After our long journey from Paraguay to Chicago, we spent our first two nights in the city with Brian’s brother Jay and his wife Michele (known as Aunt Shelf or Aunt Mishelf).  The boys loved the toys at Jay and Shelf’s house – lots of good quality older toys that just aren’t made or sold anymore.  

Despite a bit of travel exhaustion, we went to Navy Pier to watch the fireworks on our first night in town.  Patrick, who had refused a nap that afternoon, fell asleep on the way, but woke up in time to see the show.  Danny, who took a three-hour nap and had been talking almost non-stop for weeks about wanting see fireworks, was fascinated.  Despite cloudy skies and a bit of rain, it was a nice show.  

The boys loved to play at the playgrounds near Jay and Shelf’s, especially on the swings, and sometimes still in their pajamas.  

Over the weekend Danny and Patrick saw many of their aunts and uncles, my brothers and sisters, who the boys call the “nunckle nunckles” who live nearby.  We met many of them for lunch one afternoon and then to the Lincoln Park Zoo.

One night, Jay and Shelf, my brother Kevin and his girlfriend, and Brian and I went to see “We Gotta Bingo”, a hilarious new play produced by (and that night, staring) my uncle.  Jay was drafted into service and helped serve the dinner! 

Brian and I took the boys to the Shedd Aquarium where they especially enjoyed dressing like penguins in a play area near the penguin enclosure.   

Danny had fun pretending that a large fake fish bit his fingers and Patrick liked trying on shark hats in the gift shop. 

We visited Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears. 

We saw the Chicago Police Memorial which lists the names of all officers who died in the line of duty, including that of George Burns, my mom’s paternal grandfather.  

After our visit to the city, we headed out to the suburbs to spend a week at my mom and dad’s house.

We were lucky to visit the Stanley Cup with my mom and dad.   


We took to the boys to several doctors’ offices, including the pediatrician, dentist, and eye doctor.  

Danny did too much screaming at the dentist so we only have pictures of Patrick there.  Patrick had a cavity so he had to go back for a second visit.  

The boys especially liked seeing and playing with their cousins.   

One of the boys’ favorite activities was swimming in different pools and using the diving boards. Patrick worked on perfecting his front flip and his cannonball.  

Danny loved the diving boards.   

Patrick went off the high dive many times.  By the second day, Danny wanted to go off the high dive too, but we have no pics of him on the high dive since he needed help both on the ladder and in the water!  

The boys had a lot of fun in the sprinkler at Grandma and Grandpa Collins’ house. 

We had lots of great food – stuff you can’t get in Paraguay like deli sandwiches, Chipotle, steaks from Costco, and anything cooked by my mom and fresh veggies grown by my dad.  

The boys were excited when Grandpa Collins told them he had a gift for them and were thrilled to find out it was cookies.  Patrick said he wants to eat the rest of the cookies next time we are in Chicago.

We had a great time in Chicago in and we can’t wait to go back and see our family and friends (and eat cookies) again soon! 

2 thoughts on “Chicago 

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