September 8, 2019-Back to Michigan!

(click here for today's pictures)

We must have all been tired this morning from our big day yesterday. It was very difficult to stir all of our people and get them moving. When we finally had Reagan out of bed, she noticed Whitman in another bed. She was quick to cuddle up with him. At one point, I was pulling Whitman towards me to put his clothes on while Reagan was pulling him back towards her under the covers.

Everyone grabbed a bite of breakfast, and then headed to the car. While listening to a book, we drove on down the road to our next stop. The kids then worked on some of their school work while Robby and I went through memory lane reading the blog about the first time that we were at Greenfield Village. 

On the drive, I told Robby that I completely marked off things that I wanted to do in Indiana after seeing the RV museum and eating at the bakery. I continued to tell him that I was going to add to my list an architectural boat tour in Chicago. He laughed and said that he was booking one right then. I didn’t believe him, but indeed he was. 

The kids pulled out their ipads only taking a break when we stopped at a rest stop. Robby sat the alarm so we would remember to turn the church service on. We listened to church, and then made our first real stop at Indiana Dunes National Park.

We have been here at least twice before when the Dunes were a National Lakeshore. Now, they have been classified at a National Park so of course we had to update our stamp and get some Jr. Ranger books to do at home. 

We stopped at a part of the park which was a farm. We were just a few days early because on the 22nd of September they were going to have an apple festival. I tried to convince Robby to come back up here, so we shall see (kidding!)

It was raining just a bit as we walked down the tree covered trail to the farm. It was such a neat little walk-the type of trail I would like to have in my backyard. Then it was on the see the dunes. The park ranger had suggested a trail for us, and he did pick a good one.

Though when I saw the 500+ stairs that we had to climb to go on top of a dune, I was doubting his suggestion. Before we even made it to those stairs, we had to walk about a quarter of a mile in sand. That was difficult! Then we hit the stairs. At the top, we stopped to catch our breath, before continuing on down the boardwalk area.

The boardwalks had plenty more stairs, but nothing as challenging as the first set. We could hear the waves of Lake Michigan crashing on the beach. The kids loved walking on the beach even though it was just a little walk down the beach to the end of the trail. 

We were a bit wet from the mist, sandy from the sand and out of breath from the steps, but it was a super fun walk. We definitely needed that before our drive into Chicago. We tried to shake out some of the sand and wash up a bit before getting in the car, but I am sure that the car has more sand than some beaches in it.

I made lunches as we drove the 45 minutes to Chicago. Just about as soon as I had everything passed out and cleaned up, we were hitting Chicago traffic. Robby said that the only reason he even thought about doing this was because it is Sunday. I am sure that the traffic is definitely lighter, but it is still crazy.

I am not sure when, but many, many years ago we bought some American Girl gift cards from someone. When we did this, we put them away. We thought that we had only used half of them and had some money to spare. I had tried to look up the amount that we had left on the computer but had no luck.

So since we had about 45 minutes to spare in Chicago, we ran to the American Girl store. The girls knew that we weren’t too sure if we had any money on the cards, but they were pretty excited...and guess how that turned out?

I had them check and alas there was no money on the cards. Keaton was just about in tears. Bless! We looked around for just a little bit, but then jumped back in the car with Robby. Now I have to figure out if we really have spent those silly gift cards. Not that it really matters too much, my girls love their American Girl doll stuff but that rarely play with them.

We then drove down the Magnificent Mile to where we were going to catch our architectural boat tour. Ours had free cookies and drinks, so can you imagine how excited the kids were? The lady who did our 90 minute tour was very good. She kept my attention the whole time, and the kids seemed interested as well.

The weather was a bit chilly, but it wasn’t too bad. Most of us had put on our pants before getting out of the car, so those combined with our jackets helped keep us warm enough. We saw so many buildings in Chicago. Like I said, that had been on my list for a very long time, so I was glad that we did it. 

We caught the boat at a perfect spot because right on the way to the car was a Target. We were able to go in there to use the restrooms before jumping in the car. I did have to go into two different Garrett Popcorn stores before finding one that didn’t have a huge line. I bought caramel popcorn for Robby and cheese for the kids. 

After leaving the Windy City, we headed to our hotel for the night. Robby did move our hotel an hour or two closer so we wouldn’t have so far to drive tonight. The drive went fairly quick with only a stop for gas.

Before we did check into the hotel, we did also stop for supper. Robby has been craving Fazolis and missing the one that we used to have in Little Rock. So we found us one on this trip. And you know what? The breadsticks were just as good as we remembered. 

We actually ended up with 5 little take home boxes. Normally, we don’t take our leftovers home on a trip, but since tomorrow is home day and because we have so much room in the ice chest we brought those babies home. 

From these, we just had about 4 minutes until we made it to the hotel. We are almost the only car in the parking lot-the parking lot is full though and covered with motorcycles. I hope that all don’t leave early in the morning tomorrow or they will wake us up.

It didn’t take long for everyone to find their spots. After changing into pjs, soon my crew were all sound asleep..well, possibly. They are at least quiet right this second!

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