We arrived in Chicago when it was rainy! We underestimated the windy and chilly weather about the city so we decided to enjoy the city from the indoors. We planned for a quick stopover at the Chicago Children’s Museum for about 1-2 hours only yet we ended up staying until closing time!
Kids rule in play and learning in Chicago Children’s Museum. We have all raves and praises about this awesome kids place.
The staff were friendly, the place is ergonomically designed for kids to play and for parents to enjoy their kids play; or better yet, to enjoy playing with their kids.
Now, let’s talk about Mission. Obviously, our family is advocate of setting family goals linked to one own’s Mission Statement. With the mission statement, “to improve children’s lives by creating a community where play and learning connect”
“Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
We were welcomed by a 100% probability of rain on our first hour in the city! Actually, strong rain welcomed our train from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania we were scared to get out the Station Union.
Rain. Chilly and windy rain. Okay, that surprised us. A lot. Well, it’s Chicago is not called “The Windy City” for fun or pun. Windy the city really is.
Nothing can stop our family from enjoying the beauty and architecture of Chicago. Not even 100% certainty of bad weather.
Our first stop, to get equipped. We don’t like to shopping (window shopping specially nor shopping for fun — any kind if shopping for that matter. On the side note, this is actually obvious in all our family photos, we are always wearing the same clothes over and over and over and over….), but for necessity, we do what we need to. Off we went to get our traveling feet warm while we explore. Although we make sure we know the weather for days and weeks of the place we will explore, we were caught off guard by the winds of Chicago!
Armed with a lot of umbrellas and water proof shoes, we went to visit Cloud Gate Park and checked out “The Bean.” Oh boy, was it still crowded, amidst the rain.
We had a blast taking photos in this architectural wonder. Oh yeah, it seems that the phrase “architectural wonder” goes together with Chicago! The skyscrapers are extraodinaire when it comes to architecture design. Or it our visual description – fabulous and looks functional.
In addition to the Chicago skyscrapers, we visited the Chicago Cultural Center and checked out their extraordinaire biennial exhibition on Architecture! Arxhitects, designers and students everywhere socializing with our three traveling kids talking about design, construction and mine crafts. Minecrafts mainly from our Turknoys, of course. That counts.
Then comes the bronze cow in The Windy City.
The next day, we didn’t want to be overwhelmed with all the “must-sees” in Chicago, so we decided to visit the Chicago Children’s Museum. We didn’t realize we will be there for hours and hours of adult and kids fun!
There are also lots of things to see and enjoy at the Navy Pier!
Top of our list, Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza! A pizza which takes more than an hour wait to bake. Our verdic -calorific!
If you think that’s loaded, try the glazed and infused donuts, another Chicago born and raised idea of culinary speciality!
We went to Grant Park and enjoyed a nice sunny and cloudy (and windy!) stroll along the Buckingham Fountain, one of the largest in the world and one that resembles Versailles Fountain. That sounds familiar, yes, the one in France.
We spent our last day in the Water Tower Place – Dr. Seuss and Lego. Two things that these kids would want not to leave any place.
We’ve seen a little of the city but the kids did a whole lot of Chicago loving their way!
Someday, we’ll return and for sure we’ll enjoy this city more, especially the must-sees.
Have you been to Chicago? What did you love most? Do tell.
“To get such beauty from something that has been produced from the artists’ own imagination appealed to me enormously. ” – Solomon R. Guggenheim
Guggenheim Museum is modern art museum located at 1071 Fifth Avenue on the corner of East 89th Street in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It’s a stone throw away from Metrolpolitan Museum of Art on the other side of the street. We were very impressed with the paintings we found in the museum. The museum was established by the Solomon R. Guggenheim, hence the name. He is a philanthropist and quite obviously, art lover.
The kids enjoyed the paintings we saw inside the museum and these are their favorite.
Woman With A Yellow Hair, Pablo Picasso, 1931. We read a lot about Pablo Picasso and one of our favorite is “The Girl With A Pony Tale.” Okay, the note about the painting is a little trolling because the little girl was only seventeen when she met Picasso and became the object of a lot of Picasso’s art works. Despite that fact, this painting our little fierce traveller’s favorite in the Guggenheim Museum.
The Palazzo Ducale, Seen from San Giorgio Maggiore. Claude Monet. Who loves Venice and Impressionism Paintings? Well, obviously our future scientist in the family. The one who loves Venice since he visited when he was three ( and of course, he remembers.)
Woman Ironing. Pablo Picasso.1904. Since our eldest traveler is the master of shades, she knows good art when she it. She’s happy being in the Guggenheim Museum.
Top of the cherry in this Museum is its architecture and design which the kids never got tired of looking… and climbing up and down.
“Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” – Austrian Proverb
The easiest thing to do in Austria, based on our family opinion, is to appreciate beauty. The landscape all throughout the country is phenomenal. We meant it when we say, “jaw-dropping, inhale exhale majestic.”
During our first visit in the country back in 2013, we visited Vienna and Innsbruck and we were floored with amazement in every country landscape we saw during our train rides passing through towns from Vienna to Innsbruck. We can ride the train back and forth and we’ll never get tired of the nature, view and even houses with their happy cows grazing in the majestic field.
Never did a month pass that we didn’t talk about visiting again Austria. We wanted to go back to Innsbruck and leisurely enjoy the mountain peaks. However, this second time around, we enjoyed worldschooling our little travelers in Salzburg and discovered the UNESCO World Heritage Town, Hallstatt.
Salzburg is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birthplace, the city where legends are born. Kids noted that their mom was being “weird’ in the room where legend was born at No. 9 Getreidegasse in Salzburg, Austria. Like any “typical” traveler, Mozart didn’t quite like Salzburg as much as he loved Vienna. That fact alone comforts our traveller’s hearts. The understanding of Mozart’s childhood, dreams and environment he grew up basically validates our family trails we seek for our three Mozarts.
We gave Salzburg landscape a chance to impress us like Innsbruck, but this traveling family somehow chases the fog, instead of the sun.
Oh Hallstatt! A small village by Lake Hallstatt in the moutainous region of Salzkammergut. We went to explore Hallstatt from Salzburg on a day trip taking two trains one way. It was well worth a day visit and probably more! We really didn’t want to leave. Would you leave a view like this?
We also enjoyed the Salt Mine which took more than 3-4 hours and we didn’t even notice! Definitely a recommended activity for kids in Europe – tourist mode or definitely event long term travel. How fantastic it would be to stay more than a month in this place, we can only imagine.
One of our favorite country to explore is definitely Austria. We have explored 30 countries to date across three continents. That makes us well travelled family, right? We say, yes! We set goals to live the life we imagined.
“The journey not the arrival matters.” – T. S. Eliot
Since our family started our family adventures based on our family travel goals, we meet a lot of family travelers online and offline. Perhaps family travel will be the leading form of travel in the near future. Maybe (big maybe) that’s how Millennial will raise their families. Honestly, we see a lot of wins when kids travel early on with their family. It is our contention that family travel will pave the way to world peace.
That Big Family Traveler
More than big in number but more on big in ideas and big in luxury! Family travelers can aim for that one-time BIG adventure and they go all out. Disneyworld, Disneyland, Legoland, Atlantis – yes please! Mainly where commercial travel marketing go crazy at. Yes, after all, It’s A Small World After All!
That Hairy Family Traveler
Shun all the risks, these family traveler will visit exotic places in a heartbeat! But of course, exotic is a relative place, it could be Asia for North Americans or Africa for Asians, either ways it is a dangerous, out of comfort zone place for this type of family traveler.
That Audacious Family Traveler
Daring, bold and brave, adjectives we don’t normally use at the end of a fairytale like “happily ever after…” That’s boring because family fairy tale doesn’t have to have an ending. Long term family travelers life their life without borders, that audacious! It must be really fantastic to wake up to days and days of something new and different which turns to weeks and weeks which turns to years to years.. up to , who knows, decades even.
That Goal (keeper/oriented) Family Traveler
Of course, that cautious family traveler who are vigilant to source out travel deals, who master the itinerary to ensure productive travel days with family because of limited time, limited resources or any other limitations. They are the family who does not make excuses, yet makes end meet in their own creative ways.
Our family is that family who is a little bit of everything, who lives by the acronym BHAG, that Big Hairy Audacious Goal of traveling 100 countries in every continent, who appreciate every family travelers we meet.
Any type, any form, any reason, any rationale of family travel. We strongly believe, all families are unique, so their travels should be.
Kdo hledá, najde. “He who looks, finds.”- Czech Proverb
First, a disclaimer – we never explored all parts of the country, like what we attempt for other countries we explored , at the very least, two cities of the country. Our thirtieth (30th, baby!) was mainly spent enjoying the Renaissance, baroque and gothic architecture of its capital city, Prague. No matter, boy, did we get ourselves full of stories, facts, science and history in, arguably, the city with the most tourists.
We explored the city of Prague, mainly by foot. Yes, our 10 itchy, wanderlust-y feet, plus the three-wheel stroller, which turned 5 years in the family.
New Town or Old Town, all bridges crossing the River Vlatava, ornate castles , holy churches, monasteries and our family’s favorites, library and brewery!
The heart of Central Europe definitely left a mark in our hearts to come back. We want to know more about the Bohemian and other parts of the country.
Hey-O! Completed 30% of our goals. You can be like our family, too! Whatever your families’ priorities are, just go for it!
“One cannot fight the wind. ” – Hungarian Proverb
We got very inspired to write about our family travels when we were in Budapest, Hungary. We arrived at a conclusion that kids travel in Europe with Beauty and The Beast for two very obvious reasons , the continent’s natural beauty and it’s beastly barbaric history. Both great topics for worldschooling.
For Country 28 of our 100 Countries travel goal, we explored Buda and Pest in great detail. We have walked both sides of Danube River admiring the landscapes and history of the country. We are very much aware that the country offers a lot of many diverse destinations, but this particular trip, we decided to simplify our country visit and get to know one of the most beautiful capital city in the world, Budapest.
Getting to know the Danube River , the second longest river in Europe, serves a gateway for discussion of other countries the river runs through… and yes, more bucketlist and travel goals for the our worldschooling family – Black Forest, Romania, Belgrade. Oh the places we want to go when we visited places we’ve already been. Do you experience that as travellers? The more we know, the more we want!
The diversity of the metropolitan city is very evident. We were exploring St. Stephen’s Basilica one morning and the next morning, we were learning something new about Jewish faith inside the Great Synagogue, second largest synagogue in the world.
The Great Synagogue not only features learning about the Jewish faith but an introduction to the holocaust memorial for Jews. A little heavy discussion for the kids. Maybe next year , there will be more serious discussions about this topic.
For this moment, in this country, is perfect. Not fighting the kids playful attitude in all sacred places we visited, not fighting the wind of change, trusting God’s will, going with the flow of the river.. Danube it may be. 😂
There are lessons in every country we visit. We are not traveling with kids because of photos, but of moments we try to capture with our phone cameras.
Just most of the time, we capture it so well, the memory of that certain place and certain time with kids melts our hearts. All the time.
Budapest, Hungary is one for our books. The rest of the country… kids will decide . If Atlas is a myth, Hungary definitely is not.