Three people and one small carry-on suitcase. This was our first big family trip since having Monica, so I thought I would actually bring my camera along. And I’m so glad I did! Looking back over these photos makes my heart so happy- this was one of my favourite trips I’ve ever been on. Not because the places we visited were super grand (though they were very beautiful!), but because I was with my family, and being around them brings me so much joy!
Deciding to drive to Chicago was a random last-minute idea, and I did not think it would work out very well with a baby. But to my surprise it was actually not bad at all. Monica enjoyed being out and about just as much as we did!
Our first stop on the way to Chicago was at an old historic inn, near the boarder of Michigan and Indiana. We stayed there for one night in order to break up the long drive. I randomly found this place while googling for hotels in the area. I really wanted to find something ‘rustic’ by a nice beach. Lakeside Inn seemed like the perfect place, so we booked it for the night. The beach was absolutely beautiful, and the sunset was honestly breathtaking. It was Monica’s first time experiencing a beach with sandy shores, but unfortunately she was not a fan of having the sand get stuck between her fingers and toes! And Lakeside Inn was definitely rustic. BUT, like my husband Mike said, I may have gone a little too rustic this time! Even though it was a really cool experience sleeping there and having a SUPER vintage room (as in all of the furniture was probably from the early-mid 1900), I didn’t like the fact that we seemed to be the only visitors under age 75. Although, I have to say, all of the retirees sitting in the lobby were super high-tech, rocking iPads and MacBooks (plus they were super friendly)!
I’m not usually a big city person, but I have to say, I really enjoyed Chicago. From lakeside beaches to gorgeous parks, I honestly thought it was the perfect city. One of the first things I noticed was how clean everything was. It seemed like a city where everything was very well taken care of. The first place we visited was the Navy Pier, where we walked out on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. There were so many Monarch butterflies flying around- it was simply beautiful. I had to snap a few shots! We did all the touristy things- visited Millennium park, ate deep dish pizza… But by far the COOLEST thing ever was the bean (or Cloud Gate, as it’s actually called)! I didn’t think I would like it so much, because I’ve seen so many of my friends that have taken pictures with it. But it was mesmerizing. Or hypnotizing. I’m not exactly sure, but I know I couldn’t get enough of it! It was just so weird. And perfect. Just a massive reflective bean. No lines, nothing. Perfectly smooth and perfectly captivating… am I getting carried away?! But seriously. If you ever go to Chicago, the one thing you need to do is see the bean and you will understand.