On the fourth we went to our town's parade. It's a bit of a crazy event - the parade lasted for over two hours!
|a patriotic little lady|
|my niece isabelle|
|watching little lady mother her baby dolls|
makes my heart feel as if it could burst
After the parade, we spilt up. My sister and her family went to a nearby Super Target - maybe not a tourist hotspot for most but the closest one to their home is over an hour away - while we went to a sweet little friend's birthday party. Then that night it was fireworks.
|sitting on top of the car makes watching fireworks even more fun|
On Friday we headed to Santa's Village Azoosment Park for some rides and animal encounters. It's a small local theme park designed especially for young children.
|the parakeet house was our favorite animal attraction|
|big buddy has no interest in dogs or cats but give him a reptile and he's mr. attentive|
|this little guy was too cute|
|since the park is designed for younger kids mini man was able to ride |
everything except the bumper cars - it was a hard couple of minutes
|in the end, though, he had fun just watching these guys ram into each other|
|the vintage fire truck ride was another big hit|
|the kids were especially impressed with the "real" fire|
|funnel cake is great for herding kids|
Since the park is close to our home we left mid day so the little girls could take naps. We went back late afternoon and, while only planning to stay two hours, we totally lost track of time and didn't leave until closer to ten.
By Saturday we were all pretty tired but had already promised the kids a trip to Lincoln Park Zoo and swimming in Lake Michigan.
|these two fell asleep on the way there|
|watching my little sister be a mom is amazing - she does a wonderful job!|
|never too old to be carried by dad|
*my oldest niece and brother-in-law
The beach was probably the highlight of the weekend for everybody. All these kids are pretty crazy about water and sand.
|mini man convinced everyone to help him build a water tunnel - he had|
a very specific vision
We had plans to eat dinner in the city but we were so exhausted by this point that we picked up pizza from Giordano's and a chocolate cake from Portillo's instead. Good food, a comfy couch, and a movie was the perfect finale.