Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Holiday Weekend...

We had quite an eventful 4th of July, so prepare for a marathon post!
For this year’s 4th of July celebration, Matt was up to his usual scheming. He decided to plan a trip for the long weekend that, of course, included a surprise destination! In addition, it also included surprise travelling companions, and a surprise day off work. He was all about the surprises for this trip! So, on Tuesday night (July 1st), he told me that I needed to pack for our trip because we had plans Wednesday evening, and would be leaving on Thursday. I later found out that we were actually leaving on Wednesday. Matt called me Wednesday at work and told me to call him when I got off work and he would tell me where to meet him. So, after I ran to Wal-Mart to finish buying his birthday present, I called and he said to meet him at Stephen and Kayla’s house. They were going with us on our trip! We loaded up my car, and headed north on I-65. We stopped for dinner in Birmingham and continued on our way. We took this picture at our dinner stop...we all look happy and excited to be travelling:

I still had no idea where we were going, and by this time it was about 8:00 pm. I assumed we would reach our destination by midnight, or 1 or 2 at the latest. Boy was I wrong. Pictures at our 3 am gas stop...the boys are not looking quite as excited!

After 13 hours in the car and driving through Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana, we arrived in Chicago at 7:30 am!! Matt drove the ENTIRE way, without a wink of sleep all night! I couldn’t believe that we actually drove all night long, and I couldn’t believe we were in Chicago! I had a brief suspicion early in the evening that we might be headed there, but quickly dismissed it since Matt will be moving there in a month. However, there we were and we had the whole weekend ahead of us.
When we arrived, we drove by a few of the “sights” (the White Sox stadium, Soldier Field, University of Chicago), we stopped for breakfast then headed to the place we were staying for showers and naps! Refreshed and ready for the day, we headed out to tour the city! This was Stephen and Kayla’s first trip to Chicago, so we had the chance to show them around. After a short train ride to downtown, we stopped for lunch at Ed Debevic’s. It is one of those restaurants where the waiters are rude on purpose, and Matt had so much fun being sarcastic right back. Maybe he should get a part time job there when he moves to Chicago! They also have hats to color and wear while you're eating.

Matt's eyes look a little scary in this picture!

Chicago has their big fireworks show on July 3rd, instead of the 4th. I’m not sure why. They actually had fireworks on the 4th and 5th too, but the big celebration was on the 3rd. So, after stuffing our self at Ed Debevic’s, we headed to the Magnificent Mile to do some shopping before the celebration that evening. If we had money to shop, I definitely could have spent quite a bit on Michigan Avenue! Next we headed to the "Taste of Chicago," which is in a park right beside Lake Michigan. Restaurants from all over Chicago come to the park and you buy tickets to sample the food. It was a lot of fun, although there were SO MANY people! We walked around and ate some snack, then found a place by Buckingham Fountain to wait for the fireworks.
We're still looking a little sleepy in this picture! Although the fireworks started late, we did have some excitement to watch while we waited. First, we saw a kid get arrested for flashing gang signs. Apparently that's illegal in Chicago, and the cop was REALLY UNHAPPY about it! He grabbed the kid by the shirt, slapped handcuffs on him, and dragged him away. Kayla tried to get a picture, but Stephen wouldn't let her! Next, we saw a guy get arrested for climbing on top of the police truck. Don't know what went through his mind that said it would be a good idea to climb on a police vehicle, but the little voice in his head was clearly wrong. The police officer came out of the truck, jerked the kid off it, and threw him inside. He proceeded to bang on the side of the truck for the rest of the night. Quite the exciting time! Oh, and did I mention there were 1.2 million of our closest friends watching the fireworks with us? 1.2 million! I've never seen that many people in my life! Well, this takes you through our first day in Chicago, and now I have to go. It's almost lunch time! Maybe I'll write more this afternoon.


Ben, Kelly and Sophie said...

Wow, sounds like lots of fun! Your hubby is so good at planning those surprise trips for you!

Regina said...

That Matty is the king of surprises. What a fun trip! However, we both know even if you had a pocket full of cash, you still wouldn't have bought anything! Love you!