Thursday, August 13, 2009

Choo Choos and Cheeseburgers

I called my parents up and asked them if they wanted to go on a little fieldtrip with me and the kids today. They agreed, hopped on the train, and rode it to where the kids and I picked it up. From there, we cruised to DesPlaines (which, for you non-Chicagoans, is pronounced DeS Plaines, not De_ Plaines. Now you can say DesPlaines the right way in your head as you read this. Aren't you glad?)

Anyway, as I was saying, we cruised to a suburb of Chicago to go to this landmark restaurant, The Choo Choo. The Choo Choo has been around for more than 50 years and has an actual working train that delivers your food. I thought my kids would have fun riding on the choo choo and eating at The Choo Choo. So, we walked over to The Choo Choo from the train station and the whole time, my mom is saying, "It's going to be so crowded. I should've suggested we go later in the day. Getting there at noon is probably a bad idea." I rolled my eyes and said something like, "Wow, you're uptight, Mom." "Oh yeah, that might have been a good idea."

So we get there and there's a line long enough to circle the equator 4 1/2 times outside the door of this tiny restaurant. (Thank you, Mom, for not doing the I-Told-You-So song and dance.) The adults didn't mind waiting, but it was really hot out there on the sidewalk for the kids and after taking a peek through the window at the little train running around the counter, they were completely unimpressed. The kids were starved half-to-death because it had been almost an hour since they'd last eaten. They flopped on the ground and writhed in pain, stopping passersby and begging with outstretched hands, "Please sir, can I have a little morsel, something, anything?"

I looked across the street and a light shone down from heaven illuminating the Cheeseburger in Paradise sign. Cheeseburgers, paradise, Jimmy Buffet, less than a 2 year wait? Count me in! We all decided to head over there for lunch. I was happy they had coconut iced tea, the kids were happy there were fried pickles, the little ones were thrilled with their standard restaurant fare (mac-n-cheese), Jackson was happy because it's a very tropical restaurant, Austin was happy because he had a little paper umbrella which he inverted into a "broomstick" which "Harry Potter" (his fingers) rode through Savannah's hair. Savannah was less than thrilled with this. My parents were tolerant happy to spend the day with their grandkids.



I love this picture of Brooklyn with my dad :)


Ahh yeah, this one's pretty self-explanatory


Thanks YiaYia and Papa for a fun day!

31 comments:

ClistyB said...

uh, teacher, can you go over that Des Plaines thingy again? I still cant figure out how to pronounce it.

Anonymous said...

If it had been my parents, you would have been there when the Choo Choo opened because they hate to wait! :)

Brooklyn is getting so big!

I am with you on summer. My son's friend came to spend a week with us, and of course, the pool pump stopped while he was here. Ugh, now that summer is on its way out, my husband, and I finally got the pump running again!

Only a few more days until school starts here. Kind of glad and sad rolled into one!

Chawksgirl4ever said...

awww well that choo choo place sounded neat but the line not so much.at least you still had a good time

Anonymous said...

This really is a super cute picture of Brooklyn and your dad! Her hair is really blonde now, and it looks so pretty on her! And Savannah is wearing make up now, huh?! :)

Corrina

Bobbi said...

Ha. I love it! Great pictures!

Katie said...

I was surprised that you failed to point out that Illinois is not Illinoize.

Yes, I know how you feel, my blood pressure rises a few notches when we get somewhere/anywhere and realize that we/kids have to wait in a line. I don't ever remember being so "sproingy".

Winona said...

Love Cheeseburger in Paradise - don't really care about Jimmy Buffett, but the food's great, especially the sweet potato chips!

Anonymous said...

Brooklyn obviously loves her papa! It sounds like a fun day even without the choo choo restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Did you have a margarita? The margarita's at Cheeseburger in Paradise in Downer's Grove were FABULOUS!!! Too bad there aren't any Cheeseburger in Paradises were we moved to in Wisconsin :( Although, I do still owe my husband dinner at the one in Maui . . . he won a stupid bet about whether or not there were Ford spark plugs in my Firebird . . . . don't ask!
Lori

Anonymous said...

I went to a train restaurant like that in Kansas City last summer. Good call avoiding the wait and going across the street!

It's so weird for me to see Brooklyn with long, blonde hair! I still picture her as a little brunette baby.

Sandy Fights Fat and Blogs About Nothing said...

LOL, you definitely made a wise move! I'd opt for a small piece of paradise any day over waiting hours for a taste of heaven.

Stefanie said...

I haven't commented in sooo long! Savannah's sooooo pretty! I love Clay's hair! Also, I think you look like your dad! I can't wait to read your book! My husband is laid off so that may be a while!

Khordaddy said...

Thanks for the advice on the teething issue! I'm looking that up right now! I got lost on which blog of yours is your main one, so I'm looking at all 3 now! Thanks for the tip on DesPlaines ;) I was saying it wrong.

Jessica said...

Did you try the chocolate nachos at Cheeseburger in Paradise? LOVE THEM! When I was pregnant, I could plow through a whole order.

Don't you love having parents close enough to be involved in your kids lives? I called my parents on Wednesday and they met us at a local amusement park for the evening. It was so great!

Ladybug Mama said...

I'm glad that you had an amazing time with your kids and parents. Even though you didn't get to go to The Choo Choo it looks like everyone had so much fun. ladybugmamaof2@blogspot.com

mommyknows said...

Sounds like a great day! I love the photos.

I'm looking forward to meeting you next week in Chicago.

Anonymous said...

Choo Choo is good, but have you considered getting your own grill? How about an indoor one?
http://www.shop.com/Presto_07030_Indoor_Grill_-126032843-o!.shtml

Robin said...

Looks like everyone had a fun day! I can't believe how long Brooklyn's hair is getting!!

Flea said...

Fried pickles! I want fried pickles! Where can I get fried pickles? I want them!

~*Beth*~ said...

Brooklyn's getting way too big. I'm sure you agree.

And also, thank you, sincerely, for the Des Moines explanation. It is a relief (i know i'm a weirdo) to pronounce stuff correctly in my head. =D

jonesyismypuppa said...

Have you ever taken them to the train museum in Union? We usually go there when visiting the fam in Illinois.

BTW, growing up I was in a drum and bugle corps and we competed against the Des Plains Vanguard occasionally. It was always a crap shoot as to whether or not their name would be announced correctly!! Even in Illinois....

sama said...

do you think you'll ever have another child, dawn?

Amy said...

You have some B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L children... all of them! ;o) You are so going to be in trouble with those girls!

And, that mohawk is cracking me up!

MaBunny said...

Oh I would love to eat at Cheeseburgers in Paradise - as Chris and I are HUGE J.B fans.
Sounds like a great time was had by all - too bad you didn't get to go to Choo Choo's.

Love the pic of your dad and Brooklyn!

Anonymous said...

Great Googly Moogly!!! Savannah is gorgous! No wonder the boy at the pool said hi. No wonder you freaked out.
I think I'm glad I go through the teen years with boys first.

RefreshMom said...

I think I always knew that the 's' in DesPlaines is spoken, but for some reason, after your explanation I can't say it in my head without a Tattoo accent! "Boss! DesPlaines, DesPlaines!"

Laura said...

I drove from North Carolina to Chicago when I was in college and we stopped for dinner at a place called King Pizza (I think) somewhere near Purdue - do you know it? It had a train too, and also little video games you could play in your booth. I saved the napkins for some reason (my last name is King). We thought it was great! (Also was traveling with 2 vegans and a vegetarian - Indiana is NOT the place to find food for them without prior knowledge).

Also wanted to say, because I've been reading your blog since you started it, you give me a LOT of confidence for when I have kids (which will be during graduate school most likely to avoid having infants and toddlers while trying to get tenure) I hate these helicopter parents!

Michelle said...

Yay, you finally made it -- almost -- to the Choo Choo Cafe! See, you should have gone with me in the end ;) I've figured out the way around the icky line. The atmosphere is worth it, including the train the kids can ride on while waiting.

The first time we went, we thought we might have to do the alternative restaurant, but the wait wasn't so bad as it looked. The fried pickles DO sound yummy though!

And WOW does Brooklyn have hair. We of the hairless four year old family are jealous. VERY jealous.

SouthSide Bridget said...

Dawn- No need to go all the way to DeS Plaines- -Isn't there a Choo-Choo Johnnys in Frankfurt (or maybe it's Mokena) with the same train bringing you your food kinda thang?

Elizabeth said...

Fried pickles! Mac-n-cheese! Yum! Time with g'parents! What a fun day! Thanks for sharing it - gave me lots of smiles. Now I must google Cheeseburger in Paradise to see if there's a location near me!

morat marit said...

a great day! I love the photos.
how to moratmarit

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