We are back from vacation! My husband has a few days home (well, at work) before he goes to Washington DC for training. He will be gone two weeks. He will go to a lot of training this year as an Engineering student with the CG. But, we are seasoned in this type of lifestyle. Last year, he was gone a third of the year. Homeschooling fits this lifestyle perfectly! We get to spend time with him when he is around and keep busy while he is away.
Chicago was nice. I now own a GPS! I am very skilled at getting lost. It is true, I could and have gotten lost in Traverse City. I got lost one too many times in the Chicago suburbs. I drove through Calumet and it was just like driving through Paterson NJ. You just keep driving and all will be well. Then, I got lost in downtown Chicago. Our 7 hour trip to Waukegan took over 9 hours. I got lost plenty more around Waukegan, with a map in hand, and sometimes with bad directions from Google maps. Let me tell you, this GPS is a miracle. I love it!
In Chicago, we went to Shedd Aquarium. The kids saw the animal show with their Aunt Tina. We had a very nice day with Aunt Tina and Uncle Tim. Daddy was able to join us all for the day, and the kids loved that. My son was thrilled - watching and riding the trains. He still loves trains.
The next day, I took the kids to the Jelly Belly factory in Wisconsin. It was on the border. The kids liked the tour, but not the screaming baby which sat behind us. The little boy cried the entire tour, and stopped when it was over. But, they gave out samples of jelly beans, so it was still worth it. We had Mexican food with Daddy and his crew, and then went to the mall in Gurnee. It may be the largest mall my children have ever been to. But, there was no escalator, so they we not impressed. I endured lots of whining here, because my daughter got the "gimmies". Daddy had a night flight, and a SAR case, so he didn't get back to the hotel till 7 AM the next morning.
Saturday, we drove to Lambs Farm. I got very lost from bad Google directions. We rode a little train which broke down, and had to be pushed to the station. Then, we played mini golf with a bunch of wasps, and rode a beat up merry-go-round. Hmm, Lambs Farm was nicer a few years ago, and needs a little work. But, in the afternoon, we picked up Daddy and went to the Chicago Botanical Gardens, and that was very nice! They have a "train garden" with a model railway. There were dozens of engines running, and my son was in heaven. There was also a fruit and vegetable garden with was a favorite with my daughter. It was very pretty there. We had a nice dinner together in Libertyville, at a steakhouse.
Sunday, we had "church" together in our hotel room. And then Daddy had to go to work again. Aunt Tina and Uncle Tim came over for a visit, and the kids swam in the pool all afternoon. The hot tub was a favorite. We went to Cracker Barrel for dinner. My son came down with a fever of 102, but, it was gone by morning. I always carry motrin and a thermometer when we travel.
Monday, after Daddy got off work, we went to the Illinois Railway Museum and rode two trains (and Electric, Diesel, and trolley) and the kids loved that. We looked at lots of old steam engines, too. This museum is a lot of fun. This is the day I got my GPS too!
Tuesday, we drove home. It was a long drive, but 7 hours, instead of 9 hours. We picked us our dirty dog (he got a bath first thing when we got home) and got the house ready for school and work. My daughter woke with a fever at 4 AM. She is feeling icky, and has puked once. So, no school today. But, we are ready to go, once she is well again.
That's about it for now!