Continuation of a previous post
Note: Most pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.
We left the Dells just after 11:00 local time, which was noon Chicago time. I started driving, and people started dozing off. Except Alpha. He and I stayed awake. I had a supply of snacks to help keep me awake. I needed it, too. To avoid the toll roads, we took the scenic back roads. Wisconsin was all freeway; the toll roads started just after crossing into Illinois.
From Rockton to Schaumburg, we were on 2-lane highways. We went through a few small towns, some stoplights, and lots of farmland.
My view was mostly this:
I think we took Rockton Rd to Co. Rd 8. Then in Harvard we took US-14 South and stayed on that through Woodstock and Crystal Lake. Then the GPS told us to take the S. Virginia Rd bypass down to 31 and take that to Algonquin. In Algonquin, we turned onto Algonquin Rd (AKA US-62). We took that for a while, going through the Barrington area (right by Willow Creek church). Shortly after that we turned onto N. Roselle Rd and took that south to Schaumburg and to our hotel.
It added about 20-30 minutes of drive time, but we save a few dollars and much exasperation by avoiding the toll booths.
We were staying in Schaumburg instead of downtown Chicago because Chicago is ridiculously expensive. We knew we wanted to stay in a suburb of Chicago, and we knew we wanted to visit a Lego store while we were in Chicago. Which place fits both criteria? Schaumburg does.
We arrived at the hotel and my parents were already there, waiting for us. They had checked in, so we unloaded our van while the boys ran around wildly and tried to tell Nana everything about Wisconsin in about 30 seconds.
After a brief discussion of the day’s plans (summary: go to the Lego store, go to dinner, go to bed) we all piled in our minivan and headed to the Lego store.
Legoland Discovery Center/Centre
I had thought that the Lego store was a store that sold Legos, so I was surprised when my wife told me how much admission was. It turns out that it is not just a Lego store – it is a Legoland Discovery Center (that happens to have a store too). It think the total was $80-some for the 7 of us, and that was after the coupon and discounts.
There was a life-size giraffe outside the front entrance, and then in the foyer area there was a life-size old man sitting on a bench. Then there’s a larger-than-life face of Einstein after the foyer area. Then we started the tour. It’s not a guided tour – you just walk around the place and look at the hundreds of creations made out of Lego. It was fascinating and inspiring, and Alpha and Beta had the biggest grins on their faces so it was worth it.
There was a jungle area:
And a Star Wars area:
But before all that, as soon as you start the tour, is the scale version of the city of Chicago:
And if you look very closely at the top of the Sears tower (which stands about 6 feet high), you can see that either Batman got the wrong Gotham City or Darth Vader got the wrong galaxy:
I couldn’t zoom in close enough to see exactly who that masked man was.
After a while of looking at everything that the official Lego people made, we found the play area. There was a ride, a 4-D movie (falling snow was the extra dimension), and tubs and tubs of Lego bricks. Kids could play and build to their hearts’ content. The place even had a couple of long ramps so that you could test your vehicles (assumed to be racecars).
After finishing that, we continued on the tour. It turns out that the next stop on the tour was the last: the store. Of course, with the kids having been exposed to Lego stuff for the last hour or two, they wanted to buy most everything in the store. Except Gamma – he didn’t want to buy anything. But he did want to take the boxes off the shelves, shake them, then throw them on the floor.
We escaped having bought only two small sets.
Then we went to dinner, back to the hotel, and to bed. Alpha and Beta were going to stay in my parents’ room. Kind of like a sleepover, except we had adjoining rooms so it wasn’t that far.
Then there was evening and morning. And Day 5 will be covered in another blog post, coming soon.
A wise man scales the city of the mightyAnd brings down the stronghold in which they trust.