Monday, April 28, 2008

The free zoo!!

So there are two zoos in the greater CHICAGO area. The Lincoln Park zoo is free everyday!! So since last time Kambria and I just went we decided to go and see more of the zoo with dad. We did not want to pay for Parking so we went with the meters and paid 75cents for an hour and a half instead of the $14 parking lot. We just had to walk a little more...that's what Chicago is all about anyways huh? So we started at the Farm portion of the zoo. We saw cows, and goats and chicks. This picture is Kambria playing in the egg that shows children how chicks are born.

And these are the baby chicks that were already hatched and then the ones that are in the incubator in the back.

This is Kambria sitting on the tractor. She wanted to go inside it, but there were too many kids in line, so we opted for the tire ;o)
This is daddy and Kambria looking at the monkeys, Kambria's favorite animal.
This was WAY funny. This is an aardvark that was asleep in a barrel.
And then on the way home we thought we would share how gas prices have JUMPED here in Chicago. Some places have even been at $4.09 for the "cheap" stuff.
And this is our nightly ritual to sit and watch the horse drawn carriages that pass by our street every night at 10pm. It is fun to see horses around town. We are not quite sure where they take them, but we figure it is somewhere close by.

This is a video of the monkey at the zoo that has no forearm. We tried to listen to what the zoo keeper was saying, but there was a lot of kids running around and laughing. So we just understood that the monkey got it's hand stuck in some sort cage and it ripped off the forearm all within 15 seconds. But he seems to get around just fine...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A trip around the neighborhood

So we took a stroll around town after we got a little settled down. First things first I thought I would show my brothers Nelson and Brady something funny...this picture shows that we are across the street but in the middle of the lower window you can see....
The Simpson's!!! Hopefully Nelson and Brady appreciate it! ;o)

This is a picture of the musical Wicked, which Bryan and I LOVE!!! Too bad it is expensive and we have no one to take Kambria...;o(

This is Kambria in her stroller. She is such a good sport.

This is the start of the block of restaurants near our house. This is a picture of the Rainforest Cafe. We hear they have some pretty good food, so I am sure one day soon we will get around to going. Maybe lunch time would be less expensive :o)
And right next door to the rainforest cafe sits the Hard rock Cafe. Bryan and I have both been to the one in Denver, so I don't know if we will go to this one. Not as big of a deal to us. And across the street is a two story McDonald's. This is a picture of the windows, which show the reflections of the hard rock cafe.

Of course we had to go inside the McDonald' we got a fudge sundae to share. Kambria was very excited to have ice cream!
These are the escalators inside the McDonald's. I've never seen a McDonald's with escalators and what seems like 50 different flat panel t.v. screens throughout the restaurant. This is the biggest McDonald's we have ever seen. The second floor is decorated according to different decades. They start on one side and travel in a circle around the McDonald's, starting with the year McDonald's first started and go through the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, & 90's. It is interesting to see how McDonald's has evolved over the years. Bummer for Bryan though, this McDonald's does not have a $1 menu! :( If you are accustom to your $1 hot fudge sunday it can be a shock when they tell you it is $1.75. I thought McDonald's was all about consistency?
And a picture of the other side
This picture starts our tour of Oz park. It is a little neighborhood park a little bit of a driver from us that is dedicated to the author of the Wizard of Oz. So this is a statue of the cowardly Lion...which has no plaque due to some theft a few days earlier.
Kambria playing on the Oz park playground.

The Emerald City Gardens.
This is an overview of the gardens.
The scarecrow who also had no plaque.
And the tinman...who did have a plaque, but basically said who contributed to the production of him.
And of course another picture of our sweet Kambria

So that was one of our day trips around town. Now we can say that we have been to Oz park...which we found out existed thanks to the book that Leah and Nelson gave me for my birthday. So it came in good use!!!
More pictures to come I am sure...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The view from our apartment

So now that you have seen the inside of our apartment, we thought we would show you the view from the balcony and what is right around our apartment.

This is the view looking directly down from our 7th floor balcony. Levels 2, 3, and 4 of the complex are for parking (the first level is the lobby with the doorman and all, the workout room and storage units). Then the apartments start on the 5th floor and we are the 7th.
For those of you who know me, yes my stomach gets a little wheezy when I look straight down...

This is the view from the balcony looking to the west.
This is what sits directly across from the complex. These are about 4 million dollar homes according to the lady we are renting the apartment from!!!! WOW! So yes they are all single family homes. A little bit different than what you think of as a single family home in the west!
This is a close up of one of the homes.
This is another one of the homes that we have seen people out of the porch. They have a little girl, that maybe one day we will meet.
This is the view looking east towards downtown. Michigan ave is 1 mile away...which takes about 15 minutes to walk to...

This is the night time view. It really is a pretty view and does NOT get dark here...too many city lights.
This is a few blocks to the west from our place. There is a little grassy area that we took Kambria to and let her run around. There are not many "parks" downtown and she needed some place to just run. There is an iron fence that guards her from the river. This is looking north up the river. Kambria is doing leg swings which you can't see.
So this is the view from the park to our apartment. So you can see how close it really is.
And the zoomed in version...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Finally here in Chicago!!

So we left for Chicago on Thursday April 17th around 9am and drove and drove until 8pm (which is 9pm in Iowa) when we stopped for the night in Carroll, Iowa to spend some time with our friends Nate and Sarah and Hannah!! We spent until Monday morning with them. Hannah and Kambria are 3 weeks apart, and they loved playing with each other...of course as long as they got to throw their fits when the other one had their toy!!! but all in all it was a fun time to spend some time with them again and of course play Ticket to Ride!!!

Here is Nate with Hannah and Kambria one the ONLY sunny day we had there!
So on Monday April 21st we left Carroll and drove another 7 hours to Chicago! We drove into Chicago about 4:30pm. And that was even with the traffic, which is HORRENDOUS!!! Bryan will be doing the majority of the driving I can already tell!
So the next bunch of pictures is a brief walk through of our little, but VERY expensive apartment in downtown Chicago. Where we come from you could buy a very nice 3-4 bedroom home for the $300,000 that would buy you this 1 bedroom condo. They have only been open since November, but there are only a few condos left so you better hurry. We are literally about one mile from Northwestern Chicago Campus!
This starts the tour...
This is the view you would get when you first walk in the the left is the bedroom and to the right is the living room.

Before you get to the bedroom, there is a bathroom on your thing that is nice about the counter is that it sits a little higher and has double sinks. So no fighting over the sink! ;o) With Bryan taking a picture of the big mirror...
This is the jetted tub which we are excited to use, but Bryan went to try it out and gross stuff came out of the jets, I don't think it has ever been used yet and there is dust and stuff clearing from the jets. So we have run it a couple of times and it is getting better. So one day soon one of us will get to try it. Who knows I might even learn to like baths again!
So next to the bathroom is the laundry closet...not room, but closet. It does a small load of laundry, but I am grateful that I do not have to go to a laundry mat but can do it in the comfort of my our apartment!!
This is the bedroom. We are looking in from the doorway and you can see that it is small, but very do-able. Once again, Kambria gets to sleep in the pack-n-play. But she does very well in it! For this we are grateful!!! It was a worry and there was no need to worry because she sleeps well in it! The bed is a "king" size bed...which turns out that they have two twin bed pushed together each having their own set of sheets on them with a king size comforter. It is a little different, but I like the room we have to sleep in! And it makes having Kambria in bed with us a lot easier too. (which has only been once so far. cross your fingers)This is the view sitting on the bed looking out into the apartment. The walk in closet is on the left. This is the walk in closet. Which Bryan and I have decided that we both LOVE!! Walk in's are GREAT!!

So going out of the bedroom into the living room. This is the entertainment system. Yes it is a flat screen tv, with basic cable, which will probably spoil us when we have to go back to our 27 inch tv...but it is fun for now!

So this is what you see as the living room when you are standing in the kitchen. This is the couch and chair...And Kambria sitting on the stylish zebra chair grinning for the camera!!!This is out the living room door on the balcony. Kambria is doing her leg swings for you...And this is looking from the balcony into the living room/ kitchen.This is on your immediate right when you very first walk in the door...the kitchen! With nice stainless steel appliances and dark cherry wood cabinets. The stove/oven are gas which Bryan likes, but I have to get used to. and this is the fridge. So that is the basic tour of our little abode we are living in while here in the big city of Chicago.