Chicago Day 2 - 06/17/2011

Published at 11:52 PM in , ,

Today started out with a bit of a problem.  Our refrigerator runs off electricity, if available, or LP as a secondary.  It started beeping and had an error code.  We looked up the code, and it said that the refrigerator wasn't getting any propane.  Our propane tank said that it was 2/3 full, so we weren't sure what the problem was.  We checked everything we could think of, but no luck.  We tried the stove, which also runs off of propane, and it wouldn't light either.

So the next thing to eliminate was whether or not the propane tank had as much in it as it was reading.  We couldn't find anywhere that refilled propane, so we called a local gas station that did propane exchanges to see if they could  recommend somewhere.  They did - it was The House of Camping.  These folks were super helpful.  They refilled the propane, which only took 12 gallons, and that wasn't our problem.  The mechanic took a tool and found a fuse that was blown, and that was the problem.  Jim knows how to check the fuses, but this was one hidden in a compartment, and we didn't even know it was related to the propane.  The mechanic's tool checked not only whether or not the fuse was working, but also if the fuse was getting power to it.  This guy was a life saver!! Everyone at the House of Camping was very friendly, too.  Great experience!

Jim with Jim of The House of Camping

Once that was settled, we headed to what the kids had been looking forward to - shopping on Michigan Avenue. The girls had their sights set on the American Girl Place store, so this was our first stop.  They even brought their American Girls with them.

American Girl Place, Chicago

Some of you may have visited the American Girl store in Atlanta.  The store in Chicago, which is one of the three flagship stores, is huge!  While not as big as the one in New York, it is easily at least three times bigger than the one in Atlanta.  It has the American Girl Bistro, a photo studio, and two floors of American Girl goodies.  We let the girls take their time and really look around at everything.  They both had been saving their money for a long time and had chosen to spend it here.

One special treat we had planned for them was in the photo studio.  At the studio, you can choose a background, and with the picture that they take, they make you the cover of an American Girl magazine.  So Rachael and Chrissy, along with their dolls, got to be on the cover of a magazine.  It was fun to watch the photo shoot and the results were great.

Their magazine cover

After the photo shoot, the girls made their final selections, and they both chose an American Girl doll.  Rachael chose Ivy, who is a friend of the character doll Julie.  Chrissy chose the girl of the year, Kanani.  It was an exciting time for them, and the cashier.  But at least it was their hard-earned/saved money.  The happiness on their faces was priceless.

Michael and his dream store

With that fun trip completed, the next stop was for Michael - the Apple Store.  He is a big Apple fan - anyone who knows him knows this because he takes his iPad2 with him wherever he goes.  He saved his money for fourteen months to buy that, and he has every right to be proud of it - that's for sure!  So he wanted to go to there to see all the products they offer.  So he got as much time as he wanted to browse and play with the displays.

Playing with the toys

We also planned a treat for him there.  We knew he was interested in a couple of products, and we were going to give him a certain amount of money towards what he wanted.  He was super excited about that!  I will say that he made a very mature choice.  While there were a few things he really had his eye on, he decided that they weren't really practical and useful at this point, and instead chose to save his money and that that we were giving him.  Jim and I were both really proud of his choice.

The Hershey Store

The final stop was the Hershey's store.  I don't think I've ever smelled a store that smelled so good.  They have an ice cream bar, where you can "Hershey-ize" anything by adding cookies and candy to your ice cream.  We skipped an ice cream treat, but the girls did pick out some candy treats to take home.  Michael isn't big on sweets, so he passed on this one.


So this was a great day in Chicago.  We have more fun things planned for tomorrow, so come back for more pictures!  Check out the rest from today on the Photo Gallery

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