Cloud Gate is something I’ve been wanting to see for years, and this summer we finally took the time to stop in Chicago to see it. Not a lot of time because it was soooo hot and humid out, even at 9 or 10 am, when we were there (the bright side was that we didn’t have to sacrifice one of the kids to pay the outrageous parking fee 😉 )
Cloud Gate is really amazing, and if you’re anywhere near Chicago, it’s worth the time to go see it.
This is Buckingham Fountain in Chicago, Illinois. I’ve always wanted to see it up close, but had completely forgotten about it on our recent trip. We were going to another destination (to be revealed in my next post) and I had no idea that we would pass right by Buckingham Fountain…even if it was a couple of traffic lanes away.
I was taking pictures of the Chicago skyline as we were driving (I wasn’t the one driving!!) when I spotted the fountain. Of course by then we were already right there and I had no time to adjust the settings on my camera…..I didn’t even have time to focus, and just snapped a couple of shots out of the passenger side window, hoping they would turn out. I would say they did, wouldn’t you? 😉
(If you’re interested in our vacation stats, you may visit this post 🙂 )
On July 5th, we planned on driving to Chicago and eat lunch at Chuck’s Southern Comforts Cafe, a restaurant featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins & Dives. Nikki didn’t want to go, but we talked Nick into going with us (he can’t say no to a free lunch, right?) and picked him up in the morning.
The food was good, and we drove to another part of Chicago to eat dessert at Lutz Cafe and Pastry Shop. Their Baumkuchen (“tree cake”) was featured on a different Food Network show (do you think we watch too much Food Network? 😉 ) and it looked so good, I just had to try it! Only problem was that we were so full from lunch, that no one wanted to eat dessert, and we each chose a goodie to take to the hotel with us to eat later. The Baumkuchen tasted just as delicious as it looks!
Here’s a little video that shows how Baumkuchen is made, and how it gets the rings that make it look like a tree
I finally gave in and let Greg pick up some fireworks, so once it got dark outside, we had a little belated 4th of July celebration in an empty parking lot next to the hotel. He let Melissa and Sara set off most of the fireworks – with supervision – while the rest of us watched… and took pictures 😉
Wednesday, July 6th was our last day in Indiana, and we spent it almost entirely with Nick. We finally found the time to stop at our favorite candy store. Simply a MUST every time we’re in Indiana 😉
It was a pretty warm day, and we dropped the chocolate and other candy off at the hotel before playing a round of miniature golf.
Cameron met us at the hotel after he got off work, but Nikki was nowhere to be seen, and she had ignored our texts and phone calls. Yup, she went a little… umm… “junior high” on us because she got into a fight with Cameron and couldn’t be an adult about it and at least let us or Nick pick up the baby for the day. I have to admit I’m still pretty angry at her for that, since she knew that this was our last day there. Next time we see her, she will be warned not to pull that kind of #&^% again or I will turn into the mother-in-law from hell!
The day ended on a sadder note than it should have. It’s already SO hard to say good-bye, but to not get to see your granddaughter/niece one last time….
Monday, June 29th was the day we met up with Amy and her boys at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo. What a fun day it was, even if the rain clouds cut it short a bit (never did rain!!). Amy is SO nice and easy to get along with, and her boys are absolutely adorable. Thinking back now, we should have met at a park instead, so the kids would have had a chance to get to know each other. But there’s always next time.
Here is Amy’s post about our meet-up
On Tuesday, June 30thwe left the Chicago area and made our way towards New Jersey. Sara was a little under the weather that day and had a fever. Maybe all the excitement of the last few days finally caught up with her. We stopped at Target after we checked out of the hotel that morning and picked up some Tylenol for her. Then made one more stop at the Albanese Candy Factory.
That day we stopped at our first DDD diner, the South Side Soda Shopin Goshen, Indiana, then spent the night somewhere in Ohio.
Wednesday, July 1st we made it to New Jersey!
I had talked to Dalia several times as we got closer to NJ and that evening she and her kids met us at the hotel and we all went to dinner together at another DDD Diner, White Manna Hamburger. The food was good, and Greg is still talking about how great the hamburgers were.
After dinner we went back to the hotel, and Dalia went home (with a couple of bottles of wine that we gave her to chill) to put her kids to bed, and then we went to her house for a while. We had a really good time, talking and drinking wine. I’m so glad I finally got to meet Dalia (and her family!) in person. I’ve known her for several (three?) years from a photography message board and we’ve become good friends. Her kids are so cute, and all five of them got along really well.