Chicago 2011 – Part One

Past Chicago trips usually began at some ungodly hour of the morning – last year it was 4:00 am – but this year was different. Since another band booked our usual morning time at VanderCook College of Music we were bumped to the afternoon and didn’t need to leave until 5:00 am.

 

Chicago Trip 2011 - Blurry StreetThis is what the drive to school looked like this year: lighter out than usual, but as unfocussed as every year. My eyes refuse to focus until I’ve been out of bed for a couple of hours.

 

Chicago Trip 2011 - Milling Around the BusThe kids were more awake and lively than usual, and couldn’t wait to get the trip started.

 

Chicago Trip 2011 - Teacher Packing the BusOnce again Teacher’s job was to pack the bus. After so many years packing our moving van we moved eleven times during our first thirteen years of marriage, the Vanguard truck, and the Chicago bus for so many years I think he’s lost his amateur status.

 

Chicago Trip 2011 - Final Packing That’s the last of it; time for the opening devotion and announcements before we head out.

 

Chicago Trip 2011 - Wisconsin Country RoadAnd we’re off – Chicago, here we come!

 

Chicago Trip 2011 - Wisconsin HighwayAre we there yet?

We usually watch a DVD or two on the way there to help keep the kids from getting too squirrely. Unfortunately this year our bus was a “tester” that the company was considering buying. It was wonderful, except the DVD player would only work with a remote, which apparently wasn’t anywhere on the bus. Between the frustration of trying to figure out how to make the DVD player work and the squirrely kids the trip seemed longer than usual.

 

Chicago Trip 2011 - Illinois HighwayWhen will we get there?

Traffic was light so we made good time on our way to Chicago. Since we had some flexibility in our morning schedule we stopped at a highway oasis before we got to the city.

 

Chicago Trip 2011 - Kids at OasisWe were all glad to get off the bus, use the bathroom, and stretch our legs.

 

Chicago Trip 2011 - StarbucksNow THIS is what I was looking for!

 

Chicago Trip 2011 - Starbucks LineApparently I wasn’t the only one in need of a Starbucks fix.

 

Chicago Trip 2011 - Jo-BearJo-Bear got in line too, but since I won’t let him have coffee until he’s older he had to console himself with a smoothie. It’s a rough life but I think he’ll make it.

 

Chicago Trip 2011 - Kids and ChaperoneHey ladies, time to head for the bus!

 

Chicago Trip 2011 - More Kids ChattingCome on, let’s go!

 

Chicago Trip 2011 - Compass RoseTeacher had just introduced the compass rose to his class, so we took a photo of this gigantic one outside the oasis entrance to show them.

 

Chicago Trip 2011 - Back to the BusStopping at the oasis was a nice break – I hope we can fit it in every year.

 

Chicago Trip 2011 - Coffee CrewSome of our chaperones; aka the Starbucks Crew!

Now that we’re all caffeinated we’re ready to hit Chicago.

More to come…
Amy Sue

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