Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ava's first visit to Chicago

Back in July (yes another seriously late post), my niece Ava visited Chicago for the first time. I think it was her first HUGE city experience because she had that look of wonder when she rolled out of the train station. Seriously, she was sitting in her stroller, looking/turning all around at the buildings, the hundreds of people, the river, etc.

We started off at the Millennium Park “face” fountain. The plaza is covered in a thin layer of water that children can run around in and on either end are giant blocks where faces are projected on to them. Occasionally the “face” will pucker its mouth and a jet of water will shoot out…sort of like it is spitting on you.

Well Ava loved running around and we practically had to drag her away after an hour. I also noticed that she runs like a dinosaur. Granted she wasn’t quiet two yet, but it sort of looked like a T-Rex with the arms tucked in and the butt sort of jutting out. You had to see it I guess.

I even have an action shot where her mom (my sister) is running with her and Ava didn’t realize that even though she is in the air, she could stop running too.

Next we chilled at the “bean” where Ava entertained herself by throwing a quarter against the sculpture and then picking it up over and over again. Eventually she went over to the railing and absently threw the coin overboard. Here is the after shot (no, we did not go down after it).

My niece is fearless because she would just approach and hang out with any child around. She even sat down to some amateur artist sketching the crowd. The artist started to get uncomfortable thinking an Amber alert was about to be issued, so we moved on.

Thankfully all of the playing tired her out so my sister and I could go shopping with her asleep in the stroller. When she did wake up, we kept her busy eating cheerios in the dressing room. Food = happy clam.

We ended the day outside the Children’s Museum which has another water play fountain which shoots jets of water up from the floor.

The next day, the whole family spent it at the beach. I don’t have any pictures of me in a swimsuit because I am whitey mc whiterson pale! Seriously, day-glo doesn’t begin to describe it. I bought a sand castle making kit for Ava, but she had no interest in playing with it. My sister and I actually had fun making elaborate castles with moats with it, and Ava would come bounding over and destroy the creation Godzilla style.

The Lincoln Park Zoo was our afternoon stop. For a free zoo, it is pretty impressive. Granted nothing beats the Omaha kickass zoo, but then again it is far from free. Being a hot July afternoon, the animals were predictably comatose except for a pacing Siberian (aka big ass) Tiger that gave the crowd a show. The “farm” area cracked me up. I will never look at the cows the same way again.

Also, what they hell are they making there?

Ava’s dad took advantage of my whirlpool tub to create the world’s most awesome bubble bath. At one point, Ava plunged below the foam and we momentarily lost her. She somehow wasn’t took keen on me trying to give her a bubble beard AND pompadour.

Here is how she lets me know she wants something out of reach...point and pout with the most adorable sad face ever. Also with doggie and blanket in tow.

The movie Transformers 3 was in town filming this entire summer, so I took the family down to the set. We tried to sneak into some awesome fake rubble piles, but the security Nazi’s were really hell bent on keeping some Nebraskan tourists out.


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