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I was cleaning up the pictures on my blog and I ran across some awesome pictures from my trip to Chicago to visit my sister. The kids and I packed up and flew to Winnetka, just a train’s ride away from Chicago. What a fun trip! In order to prepare the kids for their first time in Chicago, I bought the book Larry Gets Lost in Chicago.

What is Larry Gets Lost in Chicago About?

In this book, Larry the dog, gets lost from his boy, Pete. They both roam through the city of Chicago looking for each other, and we get to experience each of their adventures. I really like the way the book tells the story of Larry looking for Pete and vice-versa, but the book also has very interesting facts about many of the famous or well-known places in Chicago. For instance, Larry ends up at the top of Willis Tower (just like we did), and it has a cute little rhyme on the page. But at the bottom of the page, it gives you facts about the Willis Tower – how tall it is, the name of the observation deck, etc…

Our itinerary was based on the adventures Larry and Pete had in the book. Since I had never been to Chicago myself, this was a fun way for the kids (and me) to learn about Chicago and be involved in creating the itinerary. I think I enjoyed the book just as much as my kids did!

What is Willis Tower?

The two most memorable stops on our tour of the city were the Willis Tower and The Bean. The Willis Tower, formerly called the Sears Tower, is a 110-story skyscraper, and it is the tallest building in the United States!  It has an all-glass observation platform on the 103rd floor called “The Ledge”! As a person who is afraid of heights, and I mean REALLY afraid, I was very unsure about this adventure. But…I wanted to be brave for my kids!

It took a while to get up to the top, but after several elevator rides, we had arrived. I immediately broke out into an impressive sweat, and according to my sister, I “didn’t look so good”! She kept staring at me saying “You look really pale. Are you okay?” I wasn’t okay…I was scared to death. And what made it worse was that my kids were just hopping around on this all-glass platform like we weren’t 103 stories up in the air!! I finally bit the bullet and prepared to take one of those touristy pics with my kids.

They led me out onto the ledge with my eyes closed, I looked up at the camera, smiled, and jumped back to the safe floor – just leaving my kids out on the ledge! What a nerd! But I did it. I was pale and sweaty when it was all said and done, but I did it!  And I had the picture to prove it (see featured image).

Are they crazy? How can they be out there on that see-through ledge? Oh my….I was sweating just thinking about it.

I mean look at those crazy kids… Acting like it’s just another day at the park! I wanted to shout “WE ARE 103 FLOORS UP YOU CRAZY NUTS! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?? GET OFF THAT PLATFORM”!! But…I didn’t want to transfer my fears to them, so I stood back against the wall on the regular floor, and happily snapped pictures of them!

What is The Bean?

Cloud Gate, commonly known as “The Bean,” did not seem like much to me when we read about it. I thought it was just going to be a large sculpture that we looked at for a few minutes and then moved on. Surprisingly, we had such a great, simple time here. My kids were fascinated with the reflections it creates. Hard to tell from these pics, but The Bean is 66 feet long and 33 feet tall and has a stainless steel mirror finish!

I would love to spend a day here taking pictures – capturing the reflections was lots of fun. It is a very crowded area though, so having space to take uninterrupted pictures was difficult…

Zach was fascinated with The Bean. I think I could’ve left him there all day while we shopped and roamed around the city, and he would’ve been very happy!

Of course, anything with Aunt B is fun! She always knows what’s cool and the places to be!

And we had to take the obligatory selfie of our reflection in The Bean! I mean…who doesn’t do this, right?  This was such a popular activity, we had to fight for space!!!

In addition to the book we read, there are many others in the “Larry Gets Lost” series.  A few of the titles that we have are listed below.  You can click on the title to read more about each book.  If you are visiting any of these cities with your kids, I highly recommend them.

I suddenly feel it is my duty to use each of these books to create itineraries for me and my kids in all of these cities!  Now that’s an idea!  I feel like since we have these books, we MUST visit each of these cities.  Agree?  Now if I could just convince my husband.  I also recently became aware of another book in the series called Larry Loves Chicago!: A Larry Gets Lost Book – this is a board book version for younger children.

If you’re wondering what happens to Larry, there is no need to worry – – Larry and Pete eventually find each other at Cloud Gate, or The Bean!  It was so fun to see my kids connecting their trip to facts and adventures we had read in the book.  So…enjoy Larry Gets Lost in Chicago, and have a great time roaming around the city!!  I hope you get to visit Chicago eventually.  It is a great city!

If you find yourself in Winnetka, you must stop by one of my favorite bookstores, The Book Stall.  You can read all about it in my article titled The Book Stall:  A Place Not to be Missed.  Winnetka is just about 20 minutes outside of the city (where parts of the movie Home Alone was filmed).  It’s a quaint little town – worth a visit just so you can go in The Book Stall.

And if you decide to go there, and check out The Book Stall, go ahead and venture in to the toy store next door called Village Toys.  You can read all about this store (and Tenzi) in my article titled Tenzi…A Fast Addictive Dice Game.  Who Wants to Play?  I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that I love Chicago and all the little suburbs surrounding it!  I hope you get a chance to visit.  Be sure to tell me all about the sites you see and what I may have missed!  Have fun!  Until next time…