Chicago was very cool at night. The lights and energy were awesome.
After the hospital, we went back to the hotel and freshened up and then headed out to do a bit more sight-seeing/shopping and dinner.
We walked for several blocks down the mile and ended up in another mall next to the Hancock building.
The first store we saw was the American Girl Doll store. I got three guys to go in that store with me. It was pretty nifty and the whole time I was wishing that Abby could have been by my side. She would have been in heaven. I found cute, matching girl/doll, American girl Chicago shirts and a tote bag for all of her doll stuff.
Further into the mall we found this store. All the buildings in the picture above were built out of legos. Very impressive on closer inspection. I was surprised that the Lego logo was not built out of legos. It looked like a bunch of little uninflated balloons.
However, I got up really close and saw they were legos...the heads of mini figures! Awesome!
It was a very cool store. They had a little play area where Ben made a new friend while I shopped.
They had a place where you could build your own mini figures. They also had a place with a bunch of computers and legos...I didn't know what it was for but I'm sure it was awesome.
Ben was quite enthralled with all the life size figures built out of legos. He didn't want to leave Woody's side and finally had to give him a kiss before he was satisfied and could be dragged away.
We also went to a great store called Marbles the Brain Store. They had some unique and fun games. We ended up getting a game called Sherlock for Josh and a game called Trigger for the family. Trigger is made by the same company that makes one of our favorite games, Spot It.
I was able to make it up to the top floor of the mall to the Pandora store. Andy gave me a Pandora bracelet with one bead for Christmas (I had picked it out for him). I thought it would be fun to add another one to it. The guys waited outside of the store. Ben was fascinated by the escalators so they were going to go for a few rides while I chose a bead. A minute after entering the store Andy came in and said Ben was having one of his staring seizures. He said to keep looking; he just wanted me to know. I hurried and chose a bead called "The Magnificent Mile" (a lot of cities adopt a bead and give it a name associated with their city).
I went out to find Ben still quite out of it. Andy said it had lasted about 7 minutes. He started to come around while I held him. We were all pretty hungry and so we went walking again and found some dinner here...
Apparently they are pretty famous for their Chicago style, deep dish pizza. I was kind of shocked though when we were seated and I heard the waiter tell a group next to us that their pizzas would take 45 minutes to an hour to bake. Oh boy! I knew Ben couldn't hold out that long. We got his dinner quickly and then took turns walking the restaurant with him while waiting for our own.
It was an interesting restaurant to study since every inch within arms reach (and often beyond) was covered in signatures/graffiti.
|Check out the name right in the middle.|
|One of my favs!|
The food was quite good when it came. We all gulped it down so we could get Ben back to the hotel and happy. He actually fell asleep in the hotel's crib after he stripped the sheets. He ended up in bed with us as he always does sometime in the middle of the night. He was zonked! He slept through us getting ready and we had to awaken him so we wouldn't be late.
We got him ready and slipped downstairs and had a quick breakfast. We grabbed our stuff and were headed to the airport.
We ended up having a good amount of time so we wandered around one of the world's busiest airports. I had to buy some chocolate from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company...the Peanut Butter Bucket was my favorite, and I had to buy some popcorn from Garrett's for Ben...he loves popcorn! (Because Ben is such a charmer he got free chocolate and free popcorn...lucky guy!)
Here are Ben and Grandpa Bryan at lunch before we loaded the airplane.
Pretty cute stuff!
Well, the next part of our story is pretty long...so I will spare you the details.
Let me just say that we loaded our plane, spent about 2 hours there, were unloaded, spent about 1/2 an hour back in the airport, loaded the plane again, spent about three more hours sitting and trying to entertain Ben, were unloaded again for about 15 minutes and then were loaded for the third time. Finally, after 7 1/2 hours past our original take off time, we took off. It was all due to weather, luggage problems, mechanical problems and such. Boy, were we glad to finally get off the ground. Within 3 minutes of taking off, Ben was asleep in my arms and slept until the last 30 minutes of the three hour flight. Then he ate and drank some water so his ears were okay while we landed.
He was amazing. Even during the 7 1/2 hours on the tarmac he was happy for the most part. I was so grateful! It could have been my worst nightmare but he was a doll. (It was also a blessing to have the extra space granted between the last row of 1st class and our seats.)
We got home about midnight and found all snug and sound.
What an incredible trip! We were so blessed to have that opportunity and so blessed to have the support and love from our families and friends. Now we will put into practice some of the things Dr. Laux suggested and hopefully see some improvement for Ben.