Earlier this summer, we took a trip to Chicago to see family and enjoy all the fun things the Windy City has to offer. The last time that we had gone to Chicago together was in 2014, right before we found out that Evan’s cancer had returned for the first time. Evan actually had to fly home early from that trip for a doctor’s appointment. Needless to say, our last visit to Chicago was tainted with bad memories and difficult times, and it was a little hard to get the courage to go back.
However, we knew that it was important to go to see family and make new memories. It ended up being such a fun trip and all of the worries and concerns about those bad memories overshadowing our vacation weren’t an issue. If anything, they made us appreciate our time together and savor the new experiences even more!
Our favorite types of days when we’re on vacation and away from home are when we envision living like locals in the place we’re visiting. One day downtown, we had breakfast and pastries at Intelligentsia before walking down to the zoo. Our time in the coffee shop and our walk down the perfectly lovely tree-lined streets was picturesque. We ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the chic, city apartments and imagined how fun it would be to live downtown in such a huge metropolitan city!
The Lincoln Park Zoo was amazing, and getting to see all the animals and outdoor areas with the Chicago city skyline in the background is so cool. The walkways and exhibits are so well maintained and beautiful, and it’s nice that it’s free!
Afterwards, we ventured into the Lincoln Park Conservatory next door, where we were definitely in our element. We love indoor plants, and we are continuing to grow our collection and learn more about their proper care. It was cool to see plants that we have at home in the conservatory, and we took down the names of a couple of plants we wanted to try to pick up at our local nursery when we got back. Of course, we made sure to take advantage of all the photo opportunities too!
In addition to visiting the zoo and conservatory, we were excited to check out Chicago’s best Tiki bars. One night during our trip, we met up with Evan’s cousin and her fiancé at Three Dots and a Dash. An underground bar with a rather speak-easy style entrance (you’d miss it if you weren’t looking for it), both the atmosphere and the cocktails were out of this world. We shared stories and laughs over drinks, and it was such a fun night.
We learned of another Tiki bar (created by Paul McGee of Three Dots and a Dash) after that night – Lost Lake. We made sure to visit before our trip ended, and we enjoyed the drinks there even more! We couldn’t leave without getting some souvenir cocktail glasses and swizzle sticks to take home.
After hitting up the coolest Tiki bars in Chicago (and also on our trip to Los Angeles in March), we are definitely starting a tradition of seeking out and frequenting these Polynesian pearls wherever we go!
One of the last things we did during our trip was drive our rental up north to Wisconsin to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin in Spring Green (if you missed that post, go check it out here). After our amazing house tour, we stopped at an interstate-side farmer’s market that had tons of local goodies and a small zoo! We got some treats (popcorn, honey sticks, Wisconsin cheese, etc.), took some photos, walked around in the light rain, and just truly enjoyed ourselves as it felt like we were on a vacation within a vacation! Stopping in Madison for lunch and afternoon coffee was the cherry on top of that wonderful day, and we’d love to go back and stay there for a longer period of time.
Such a fun trip full of new and happy memories, lots of blessings, and tons of family time. Life is good!