…and that is what has helped to make hanging out in Illinois so much fun for me. I am hoping some of Daniel’s and my love for travel will rub off on them.
Tomorrow we will be leaving for Chicago, apparently along with 2,999,996 other people…oh well, at least there will be plenty of opportunities for ‘socialization’!
While there, we will be staying at the Sofitel Water Tower. Daniel found this place through Expedia.com and chose it for location and rating. It looks very posh (I am always worried I will stand out in some way as not posh enough when Daniel picks places like this). We are hoping for a high up room with a great view of the fireworks (which if I have figured right, there will be fireworks Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday night! The kids will be in heaven!
On Friday, the kids and I plan to spend the day at Shedd’s Aquarium. Not sure if Daniel will join us as it isn’t his thing, but we are very excited about going. And my favorite reptile will be there too! We purchased the Go Chicago Card and we will be using it to go to Shedd’s Aquarium.
If you sit on our patio at the apartment, you will find the air is filled with the sounds of happy birds. You will look at the chain link fence about 15 feet away that is periodically dotted with bird feeders that the apartment dwellers have put out. Then you can look through the fence to a lush undergrowth that surrounds Angler’s Lake.
This is a protected wildlife area. There are signs around it stating you are not to bother the vegetation. And the birds are very happy here. Water. Plenty of cover for their nests and humans willing to throw some extra food their way.
Yesterday, Katrina and I decided to take a walk around the lake and see what we could see. Why don’t you come along with us…
No, I am not referring to the group, Rolling Thunder, whose major function is educating Americans about MIA-POW issues. This group is also dedicated to helping all American war veterans. I am thankful that this group exists though.
And I am not referring to Garth Brooks’ song Thunder Rolls.
But, I did think of Garth Brooks’ song last night when I was awakened at 3 a.m. by the flash of lightning and the roar of thunder. I have always liked that song, but never understood how long thunder can roll until last night. At home, in our hilly world, thunder will rumble sometimes for 20 seconds. But last night, the roar of thunder lasted for a minute, I bet. I was pretty sleepy, so I wasn’t actually counting. My hypothesis is because the land is flat here that the sound can travel longer without bumping into stuff and diminishing.
I admit to being a tad spooked. While I am not sitting around dwelling on it, the signs for tornado shelters abound here in Bloomington, and one cannot help but be aware.
Today we got up, ready for our first sight-seeing adventure. First order of the day was breakfast. At home, we don’t go out for breakfast very often because it just isn’t practical. But with a Starbucks and a Panera Bread within a block of the apartment…a special Sunday breakfast was in order. Katrina and I went out to fetch our ‘gourmet’ breakfast and on the way saw the local residents out walking their children!
I wish I had a better camera so I could have zoomed in better. Maybe for my birthday in July…Anyway, we were very tickled to see the cute goslings and their parents.
Well, the kids and I slept like logs in those wonderful, fluffy, soft, comfy beds last night. I didn’t think any of us would ever get up this morning! But we did, slowly. We had a lovely breakfast and I just want to say that if you are ever on 70W outside of Dayton in Englewood, be sure to stop and stay at the Hampton Inn Suites. It was a lovely hotel and the people were soooo very friendly and the beds…well, let’s just say, if there had been room, I would have snuck one out to my Xterra:)
But the Xterra was full as you can see by this picture that Jack took:
Please note the legos which are a lovely, versatile toy for the kids to enjoy.
The clothes and toys and toiletries and books are packed. The laundry is all done, the pets are fed. We are finishing up with our computers, so we can pack the laptops to take with us.
I have a few dishes to wash, a shower to take and I need to gather up the trash (don’t want that sitting here fermenting while we are gone….yuck!). Then we can get on the way.
We were supposed to leave at 8:00 a.m. But I didn’t sleep very well last night (nerves? excitement? worried about forgotten items?) Who knows, but I think I got maybe 3 hours of sleep last night and my stomach has been feeling upset. So I am drinking some Sprite, ate a bite and hope my tummy will either calm down or I will just get sick and get it over with!
Sounds like a great way to start a trip, eh? Our new departure time is 9 a.m.
We will be traveling the next two days, but I will be blogging if the hotel tonight has wi-fi.