Sunday Touring

Yesterday we took the Irish cousins downtown to attend a Catholic Mass. They wanted to go there instead of to our church. I took issue with it and lost. It wasn’t that bad. I’m not a very good sport when it comes to missing out on my own church on Sunday morning. My kids had a blast though and I guess that’s what made it worth it. They loved all of the things to see and the huge crowd. We tried to sit near the back but ended up in the middle. The ushers led us there. I only had to get up once with Peace because she started fussing. The boys were awesome. Sarah and my wife kept them both very busy and quiet. After Church we hit this amazing buffet restaurant Peach and Green. They have an open kitchen concept and it was a lot of fun to see the food prep. My boys loved it.

After we ate we all went to change clothes at the condo then we made our way to our River cruise! Man is that a fun time. All we had to do was wrangle the kids. My boys loved being on the boat. We sat in the back so we wouldn’t bother the rest of the group. We had such a great time learning about the history of Chicago and seeing the skyscrapers up close all at once. Everyone on our tour said it was great. That was probably the 5th or 6th time I’ve done a river cruise. Our out-of-town guests loved it and took a ton of photos. After we finished that we all went down and hung out at the Navy Pier before they took off for the airport.

I just uploaded all of our photos from this weekend onto our Family Facebook page if ya’ll want to go see how much fun we had around Chicago. We loved hosting the Irish and London families and I hope we can see them again soon. It will be much easier when we live in Paris. My wife said I did a great job with everyone even though it was a week early.

Hope everyone had a great weekend and is ready for a fun work week! Happy Monday!

Hometown Tourists

For the second time in Chicago, a little bit of Irish has come into town. My wife’s cousins from Ireland and a few from London are in town for the weekend. They were supposed to be in ne xt weekend. We had everything planned and set up for then but they came in this weekend instead. I realized that when my wife texted me Friday afternoon and said Guess who’s already in town! Oh boy.

We met them at the airport and took them out to eat right away. They said they were hungry. Then we took them back to the house. Now my wife and I had planned on taking our family out to eat for a special meal. She made reservations and everything. When we got home with extra people everyone was surprised. We got everyone settled in and decided to just order pizza for everyone else and the kids. I didn’t want to cook because there was too much to plan out.

Friday night was hilarious. We all talked and ate pizza as they told us about all of the great things they had already done and seen in NYC. They were there from Monday until yesterday. Again, they could have told us. They had 3 things they wanted to visit in Chicago. I told them one of the things was a fountain but they said it was one the Top 3 things to do Lol I said okay but we will find more to do than going to look at 1 fountain. My kids loved seeing them. They talk funny and the boys have no idea what they are saying it seems. They cock their heads and then look completely puzzled. That’s how I feel listening to Lindsay when she’s mad. Her australian accent gets super thick and then I have no clue. I’m happy to see my boys take after me a little more than I thought they would.

We all went to bed really late. We got up in the morning and headed downtown. The first thing on their list was the fountain since there would be no line for it.

  1. Buckingham Fountain  This is Chicago’s front door. I just read that on Wiki. Here is the little summary from Wiki also.The fountain is considered Chicago’s front door, since it resides in Grant Park, the city’s front yard near the intersection of Columbus Drive and Congress Parkway. The fountain itself represents Lake Michigan, with four sets of sea horses (two per set) symbolizing the four states—Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana—that border the lake. The fountain was designed by beaux arts architect Edward H. Bennett. The statues were created by the French sculptor Marcel F. Loyau. The design of the fountain was inspired by the Bassin de Latone and modeled after Latona Fountain at Versailles.

    The fountain was donated to the city by Kate Buckingham in memory of her brother, Clarence Buckingham, and was constructed at a cost of $750,000. The fountain’s official name is the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain. Kate Buckingham also established the Buckingham Fountain Endowment Fund with an initial investment of $300,000 to pay for maintenance.[1] Buckingham Fountain was dedicated on August 26, 1927.

    In August 2016, in a partnership with the City of Chicago, the Chicago Parks District and Everywhere Wireless, the Buckingham Fountain viewing area joined many Chicago beaches and the Museum Campus in providing free Wi-Fi to visitors.

Free Wifi? I had no idea. We have been by this thing a million times. We have all done the photos by it and we have seen the light shows at night. I guess I didn’t realize what a big deal this fountain was. Internationally its well known. Okay. So we took them to see it. They all got harassed by photographers trying to sell them photos we can take with our cellphones. It was fun. It really is an impressive fountain. The more I looked at it the more I realized it kind of is a big deal. Plus it’s just huge.

2. Willis Tower.   Now this is a classic. I have meetings here often, our old building is a few blocks away and our new building is still a little north of here. I have been up to the top several times and I have also done the Sky deck. We decided to leave the babies downstairs to hang out with 2 nannies. They said the boys loved running back and forth in the lobby anyway. That’s good. We did the skydeck. We took photos and had a great view of the city. Chicago really is a beautiful place. The Irish cousins were amazed at how big it is. I think we are 4th in US population? Maybe 3rd but I think Houston might be a little bigger. Not sure on that.


After that we went to eat. We found a really great restaurant nearby that had a small room in the back for our large party of people. The folks from London wanted to try a burger Lol They said they had never been to the US and tried a burger in NYC but wanted to try a Chicago burger. I told them we would take them to White Castle tomorrow to try a burger Chicago is famous for.

3.   They all wanted to see Wrigley Field. Now that’s what I’m talking about. We were able to get on one of the tours for it last minute. See what happens when you have a city pass? It’s great! We got to go inside and sit on the benches. We got to see the field and it really is a cool tour. Very great place. We bought everyone a Cubs hat and t-shirt to take home. Very proud to be a Cubs family!




Quick shoutout to all of the aid finally reaching Puerto Rico! Thank God! So happy to read this article this morning.

Ships are reaching them with a lot of food and water. This means that even more can now make it to them and they can begin to heal, rebuild and most important drink and eat. It’s been so worrisome to know that millions of people are completely helpless. The worst part are the ones in the rural areas that literally have no way of getting any help at all. Hopefully they find their way into a town and can finally receive all the help they need. It’s going to be weeks before the power gets back on. I think they are going to have to rebuild the entire system. God bless all that are helping them. They really need it. Also don’t forget Barbuda also. That entire island is gone. Destroyed and no one lives on it either. This hurricane season is a mess and it’s still ongoing. Please pray and donate to each disaster. I always promote the American Red Cross because you can see where the money goes. You see them show up with clean clothes, water, and food. They set up shelters and the shelters have beds, food, and resources to help people get help. Any disaster I always donate that $10 from your cellphone then I get online and do more. This year our Family Foundation is switching gears and instead of only focusing on Nebraska we are expanding it to other areas. We will of course still make our charity gifts in Nebraska but our money can go to other places as well. We have already voted on that as the board thought that might be a good thing for us to do this year. I approved it and they are working on a list of charities that get money to the people affected.


Today we are all going to Church at 10am. They want to go to a big Catholic church downtown. Not a fan of the Roman Catholics at all but we will sit and be respectful. At least we will all be together. My wife told me to stop crabbing about it being the wrong Church Lol I want my kids to be with our Church family, not the other kind. When we have guests in from out-of-town though I guess we need to accommodate for them. They want to see the Church. It is historical I guess. So we are all up and getting ready to drive to Mass in the city. Then we are all going out to lunch. I made a light breakfast because we are taking them to a buffet. My wife said she wants them to taste a bunch of different foods in Chicago. Great idea.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! We are all going to change clothes at the condo after lunch and go on a River tour! How fun is that!