Exploring with the Kids!

On Monday we did another lake tour but this time with a trusty …. argh …. pirate!  Tall Ship Windy was our vessel for the 1 hour lake ride filled with pirates and cannons.  The ship is a working sail boat so the crew of about 10 sailors (a couple of whom were “real” pirates … no seriously, they were!) goes into high gear right from the push-off.  There’s the usual calling out of directions that sound a lot like code and then there’s the pirate who makes sure we’re all doing the right things too … like sitting there quietly so he doesn’t make us walk the plank!

Tall Ship Windy's Pirate

Tall Ship Windy’s Pirate

It was fun to watch them work to get the sails up and tight in an orderly manner.  As for us, we got to just sit there and admire as the sails filled up with the wind to take us out of the harbor and into the open seas … well, it’s a lake really, but it’s as big as a sea!  The pirate regaled us with true stories about “Roaring Dan” and “Fox,” real pirates that were here on Lake Michigan in the trade hey-day, creating havoc with the honest shipping companies who were hoping to sell their wares to the locals in ports around the lake who needed them.  At some point during our sail, they fired off 2 cannons that were … LOUD!!  To say the least!  Scared the bajeezers out of me for sure!  And, that was even after they warned us!  We enjoyed the sailing and the stories … both were refreshing and fun.

After all that work sailing our ship, we were hungry!  We took off for the family owned and run “Ameritalia” which is very close to our house.  Ana greeted us with a big smile and some wonderful Italian food made by her son.  Their menu is large enough to have your favorite selection and small enough that they can cook your lunch right then and there.

Menu board at Ameritalia

Menu board at Ameritalia

Lunch at Ameritalia

Lunch at Ameritalia

They make a fresh house salad with a vinaigrette that is so light and lovely you just want to drink it!  And with the homemade “toast” crouton, you just don’t want it to end.  Need an Italian food fix when you’re here?  This is the place!  Arrivederci Ana!

Tuesday we rode our bikes to the beautiful Field Museum.  We watched the 3-D showing of “The Galapagos” (which I highly recommend if it’s in your area museum!) and walked around a couple of the permanent exhibits.  This is a wonderful place to see God and Science together.  When you learn all about the different species and their adaptability, you cannot help but think, “Ok God, you are pretty darn good at all this stuff!”

Riding our

Riding our “Divvy” bikes to the Field Museum

The big draw for this museum is Sue the T-Rex.  Sue has been on display at the Field Museum since 2000 and is the most complete skeleton of any dinosaur in the world.  We took a lot of time gawking at Sue and learning her story.  The most amazing part of that story is that Sue was discovered in North Dakota (Yes!  Apparently dinosaurs were in North Dakota!) and in 1990.  She is, seriously, unbelievable.


Sue, the T-Rex, a 90% complete skeleton – the only one of its kind in the world!!

When you come for a visit, you absolutely cannot miss this place!  I took the liberty of lifting the picture below from their site that shows the museum the day it opened in 1893.  The outside is still just as grand as it was back then, and even more so with the beautiful landscape, and of course, the colors all around.  Anyway, I just thought you would enjoy a look back!

Ok, hopping on our divvy for the short ride home!  Talk to you tomorrow!


4 thoughts on “Exploring with the Kids!

  1. Andi says:

    Honestly, Lani, that city is sooooooooooooo interesting and your writing sooooooooooooo enjoyable! (Drink the vinaigrette? LOL!!!! But I get it!!! LOL!!!!)
    Now I’m really jealous. (Wasn’t until this moment…) When my students learn about fossils, we learn about Sue!!!!! There’s a book about her Iv’e been using for years, now! We love Sue! (And you! )


  2. Chuey says:

    Thats such a cool picture of the old Field Museum. I love that museum I could spend all day there just people watching and talking to Sue 🙂 Had so much fun, I might come back next week okay?!


  3. Martha H says:

    I love reading your blog. I don’t comment often because there is so much info you give that I am left speechless. Its wonderful and we are blessed you can show us thru your pics and notes
    Love you and miss you terribly


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