Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Trip to Illinois

We took a trip to Illinois a week & a half ago to see my daughter, Tara, graduate from Navy Boot Camp.

Packing for the trip:

Amber & Keith
Me & Hubby, Clark:
On the road:

Keith had to stretch out those long legs of his!:

We ran into several things that slowed us down on the two lanes:
Road construction:

Cement Trucks:

18 Wheelers:

A detour & traffic jams!:

Finally we got through all that and it went pretty fast.
Saw this really neat looking radio tower:
We made it through Alabama & Tennessee and as it was getting dark we came into Kentucky:
I had road maps for Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana.  I really wanted one for Illinois and finally when we stopped for gas I found an Illinois road map at the station!  I was so excited!
Here is Amber and Me showing off my map!  hahaha
I saw some really neat trucks with lights all over them.  I think they look so pretty in the dark.  I tried to take a picture of one, but it did not turn out so well.  I think it looks really neat anyway.

Finally after 16 hours of traveling we made it to our motel.  It was 4 O'clock in the morning by then!  We went straight to our room and went to sleep.
Later the kids and I got out to go exploring.  My husband's twin brother was working in Chicago and so he came over to the motel to visit with my husband.  The kids and me left them to do their thing and we went shopping! 
No matter where you are at you can always find a Wal-Mart!  We had to get Amber a jacket.  It was freezing in Chicago!

Then we went to this really neat thrift store and spent ages in there.  I love thrift stores!  They had several close together.  We only made it to two as we were so tired still.  I wanted to go back to the motel and lay down.
We were up before dawn on Friday morning to head to the Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois for Tara's graduation.

Here we are waiting in line outside the gates to get in.  It was a wet, cold day.
Finally after passing all the security posts and standing out in the cold for about an hour we made it inside the building where the graduation took place.

Below is Tara's division.  Tara is second in line on the first row.  She is holding the white and red flag.

Me & Tara.  She hated wearing those glasses.  I brought her contacts with me and she put them in as soon as we got back to the motel.  She had liberty for all of Friday and Saturday.

All three of my babies!
Keith, Tara, & Amber

Tara with her Uncle Mark and her Daddy. 

 Me, Tara, & Clark
Clark, Me, Tara, Amber, & Keith
Tara & Keith playing pool in the base's reck hall.

My poor baby was so tired.
 Looking good!  I think she makes a beautiful sailor!  Of course I could be a little prejudice!
Heading to Chicago on Saturday:
Below are some stained glass windows that were at the Navy Pier.  They had been removed from different churches and placed in frames at the Pier.

 At the Navy Pier in Chicago.  I looked for Forrest Gump, but guess he was busy.
Me & Tara at the Navy Pier in Chicago.
Tara & a Pirate!
Clark, Keith, Tara, Amber
Keith, Me, Tara, Amber
The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago

 Tara's favorite at the aquarium was the Beluga Whale
I really liked the Jelly Fish
In the cafe' there they had Tara's favorite food.
Clark, Keith, Tara, Amber - outside of the Aquarium
 Me, Keith, Tara, Amber
Clark & Me
Views of Chicago from the Shedd Aquarium

Saw this truck as we were heading out of Chicago Saturday.
Also saw the Morton Salt factory!
 Poor Tara was just worn out.  They don't get much sleep at all in Boot Camp.  She slept all the way from Chicago back to our motel in Waukegan, Illinois.
One beautiful sailor!!!  I am so proud of her!!!

 The kids wanted to go to Dunkin' Donuts all weekend.  We finally made it there for breakfast on Sunday morning before we headed out for home in Alabama!
 Headed home!
Sweet home Alabama!

Of course when we saw the Alabama sign we still had quiet aways to go before we got home.  We had to drive from one end of the state to the other.  It took us 16 hours to get there when we were going to Illinois because of all the trucks, detour, and traffic jams.  It only took us 14 hours to get home. 
It was so great being able to see my baby girl graduate and spend time with her.  The Navy flew her to Pensacola, Florida on the Sunday we came home for her "A" School.  She will be there for nearly 6 months doing training.  So now she is a lot closer to home and we will be able to go visit her more.  She does not know where she will be sent after "A" School.

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