Naperville Chocolate

Le Chocolat du Bouchard is a delightful, little, neighborhood chocolate & coffee shop located in Downtown Naperville (Chicago suburb).   They have a variety of chocolate everything!  The decor is charming, the entire store is inviting you to come in and enjoy a slice of chocolate cake with your coffee and a lazy afternoon.

The girls enjoyed picking out a special chocolate from the case. 

The espresso is top quality, great with a dash of chocolate or delicious on its own.  The service is consistently good.

If you are hard-core, then try a slice of cake with your coffee.  They offer gluten-free, milk or dark chocolate, and many flavor options to choose from.

Yum!

Chicago Museum Science Industry

I like visiting museums.  I am fascinated by engineering and basically how stuff is made.  Recently, while in Chicago, we toured the Museum of Science and Industry.  Like everything in Chicago, it was not a cheap visit.  

With so many things to do and see, here are my favorites; interactive exhibits, like the tornado and hot-air balloons from the Science Storms, an actual 727 airplane suspended from the building, vintage firetrucks, and displays of vintage & modern aircraft and spacecraft!

Above the basic admission, they offer extra tours, exhibits, and other “add-ons”.  A captured German U-boat (submarine) basic exhibit in includes in the general admission, with option to add-on a guided tour.  If you have time, definitely add the tour!  Great for children 10+, the tour is informative and just really neat!  Two doorways are cut into the side and you walk (almost) the entire length of the boat!  It was amazing to see the navigation stations, kitchen, bunk beds, torpedo storage, and so much more!

Our final add-on was the coal mine tour.  This is the original and has been a permanent exhibit since 1933.  The coal mine is a great family activity, perfect for Children 5 and up.  The tour starts in a working coal mine elevator and includes a quick train ride and lots of fun-facts.  There is working equipment that spans old and modern mining techniques.

There were many other exhibits and activities that we wanted to see, but our trip was cut short due to lousy transportation.  If you are visiting from a Chicago-suburb, it is much easier to drive directly to the museum and pay to park.  Otherwise, you may experience a significant delay on the bus or train.  There was an event downtown that resulted in many bus routes being detoured, so we ended up in the worst part of South Chicago for a bus transfer.  I would not even recommend walking from the train station at 55th/56th.  If you really want to take the bus, or have no other options, the X28 is the best option.

I really enjoyed our visit to the museum and will plan to go back on our next visit to the Chicago area.

Taste of Chicago 2012

We attended the famous Taste of Chicago 2012!

I was told that this year was  smaller than previous years, for both restaurants and crowds.  A lite drizzle of rain really cleared the streets of Grants Park on Friday.  I was glad to avoid the crowds, and I am not sure we really missed out on fewer vendors.  Many smaller or less well-known restaurants were able to make an appearance in “pop-up restaurants” which allowed many delicious food options.  There were MANY pizza places, and a great variety of food from around the world.  Our favorite meal of the day was Jerk Chicken Belize-style from Garifuna Flava.

Tickets were 12 for $8.  Eli’s cheesecake offered “taste” size original cheesecake for just 3 tickets ($2).  While most glasses of wine were between 8 to 10 tickets (average $6 each).  3 Ticket items were rare, and most portions were 8 tickets.  Not enough places had true sample or tasting size portions.

Overall, we left full and happy.  We ate some good food and some amazing food.  The cool weather and a bit of precipitation was an added bonus!