Monday, June 10, 2013

#makesmesmilemondays A weekend of all things Chicago!

This weekend took our family all around the city - to some of our favorite Chicago places.

We spent Saturday morning at the Adler Planetarium, where Daniel presented his research on a potential moon base, all part of a Planet Explorers program. I was super impressed - here I thought the moon was made of cheese all this time.
Daniel (on the iPad) and his team present their data.
We also had the chance to peek into the largest telescope in the Chicago area in the Douane Observatory. We climbed the ladder to reach the eyepiece and were able to catch the sun and all its spots.
The Douane Observatory

We had a great lunch at the Adler's revamped cafe (the food was actually good! and the outdoor seating looks out upon one of the most spectacular views of the city) and then played for awhile on the terrace. 

Then we rode our bikes over to Lincoln Park, for my son's school's summer fundraising picnic. (I am fast accumulating bike miles and meeting my June Live More Drive Less goals!)

On Sunday, my daughter and I attended a lovely birthday party at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, one of Chiara's favorite places in the city. 
On the rooftop of the Notebaert Nature Museum

We had a lovely little walk through Lincoln Park on our way there and back, where we spotted turtles in the lagoon and saw three geese families, with little geese in tow. The party was just perfect for the preschooler set: Instead of birthday cake, the hostess served pineapple, which had been cut from a whole pineapple with a butterfly shaped cookie-cutter, placed on a stick and tied with cellophane and a bow. The kids seemed to love that dessert more than cake! The party space was fantastic, too. Chiara wore a butterfly dress, and as always, adored exploring the butterfly haven.

In the evening, we all set sail on an Odyssey sunset dinner cruise. 
The Odyssey sets off from Navy Pier. Photo courtesy of the Odyssey

As a Chicagoan, this wasn't necessarily something that was on my to-do list - I thought of it as more of a touristy thing to do. Instead we had an absolute blast!

Over an elegant meal we watched the sailboats and our city pass us slowly by, while the sun hid behind the skyline.
Dinner with a view
But perhaps the most fun was had when we put on our dancing feet! We stepped, we busted out our disco movies, we did the electric slide, we waltzed. I could not get my daughter especially off the dance floor - this is one trait we most definitely share: we love to dance!
You can always count on your big brother, Chiara!

Chiara asked her brother to dance several times. I could not help  but to tear up a bit as I watched them waltz and glide on the dance floor. I'm so happy that these two have each other!

The boat ride did end on an interesting note: as we stood on the outdoor deck, enjoying the view on the as the boat slowly inched towards Navy Pier, a man approached me and said, "That water looks great!"

"Yes, it looks beautiful," I agreed, meaning that it LOOKS beautiful. I did not think to add "But not beautiful enough to jump into!"

Suddenly, the man, likely feeling superhuman after a few drinks, JUMPED INTO THE WATER from the top deck. We all just sort of stood there for an instant, all of us wondering if that really did just happen, and then I ran to look over the boat's railing, and saw that thankfully the guy was okay and afloat, if only in shock. (People from afar never realized that it can be warm outside and Lake Michigan will still be arctic). He managed to make it to a ladder attached to Navy Pier, was thrown a life vest and hauled up the ladder, where he was promptly arrested. My poor son, already forced to listen to 1,000s of lectures on the harmful side affects of alcohol, was forced to listen to lecture #1,001 = Alcohol and boats do not mix well.

Have a wonderful week!

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