Birthday Weekend

Very lucky for me, we had visitors arrive just in time for my birthday! My mom, Phil & Nevaeh got to town on Friday afternoon & stayed until Monday morning! Friday night we had a lovely dinner out. Saturday Mom, Nevaeh & I hit up a few yard sales (the weather was not so hot so the yard sales were few & far between). We got home & decided to head to the Chicago Botanical Gardens which is actually in the suburbs & not too far from where we work. Due to the terrible weather we’ve been experiencing this spring, the flowers were not yet out in full force. We did get to go to the butterfly exhibit & also the train exhibit. The train exhibit there is pretty impressive. They have a number of model trains running through the “US”, with people & scenery that was region specific. They obviously had a Thomas area as well, which of course Nevaeh loved. She actually enjoyed the whole exhibit. 20130616-221705.jpg

Saturday night we had dinner at home. Nevaeh spilled the beans at the end of dinner that we would be having cake for my birthday. She was so cute having kept the secret all afternoon but I guess the closer we got to cake & ice-cream the harder the secret was to keep. Turns out Phil had whipped up a cake while we were out Saturday morning. It was the first birthday cakes he’s ever made (although based on the skills exhibited, I’m not sure I buy that story) – check out the frosting job, sprinkles on the side of the cake & there was jam in the middle between the sheets of cake. Pretty impressive Phil. 20130616-221659.jpg

Sunday morning we headed downtown the aquarium. We got there right when it opened & beat the crowd (when we left there was a line that must have been 1/2 mile long outside, absolutely nuts). We started off at the sting ray touch tank & then moved on to the baby baluga whales. We saw 2 short 4D movies (which means it was in 3D plus added effects such as shaking seats, “snot” hit you when the dinosaur sneezed, etc.).20130617-202230.jpg

20130617-202239.jpgAfter the 4D experience we walked around for a bit & then went to see the beluga whales perform.  The aquarium is HUGE & I’m sure we could have spent all day there but after we had been there for a few hours we were ready to move on to our “surprise” stop.  I told Nevaeh that we would be making a special surprise stop after the aquarium.

We had a minor scuffle getting a cab but after that it was smooth sailing to….the American Girl Store.  Nevaeh has been obsessed with American Girls for a year.  She asked me if we were almost there so she could cover her eyes for the surprise.  I wish I had interviewed (on video) her before we went in.  We walked in & it took her a few seconds to register where she was, then she ran in a couple of excited circles & fell/fainted to the floor & kissed it.  Priceless reaction.  She couldn’t believe that it was real life.  She told me a couple of times she thought she was in a dream.  The whole thing was precious…and I have zero photos.  The place is a bit overwhelming…even for adults so I can only image how it feels being an almost 5-year-old in there.

We had a very good time & after went to a little Italian sub shop for lunch.  Then we went to the top of John Hancock Center to see the view of Chicago, pretty cool.  And then we were on our way back to the suburbs.  A great day in the city was completed by dinner at home (and a walk to pick up this gem).

As always, it’s great to have visitors!  Thanks for the great weekend Mom, Phil & Nevaeh!!

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