one piece when we left... they definitely enjoyed it.

Thursday morning we spent at the beach, only blocks from the house. Max couldn't get enough of digging in the sand, and Lucian went for a dip in deeper water with Uncle Glenn. The ladies mostly chilled with the babies on beach towels, trying in vain to keep Audrey from swallowing fistfuls of sand. Later, we had fun blowing bubbles and, after dark, lighting sparklers. Props to Monica for putting aside her major aversion to sparklers for the sake of our children. (Fun before safety, I always say!)

Friday was our big day out exploring downtown Chicago. But the excitement started before we saw a single skyscraper; getting there was half the fun! The kids LOVED the train, and Lucian remembers it as one of his favorite parts of the trip. Sadly, no one got a picture... we must have all been too concerned with making sure we had all bodies accounted for. Let me tell you, it was quite helpful having one adult per child on public transportation!

The first thing we did in downtown was an architectural boat tour. We took a boat down the river and through the lock into Lake Michigan (sounds a little like a song! "Down the river and through the lock to Lake Michigan we, I apologize.) It was a hot day, but the breeze on the water was beautiful, and there was an air-conditioned seating area when the babies (ahem, mommies) got too warm. We got an awesome view of downtown from the lake, and I really enjoyed seeing the beautiful historic buildings along the river.

After lunch, we continued on to Millennium Park to see the Bean. Last time Max was in Chicago was two years ago, but since his first visit he talked about the Bean like he had been there yesterday. We had no choice but to return. I don't know if it was as exciting as he remembered, but he spent plenty of time staring at himself in the crazy reflections! Lucian was...well...pretty stoic.

We let the boys splash in Millennium Fountain for a bit, and I think we all enjoyed the cool off after all of the walking. Then it was time to make our way back home for brats and hot dogs. The train ride back was relaxing, and we had a nice evening in.

Saturday was a low-key park day. We had a slow start with breakfast, followed by more bubbles and sidewalk chalk. We checked out two neighborhood parks before lunch (I won't tell you that it was because of my awful sense of direction that we ended up at the wrong park first, waiting for Monica and Glenn who were waiting for us at the right park. No, I won't tell you about that.)

Cute baby distraction!
After lunch and rest time, Auntie Monica brought out kite-making supplies, which the boys dove into and created their own functional kites! We brought them down to the beach... only to find that the air was completely still. The boys managed to get their kites in the air using some good old-fashioned leg power, and they flew surprisingly well!

It was such a blast to get the cousins together. Nathaniel was a little ham, and it was so fun to see his personality starting to show! The kids all adored him (and who wouldn't?!), and I loved getting to love on my little nephew. I didn't manage to get a picture of everyone together, but I did manage some super cute individual snapshots, so I'll leave you with a moment of oooohs and aaahhhs:
So stinkin' cute!
Miss Attitude
Look at those eyes!
Always the artistic one
Thanks again, Monica and Glenn, for opening your home! We hope to return the favor very soon!

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