That Toddlin’ Town

The kids missed school on Friday for a family field trip to Chicago. We were due for some city time and Chicago is a fine choice by any standards.

It was a long drive, but we broke it up with a stop at our friends house in Kenosha for lunch. We could’ve protracted the visit and stayed all day, but we had a musical to get to that evening. The kids and I had tickets to see “Mary Poppins” at the Cadillac Palace Theatre.

According to wikipedia, here’s a tidbit of history about this place:

During World War II the United States government went around to most theaters and confiscated all the brass. Brass was melted down and used for ammunition, shells, etc. At the time, the owners of the Palace Theatre painted all the brass in the theater white, so that when the government came in, they were tricked into thinking the theater contained no brass. The brass was left this way and generally forgotten about until the recent renovation of the theater, when the paint was scraped off and the rare brass ornamentation was rediscovered and restored to its original state.

We arrived early enough to check out the views from different seats in the house. The top balcony with it’s steep angle made the kids nervous.

This was our first time at the Cadillac. Now that I see its size and shape, I’m convinced the best seats aren’t in the orchestra, but in the center dress circle.

This musical production of Mary Poppins was so-so. The kids loved it, but I’ll admit that a few things were sloppy which took some of the magic out of the show. Mics were not switched on in time, spotlights were not spitspot on, and although the actress who played Mary and a few others were outstanding, the two children’s voices (and singing) were shrill and many times incomprehensible.

But Mary flew over the audience in the end, so that certainly left us on a high note.

The next day we started early and arrived at the Field Museum as soon as the doors opened. For the first few hours we seemed to have the museum all to ourselves (which was the plan).

Eery. We walked through the dim, cavernous halls, hearing nothing but the echo of our own footsteps. Ancient Egyptian mummies and the stuffed bodies of extinct animals blurred the lines of time. The lack of humanity made all of this even more awe inspiring.

One of the featured exhibits we saw was “Whales; Giants of the Deep.”

It was amazing, of course. One of the interactive hi-lights of this particular exhibit was a life-sized model of a blue whale’s heart.

Did you know it can weigh 1,300 pounds?

Both children crawled inside through an artery and watched an informative video. I was worried that if I went in I wouldn’t be able to exit gracefully.

Poorly planned exit strategies will be the downfall of civilization, in my opinion.

But back to this backing out thing, suffice it to stay I didn’t go in.

Speaking of physical challenges, I’m no slouch but I simply can’t manage the entire Field Museum with one visit.

It wears me out before I can get tired of it.

We spent five hours non-stop roaming this expansive place before our tummies gave in to hunger and our brains to information overload. But wow was it ever a terrific experience.


It was time to eat, and the options can be mind-boggling in the city of Chicago. We chose Sofra Turkish Kitchen which used to be called A La Turka back when we ate there years ago. Sagan was just a baby and she rested on the turkish pillows while we feasted on their meze platter and vegetable musakka.

Wasn’t she a chubby little lamb chop back then?

***FLASHBACK 2002***FLASHBACK 2002***FLASHBACK 2002***

This time, we opted for chairs.

My little lamb chop has become a wolf – enjoying her own leg of lamb, no doubt.

Despite Mr. Sinatra’s claim, our time in Chicago was not spent “toddlin’.” We also managed to stuff a few treasures into (and on top of!) the van that I’d procured from Craig’s List. We had that van jamb packed.

With our bellies just as engorged (you might say lamb packed – ahee hee), we left Chicago and headed northward. Sagan fell alsleep almost immediately. Kailas thought his sister looked especially funny but his giggling didn’t bother her a bit, she was O-U-T out.

His laughing ended soon enough and he was out as well. It was good that they both got to nap that afternoon. We were staying the night in Milwaukee where we had plans to meet up with our friends again.

The weekend wasn’t over and there was a lot more fun in store!

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About marlashane

Artist. Explorer. Freethinker. Mother of two children.
This entry was posted in Chicago, Illinois, Exploring the USA and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to That Toddlin’ Town

  1. nicole says:

    Why is your car full of…. chairs?????

  2. Pingback: Chicago in December | comfort zone unlimited

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