03 September 2012

First Family Road Trip: Week One

Our first stop was Crater of Diamonds - or Crater of Dirt Clods, as I like to call it.
Max looooved playing in (eating???) the dirt.
And no, we did not find any diamonds - although someone had unearthed a 30-carat
brown diamond two days before we got there!

Next up, good 'ole Saint Louie!
The Magic House was a really cool children's museum
that used to be an old house with secret passageways and everything!
They had a really neat area for kids 5 and under with
giant Lite Brites, slides, light switches, and lots of other fun.

As you can tell, Max LOVED the rubber mulch pit with toy diggers. ;)

 Of course, we had to stop at Ted Drewes for some yummy Frozen Custard!

Despite the long waits and tight spaces, Gateway Arch was one of Max's favorites!
He really enjoyed peering out the windows and down onto the river.


 The City Museum was probably my favorite place (besides my parents'!) we visited on this trip.
Even though I couldn't fit through any many of the tunnels,
I sure had a great time watching those who could - and they were everywhere.
Just check out the ball pit picture below. ;)


Max's first ferris wheel ride!

We stopped in Indiana to spend the night with my dear friend Jenna and her husband Stephen.
 Our short 12-hour visit made me wish that Indy weren't so far away. :(

Next up, Chicagoland!
The Shedd Aquarium didn't hold Max's attention like we thought it would,
though they did have a pretty cool jellyfish exhibit.

After a quick stop at Garrett's Popcorn for a snack,

(the Chicago Mix is addictive!)
we headed over to the Willis Tower Skydeck.
I was maybe a teensie bit scared to walk out on to the Skydeck. Hey - 103 stories is a long way down!

We had some Chicago-style pizza at Giordano's for dinner the first night...
and some from Lou Malnoti's the second!
Our favorite was Giordano's - yum!

The next morning we made a quick stop by Adler Planetarium,
where Max saw his first moon rock!

The Field Museum was conveniently right down the street, so naturally we had to stop in. :)
They had some really neat exhibits - one on Genghis Khan and another on extreme mammals
(both of which Max slept through). And the extensive regular galleries were quite interesting too!

Max also got his picture taken with Sue, the most complete T-Rex skeleton ever found!
(Daddy made sure he wore his dinosaur shirt that day.)

 After that, we headed over to Millennium Park to see "The Bean."

 (I saw this sign posted on a hot dog vendor and pointed it out to Clay, a man who does not recognize mustard as a condiment. He did not think it was quite as funny. Ha!)

Crown Fountain was part of the park, and we knew we had to stop for little man.
He had a blast splashing in the water and watching the other kids!

We also visited the Museum of Science and Industry.
It was HUGE and we did not have near enough time to see everything!

  Many of the exhibits were more suited to older kids
(like touring a recovered German submarine from WW2 and standing inside a real tornado)
but that didn't stop us from enjoying what we could. :)
We did have to pass on a hands-on Mythbusters exhibit,
but hopefully we can catch it another time!

This week of activities would tire out your typical family - but not the Riches!
Stay tuned for week 2 of our first family road trip. :)


karen said...

love reading about your family trip! such wonderful memories for y'all! thanks for sharing through pictures and stories! looking forward to 'week two'.

laura jo said...

Next time, take all of us! I want to travel with you guys. Y'all do all the cool stuff. :)

Brittnie said...

SO fun that y'all stopped in St. Louis!! Ted Drewes is the best ever! Brandon and I want to go back and visit soon!

Katie Allen said...

Wow! I love reading about your vacations, looks like you had so much fun! Great pictures too.

Katie said...

Wow! Y'all did a lot! Loved all the pictures!

Shannon said...

What an amazing road trip!! You guys really packed it in :) Chicago is def on our list of cities to visit!