Are you ready for photo overload? I hope I can get this all in one post without dragging on forever. Here goes…
Our traveling selfie game is strong. We spent two days driving to the suburbs of Chicago with a quick overnight stop in Ohio.
My great friend Angie hosted our little stay and took us out to a Cincinatti fave, Skyline Chili.
Also going strong is Eleanor’s ever-improving art skills.
We arrived on Saturday to Karina’s house (Alex’s sister) in just enough time for a luncheon honoring the new grad, Emily.
The love Eleanor has for her big cousins is indescribable!
We were just there for a quick overnight stop before circling back to Long Beach Indiana. We spent most of our first week visiting with Alex’s sister Jacqui and her new baby boy Cal.
The week included a fair amount of swimming, playing with cousins and wine drinking. It was a wonderful start to our trip and I loved that I got to spend so much quality time with Jacqui and our new nephew as well as Alex’s other sister Julia who also drove in for the weekend!
By the end of our time at Jacqui’s I was already exhausted from “single-parenting” the girls. We were all missing Alex fiercely but still had a few days until he flew into town.
We drove into the city of Chicago on Wednesday and spent the next few days playing tourists. We hit up all the kid-friendly city sites I could muster in the span of two days.
We hit up the aquarium:
Walked to Maggie Daly park:
Found every splash park in the city:
Walked through Lincoln Park Zoo:
Viewed the butterflies at the nature museum:
Found a beautiful lily pad pond:
And spent as much time with family as we could squeeze in. We stayed with Julia but spent the evenings babysitting Cal at Jacqui’s. It was a jam packed two days and by the weekend we were exhausted and ready to relax at Grandpa’s house. Also, Alex showed up just in time to give me a much needed break!
We spent the weekend soaking up time with family and eating amazing food. Also, they just installed a splash pad in the park behind Alex’s dad’s house so we spent a great deal of hours playing in the water.
Friday night we had a great BBQ complete with s’mores.
Saturday afternoon we hosted friends for lunch and played at the splash pad again.
Saturday night Alex and I enjoyed a date night to Portillo’s!
And Sunday we spent with the family celebrating Father’s Day with a delicious brunch and another amazing cookout.
On Monday it was time to say goodbye to Alex again, and to his dad before we headed back to Karina’s to wrap up our visit.
My goal at Karina’s was to “take a vacation from my vacation.” I really wanted to relax as much as possible so I would be ready for the long drive home at the end of the week. While staying with Karina we attended a play date with the moms and kids from her fellowship group. The girls got to play with other boys and girls and run out so much of their energy.
In between the relaxing at Karina’s, we also popped into the city again to see Jacqui and Julia again before we left. We ate amazing waffles at the Little Goat, and took Eleanor to get her very first pedicure.
Then we headed to Navy Pier and took the girls up in the ferris wheel. Eleanor and Ruthie absolutely loved the ride while I nearly cried out in fear of heights! It’s amazing how as a mother I can put on a brave face when I am absolutely terrified!
Back at Karina’s we spent one last day with Alex’s other sister Chrissy, and her daughter Jessi and Karina and Emily in Geneva at a festival. The girls had their faces painted, we shopped and ate fair food and then crashed back at Karina’s.
It was tough saying good bye but by the end of the week the girls and I were all ready to be back home.
We hit the road on Saturday back to Angie’s house in Ohio. She treated us to another local favorite: Aladdin’s. Eleanor still asks for it by name.
And on Sunday we finally made our way back home. We stopped just once for bathroom and coffee breaks and made it back before Alex was off work. We stopped in to say hey and then I took the girls to the splash park to run off some more energy before heading home.
Approximately three minutes after this photo was taken Eleanor stepped on a wasp and was stung for the very first time ever. Poor girl cried all the way home.
It was an amazing trip. I praise God for the provisions and protections he placed before us all along the way. I am so happy to be able to do these fun trips and am incredibly grateful for our safety and health. We are so happy to be back home!