chicago’s cloud gate

Of course we had to stop by Cloud Gate (aka the bean) and take a million pictures. It’s such a unique way to view the reflection of the city (and ourselves). We were a little scared to touch it because you can see all the dirty hand prints, though it doesn’t show up in pictures. Nevertheless, it’s such a great spot to people watch, dance (there was music playing from an event nearby), and take lots of pictures. We walked all around and under, and the girls loved seeing how the distortion changed throughout the sculpture.

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goodbye little beds

Soul and Glow have graduated to big girl beds, and I took these last few shots of them with their little beds in their room. I went back and forth on the decision to move them to a big girl bed for sentimental reasons; this growing up stuff is going way too fast. But when Glow told me, “Mommy, I’m a little squished,” I knew it was time to move on to bigger. Here’s a peek at their big girl beds (we’re still waiting for Soul’s mattress to come in). We’ve switched this rug out for a a simpler one, and we still haven’t decided what to put on the walls. I’m hoping once Soul’s mattress comes in, and the beds feel put together, I’ll get inspired on how to decorate the rest of the room.



This week’s learned, links, and thankfulness…

We’re loving the Olympics, so I’m thankful for when the girls and I all pile in my bed and watch together. I love serenading them with the national anthem when USA gets gold.

Thankful my mom celebrated another year in her life! And she never ages.

Love these pastel colored macrame.

Caramel churro chex mix sounds good. I’d happily be snacking on that.

School is coming up soon and I’m finalizing my curriculum choices for the year.

We are enjoying the last bits of summer with lots of swimming.

The whole house got sick with some sort of bug a week ago, and we all took turns with it. Praise the Lord we are all back to enjoying our temporary good health again.

I want to paint the rest of the downstairs and give it a fresh coat of white, but I’m intimidated. I know I did all of upstairs, but starting again downstairs makes me nervous. Gotta find that motivation again.

We’ve got lots of garden projects up the wazoo, so that’s what we will be working on this weekend. Happy weekending friends!




chicago day three food and other tourist things

For lunch, we walked to Avec. We didn’t have reservations, but we called the day before, and they said if we where there before they opened, we’d be able to dine at the restaurant. I highly recommend making reservations though. We ordered paella, a couple sandwiches, and their sesame coco bars for dessert. All of it was delicious, but the paella was my favorite. The girls loved the paella too. While we thoroughly enjoyed our lunch, their dinner menu sounds a lot more delicious.

Our kids are used to sitting down during meal time, and staying seated during the whole meal (it’s a lot of practicing at home), but I’m not sure this is the type of restaurant to take children if they are more exploratory during mealtimes. It’s a small space, and you sit close to others, so you really have to do well to keeping to your personal space.

On this ig post, someone mentioned making a stop to Do-Rite Donuts, and so we did. After our lunch, we walked over to the nearest Do-Rite location. There’s always room for dessert, right?! We picked up 3 donuts to share, and while we waited for our river tour, we all ate the donuts together. I thought they were yummy, but donuts aren’t my thing, so I tend to think all donuts taste similarly. They were all happily devoured, so Do-Rite seem to be doing things right.

After our architecture tour (and some freshening up in our hotel room), we headed to the Girl & the Goat for dinner. It’s another must make a reservation place, but we were there before they opened, so we were able to dine in. Oh boy was this place scrumdiddlyumptious!  We ordered raw oysters, roasted beets, hamachi crudo, grilled baby octopus, wild striped bass, duck tongues (the girls chose this!), goat carpaccio, goat empanadas, pinn oaks lamb tartare, and all the leches cake for dessert. We loved it all and wanted more, but our wallet was satisifed, though our tummies weren’t! And I’m still craving the oysters! If I ever find myself back in Chicago, I would definitely eat here again.

After dinner, we took a taxi to Millennium Park to walk around and enjoy some of the art sculptures. Of course, we took a million and one pictures at Cloud Gate (a separate post for that coming soon). Then, we walked over to Buckingham Fountain. The girls had fun running around and chasing each other here, until Glow ate it on the concrete. We ended the evening at the play garden at Maggie Daly Park. This is the coolest playground we have ever seen (a must go when in Chicago) and the girls had so much fun going up and down on all the slides and towers. There were a lot of protests when we said it was time to head back to the hotel.

After our very full day (see more of it here), it was nice our hotel was a 10 minute walk from Maggie Daly Park, and we were all showered and in bed in no time. Ben and I were both so impressed with Chicago. It’s a well thought out city and you can see the pride they take in it. It’s clean, well cared for, and caters well to families. They work hard to preserve the beauty and history, and you can tell that its residents really love their city. The only thing that freaks us out a little about Chicago is the driving, and this is coming from aggressive California drivers. Other than that, we wish it was closer, so we can visit more often.

Chicago, we really, really like you.

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chicago day 3

We did a little bit more of the Big Bus Tour to start off the day, and then we got off at the Willis Tower. The short film about the creation of the tower was so interesting. You see these big buildings and rarely think about all it took to create these grandiose structures. I got a little nervous when they showed the guys at the very top during construction. It’s just insane to think that workers were scaling the tops of these things to make sure all the beams and whatever else is in place. I’m thankful for their work and that we can enjoy their creations from inside it’s walls and not the open elements. Whew!

Of course, we all were very excited to get on The Ledge. When I say we, I mean all the girls, but Ben. We slowly inched onto the glass, looked down, quickly got in position to take our pictures, and then speedily got off. My hands were so shaky trying to keep all girls safe. I know it’s not likely to break, but it’s that mind game with seeing the ground clear below you. Scary, so scary! We got in line a few more times to get some different snaps. For the last one, we finally convinced Ben to join us. I think you can tell what he’s thinking based on his face.

After lunch, we took a nice stroll through the city before our Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise. The guides for this are legit and ours was an excellent wealth of our information. It is a 90 minute tour and we learned all about contextualism, mid century, art deco, modernism, and whole bunch of other fancy architecture terms. It was such a relaxing tour and the weather was so nice (compared the super cold days before). The girls are young, but I love exposing them to stuff like this because you never know when something is going to leave an impression on them and inspire them later. Ben and I definitely had a deeper appreciation for the art of creating buildings.

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