Saturday, August 16, 2008

Yea for extended birthday celebrations!

For my birthday, Steve took our family to Chicago for the night. We had so much fun on our first overnight vacation (meaning getting away was not for some other reason).

We drove down yesterday after a fun-filled afternoon with Shane and Dick. Steve had been promising to take Shane ice skating and he was finally able to fulfill that promise. We got to the city around 6:30 or so, checked into the hotel, and then took off for dinner. Originally we were going to go some place nice, but we decided we would rather go somewhere family friendly. For those of you with infants, let me just warn you that city restaurants, no matter how informal, are not exactly family friendly. We thought pizza would be a good choice. Steve even indulged my love of deep dish. However, both Gino's and Giordanos would not allow strollers, even with sleeping babies that are cuter than any other baby in a 10-block radius. After waiting for a table and learning about the anti-stroller bias, we took our pizza back to the hotel.

Jack is a real party guy by the way. We kind of figured this out at Abby's wedding last weekend when he wouldn't sleep in the stroller. We confirmed it last night when he wouldn't go to sleep in the hotel room until we turned off the television, turned out all of the lights, stopped talking, and cuddled with him a bit to assure him we were going to sleep too. Then he woke up bright and early, 6 a.m., this morning.

Today, we met our friends Phil and Nikki for breakfast at Lou Mitchell's. Phil and I had never been. It was as good as its reputation. Jack even got to try some (see the pics below). After that, we walked around the city for a while. This is when we stopped at the camera store my photography professor recommended earlier this summer, Central Camera. What a great place. We ended up buying a zoom lens for the Nikon and you can see why the rest of the day was so much fun in the pictures below. After some good advice from the Central Camera guys, we bought the 70-300 Nikkor lens with vibration reduction. I could tell the difference between this very good lens and the kit lens right away! I think the best part about shopping at Central Camera, besides the good deal, was talking with all of the photographers. Every in the store had good things to say about this lens.

Anyway, after the camera store, we headed for the lakefront and the air show. We tired Jack out pretty well, so now that we are home, he's napping.

Overall, this was a wonderful trip to end the birthday celebration and summer vacation. Jack starts his new "school" on Monday and I head back as well to get the classroom ready for the following week. What a great summer!

Our newest Family Portrait (Thanks Kelly!)
Family Portrait 3

Lou Mitchell's Orange
Another taste of orange

Street Photography with the new lens
Street Photog 2

Air Show - The power of a 300 mm zoom
4 Planes

More Air Show

Me and Jack as taken by Steve (with the new lens of course!)Check out Jack's teeth!
Jack and Mom

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