Vacation Photos: Chicago and Michigan

We just got back from a week-long trip to Chicago and Michigan to visit my parents. We hadn’t spent much time in Chicago before (thanks again for your advice!) so it was awesome to explore all the neighborhoods. Here’s what we did…

We rented an apartment in Lincoln Park, and my mom drove down from Michigan to join us. (The apartment was bright and airy and we all secretly wished we lived there; the photos don’t do it justice!)

Lincoln Park was a great neighborhood for a family vacation, since we could easily walk to the zoo, the beach and two playgrounds; and the streets were lovely for evening walks.

We went to a Cubs game, and, as we walked into Wrigley Field, Alex murmured, “It’s like walking into heaven.” Toby was less enthused, since the cheering scared him, but he warmed up quickly. (The team spirit was contagious.)

I wanted to eat a classic Chicago hot dog, but wasn’t sure what people traditionally put on them. So I piled on everything. Did I get it right? Totally wrong? It was delicious nonetheless.

One (hot!) morning, we took an architectural boat tour, which about 583,294 people had recommended. We learned tons of fun facts, including how they once reversed the direction of the river and that Chicago has so many clock towers because back in the day no one wore watches.

We rented bikes at Heritage Bikes, a gorgeous design-y bike shop that welds their own bikes by hand right there in Chicago. Very cool.

The best part was, as soon as we walked into the bike shop, we ran into our old friend from New York, Max Wastler, who had recently moved to Chicago. What a small world! During our trip, he cut his hair and beard, so, just for fun, here’s his before-and-after. (Doesn’t he kind of look like the actor Hank Azaria?)

Chicago is a great food town. We ate our weight in deep-dish pizza, and had delicious dinners at Au Cheval (an upscale diner), Avec (French small plates) and Big Star (fantastic tacos, which Toby devoured). One evening we also met Max and friends for cocktails at the Violet Hour, which is a dark, moody bar without a sign (which I always secretly get a kick out of:) We went really early, since we heard the line can get crazy.

One evening, my mom and I stayed home to drink wine and catch up (and watch The Bachelorette, if you must know:), while Alex took an evening bike ride. When he got back, he breathlessly told us that he had spontaneously gone up the Sears Tower to the Skydeck (pictured above). Alex’s biggest fear is heights, so he almost turned around many times, but pushed himself to ride the elevator up 103 floors and step out onto the glass floor. “You can’t capture it in words or pictures,” Alex told us, “It’s literally like stepping off a skyscraper. I had to basically tiptoe out there.” Yikes? Have you ever gone up?

The final weekend, we drove up to Traverse City, Michigan, to visit my dad and his lovely girlfriend. Toby fell madly in love with “Opa,” and not just because he gave him a lollipop every afternoon. We swam in the lake by day and chatted around the bonfire by night. And my dad made everyone squeeze onto the same side of the picnic table, so we could all enjoy the view of the lake. (Ahh, dads.)

Finally, happy and exhausted, we headed home. Even though I’m 33, I was sort of homesick as we drove back to the airport. The trip made us look forward to many more vacations visiting family; there’s something so restorative about going home again. Hope you had a happy fourth wherever you were!

(All photos taken by us, except the haircut and storm shots, which were by Max Wastler, and the skyledge photos, which were courtesy of the Sears Tower. (Update: My swimsuit is from J.Crew. Thanks for asking!))

  1. Did you at least have the coffee at Heritage Bicycles? Best stuff ever. Stumptown. Happy to see you visited Chicago.

  2. You’re a seriously good looking family! Its no surprise Toby is so darn cute! The holiday pics are beautiful! I’ve been following your blog for over a year and while I don’t comment very often, its definitely one of my favourite blogs out there.

  3. Megan says...

    That is so crazy! I’ve been following your blog for a about a year now (love it!) But I live here in Traverse City, and am from Chicago, and hope your visit was great. :)

  4. What a fun trip! That’s so cool that you came to Michigan! (I live in the Detroit area.) Now I want a hot dog, and to swim in a lake for the whole day!

  5. I love the one of your two guys sleeping. Such a precious picture! So glad you guys had such a fun time!


  6. I love the one of your two guys sleeping. Such a precious picture! So glad you guys had such a fun time!


  7. Let me just say: Max is a handsome fellow, particularly in the after picture!

    I’m heading to Chicago on biz Wednesday and hope to find time to visit the Skydeck now.

  8. totally and completely fabulous. and i’m moving to traverse city in just a couple of weeks! now i’m just so excited to be by a lake. i’ve done the atlantic and the pacific, but this will be my first lake!

  9. Oh what a lovely vacation you had! I’m dying to go back to Chicago. The Cubs are my family’s favorite team. Glad you made it to Wrigley!

  10. Thanks for sharing. What a beautiful mom you have!

  11. The last picture is great.. so are the one of you guys at the game and your son in a hammock with grandpa. These early year are so precious.. i love vacationing with my son. Looks like you had a great trip.
    As for your friend at the bike shop.. what a world difference shaving and a haircut make.. I hardly recognized him.

  12. CB says...

    I love Traverse City! My family has a cottage on Lake Leelanau halfway between Leland and Suttons Bay. I’ve been going there almost every summer since I was little. The weather, beaches, and local produce are fantastic in the summertime. It is so beautiful up north. My favorite part is the smell of the fresh air in the morning and the bonfires at night. I highly recommend visiting again when you can check out the great breweries and wineries. And don’t forget Leelanau Cheese Raclette and Shetler Family Dairy Chocolate Milk. Delicious! It’s true, there’s nothing like northern Michigan in the summer.

  13. Lucy says...

    My boyfriend is from Traverse City! I just got back from my third summer visit there, there is nothing like northern Michigan in the summer, love it so much.

  14. Does Toby still sleep in his baby bjorn travel crib? Was thinking of getting one for my son for our trip to Italy this summer, he’s 1 year old, but I wasn’t sure if he would still fit in it comfortably, or if he would knock it over. Since Toby is bigger, I thought i would ask. Thanks. (I saw your travel list and tips from last year or the year before, great list. I use it on every trip, but I never caved in for the travel crib).

  15. Is that a Sunflower Outdoor & Bike shirt I see??? Awesome. I love Lawrence. :)

  16. I love your travel posts Jo :)

    Looks like you had a great time in Chicago, it’s somewhere i didn’t know a lot about before now… maybe when I plan my big American adventure I will get around to going there too!

  17. awesome photos! Looks like a very fun filled trip! Also, love that you embrace the pale!

  18. Joanna, my brother works at the Violet Hour! You didn’t meet a bartender named Dan Smith, did you?

  19. Laura says...

    Hi Joanna

    Thanks for being so open and honest! :)

  20. Love these photos so much! I’ve never thought of doing a Chicago trip, but maybe we will! I second the reader that said you look great in your swimsuit! Please share your diet secrets with us! Although, I’m guessing you’ll just say you’re too busy to eat :)

  21. I love the picture of both your boys asleep! I love the idea of renting apartments or houses instead of staying at hotels, its fun to imagine what the owners of the house look like and how they live their lives. It also seems like a much more baby safe way of traveling! thanks for sharing your vacation with us.

  22. Sounds like a lot of fun! I went up to the Skydeck as well but it was far from a spontaneous decision. I went with my entire huge family (I think it was 15 of us), very touristy, and went during a busy time so I think we waited 2 hours in line!! It was fun though and I wasn’t scared at all.

  23. Anonymous says...

    Dear Joanna,
    I really enjoy reading your blog which I came across while surfing the internet. Since my little daughter is also 2 years old it became much more interesting! And now I am just curious. Is your father of German origin? Because you wrote “Opa” in your recent vacation post. I know, sooo curious…
    Best wishes from Germany,

  24. That’s a great vacation! Our daughter lives in Bucktown and we try not to miss Big Star whenever we visit. I also have clients and friends in Traverse City, one of my favorite places to visit. There’s lots of great food there as well, I recommend Cook’s House, La Becasse, Stella, and blu. My friends publish Edible Grande Travese Magazine a regional food publication.

  25. Love all of the photos, Joanna! That one of the girl lying on the skyledge made my heart stop for a minute though!

  26. Charlotte says...

    Always enjoy looking at your holiday photos, would love to visit Chicago one day! My parents visited when I was a baby. I was born in Ontario, Canada and lived there until I was 3 (I now live in England) We used to visit Michigan often and I’ve been back as an adult a few times.

    On a more serious note, I noticed that you managed to fit seeing both your parents in to your vacation which is great. I’d love to see a post one day regarding seperated parents and dealing with them as a ‘grown-up’. This topic is very rarely covered, most articles/books are about how it effects younger children. Not sure how old you were when your folks split up but just a thought…

  27. You did the Chicago dog right!

  28. I love your photos! I’ve never been to Chicago. I was waiting for a time when we could go without the little but, it looks like we should just take her along. Thank you for sharing these.

  29. I need to make it out to Chicago; looks so fun!

    And at first, I thought the before and after pictures were two different people… wow! I usually like a more rugged look on guys, but I have to say clean-cut really suits him.

  30. does Max have ties to Lawrence, KS? that shirt he is wearing is from my home town’s downtown bike shop!

  31. Oh my gosh, those sears tower pictures make me weak in the knees just LOOKING at them! What a fun memory for your husband; maybe I will work up the nerve to go!

    So glad ya’ll had a great trip (:

  32. That was beautiful little post. It may just be my own nostalgia for Chicago (since I grew up there but now live in the East Coast), but that made me want to cry.

    I especially loved the naked tushie shot of your son and the adorable pic of the father and son sleeping in the car.

    Glad you made it back safely to New York.


  33. awww…your friend is wearing a Sunflower Bike Shop t-shirt. I went to college in Lawrence, haven’t seen a sunflower tee forever!

    Looks like fun, I adore Lincoln Park in Chicago

  34. OMG the one of Tobys little bum is way too cute!

  35. lisa, you’re so cute:) i would have loved to meet you. and pickles would have been delish. the relish i had was kind of weird–BRIGHT kelly green. i thought it might have food coloring in it!

  36. Alisha E. says...

    Thanks for sharing, Jo. This looks like a perfect trip–a little of everything and I think it’s awesome Toby got to see his Grandparents. I LOVE that your Dad made you sit on the same side of the table! It’s hilarious that many of those “Dad” idiosyncrasies are universal. XO

  37. J+H, so funny, i had actually written a part about how friendly everyone is into my original post, but cut it because my post was getting too long. YES! everyone in chicago is amazingly friendly. i think every person we met told us to “have a good one!” xoxo

  38. holtkamp, i know! toby looks like such a boy now.

  39. laura, thanks for your comment! there’s a sidebar on the right-hand side of my blog that explains about affiliate links; i want to be really open and clear to all readers. affiliate links are part of my business plan, but i only use them when i 100% recommend the product. for example, here, i’m wearing and own that bathing suit:) so i definitely love it! i would never recommend something that i don’t believe in and use myself. thanks for your comment!

  40. stefania, we’re not dutch — that’s funny that i use dutch words. which word here was dutch? just curious:)

  41. thanks for all these sweet comments!! we love the midwest:)

  42. Chicago is very close to my home town and I always try to visit at least once a year.. My favorite restaurant that is a Chinese and Thai Fusion Cuisine.. Big Bowl! I highly recommend this to all my friends.. when you go back, definitely check it out. The best part is they only use local products and no artificial products. Yum! It looks like you all had a great vacation :)

    XX Hilary

  43. Anonymous says...

    You did Chicago Right! There was a horrible post by someone recently about visiting Chicago as a single and she did an awful job writing about it. She pretty much depended on cliches and stereotypes…ugh and went to places that generally locals -singles and couples alike – aviod. This was a nice mix of “touristy” attractions (sears tower, fun boat tour) and also experiencing Chicago like locals do (renting in lincoln park was an excellent decision!) : venturing to wicker park/buck town and going to Big Star and Violet Hour, renting bikes for the lake path, etc. I also love that you went to some great foodie places as well as Chicago is foodie town! I hope you’ll come back and check out Andersonville which you would LOVE ;)

  44. Great photos :) Have a nice vacation :)

  45. I love the polka dot suit. do they have a one piece version? i’ll check it out.

  46. Lovely photos Jo! So glad to see you had a great time – I am South African, but have been living in London for 8 years now :) Back in 1998 I went to visit my best friend in Traverse City (who had recently moved there from SA with her family) all by myself when i was 15. So i know exactly what its like there – we swam in Lake Michigan everyday and had such fun. I loved reading this post!
    (also thanks so much for the mom-coping-juggling-working posts last week – so nice to know i’m not alone in this working-mom thing. XO

  47. Great photos! The Sean tower photo looks scary yet cool! I’m glad you had a good time.

    PS: I’m new in your blog. Just found it on Forbes top 100 websites for women. Congratulations! :)

  48. Stefania says...

    Hi Joanna, lovely pictures!! I’m jusyt so curious about something.. I’m a big fan of your blog and pins and it is not the first time i see a dutch word somewhere in your post or on a picture. Do you have dutch origins :-)?

  49. Laura says...

    I’d love if you were more open about affiliate links, etc. this is a personal post, you add a p.s. about your swimsuit and it’s an affiliate link. It feels like I can’t tell what you are genuinely giving info about anymore,

    I love your blog but the sneaky affiliate links are putting me right off.

  50. I absolutely love the pictures of you guys in the stadium. Sounds like you had the best time. I know it’s hard to leave your family after such a week, but it does make you appreciate them so much more, doesn’t it?

  51. Hope says...

    It’s so funny that all your “secret” wishes aren’t really secrets since you have a readership :)

    My boyfriend and I visit Chicago each year, but we usually do a lot of touristy things like visit the Art Institute, the Navy Pier, Water Tower Place, (etc) and eat at home. You have inspired me to push local dining at the next visit!

  52. Love this post.
    All the photos were taken with iPhone?

  53. Great vacation! I love that you make simple things, like an evening walk, so much fun! At the end, those are the best things in life!

  54. The hot dog is missing a pickle spear (which should replace the relish).

    I was in Chicago the same time as you and secretly hoping I’d make a “celebrity sighting”, but it’s probably good that I didn’t because I would have creeped you out. :) Great photos!

  55. thanks for sharing your trip with us! i go to school in Chicago and i absolutely love the place. Glad you had a good time :) and haha i don’t really know what a trueee chicago-style hotdog is, but they all look something like that…

  56. thanks for sharing your trip with us! i go to school in Chicago and i absolutely love the place. Glad you had a good time :) and haha i don’t really know what a trueee chicago-style hotdog is, but they all look something like that..

  57. wow, your mom is beautiful! thanks for the pics. looks like you guys had a blast!

  58. I was in Chicago at the same time you were! Looks like you guys had a great trip, such an adorable photo of Toby and Alex at the top of the post!

  59. Ah! Love that boat tour. So glad your could come back to the midwest for a bit! Chicago is a city after my own heart!

  60. oh wow, LOVE this post – I grew up in TC, Michigan and then lived 8 years in Chi-town! Seeing your pictures makes me teary with homesickness – chicago is my absolute favorite place on the planet. thank you for sharing with us. :)

  61. How fun! I’m 34 and I still get more homesick I get every time I leave my parents. I’m glad I’m not the only one :) I think we learn to appreciate family so much more as we get older!

  62. what a beautiful moment to end with. Father and Son sleeping you should start a series of these I am sure it won’t be the first time they pass out together.

  63. Heidi E. says...

    Chicago is such a great town and seeing your wonderful photos made me miss it all the more. Thanks for sharing your brilliant trip!

  64. Naked baby butts are just the cutest. Ha, that sounds creepy! But I have a similar picture of my son that I just adore. He peed on the floor shortly after the picture was taken…oh, boys :)

  65. I’m from the Chicago land area and you covered everything {Go Cubs!!}! Looks like you had a great time! I can’t get enough of the city and he is right, stepping on the glass ledge 103 stories up is scary, if you like heights or not! High five to him!

    Belle époque

  66. Anonymous says...

    I’ve been really enjoying your blog for a little while now. I’m from the Northern Michigan/Traverse City area myself so it’s crazy to think I may have driven past you. I’m glad that you enjoyed your trip!

  67. LZ says...

    Awesome photos! Love the Violet Hour!! Reminds me of a scene from Alice and Wonderland…:)

  68. oh my that glass cube is insane!!! how scary! and what a fun family vacay!!!


  69. We went to Chicago two summers ago when our boys were 1 and 3.5. My husband felt the same way walking up to Wrigley Field. It was a great father/son moment. I’m trying to convince my husband to rent an apt in NYC for a couple of weeks in the summer, like you guys did in Chicago. Glad you had a great trip!

  70. SO glad you went to Big Star! I would kill for a plate of corn tacos and guac right now (I went to college in Evanston). I now live in NYC (aka the food town to end all food towns, as you know), but I still miss my old Chicago haunts. The New York food scene is incredible, but there’s something to be said for having a regular rotation of favorite restaurants and dishes instead of a million places I’ve tried one time and liked but may never make it back to because there will always be a million others on my list. I’m still a pretty new New Yorker though, so I’m hoping I’ll eventually develop a shortlist here as well.

  71. So fun you rented an apartment in Lincoln park. We live there and absolutely love it!!! The zoo is amazing and walking all around is one of our favorite things to do!!!

  72. U have no idea how much I enjoy these personal/travelling posts! :) Great to see u having so much fun in Chicago. I loved the apartment idea. All the pics are gorgeous! xoxo

  73. yay! you look like you had such fun! you (and toby) look so much like your dad!

  74. Anonymous says...

    that skydeck is terrifying! Chicago looks fantastic!

  75. these are beautiful!! thanks so much for sharing. chicago has been hovering on my list for a while now, but you just bumped it up to the top :)

  76. Anonymous says...

    You’re tan!

  77. Anonymous says...

    That picture of your mom and Toby and Toby on your dad’s shoulders are so cute. You have such a nice family.

  78. I love the nekky shot of Toby with his baseball bat. TOO cute.

  79. Looks like you guys had a great time. I now need to go to the Sears tower!

  80. i was in traverse city & petoskey this past week, too. my first time in michigan.

  81. Anonymous says...

    You went to AVEC! Yay!!!

  82. Adore Chicago and have never heard of any of the places you ate and drank at. Adding to my list as we may be there in September! Lincoln Park is definitely a favorite. Such cute shops, too.

  83. We were in Chicago Wednesday & Thursday, boy was it hot! I love visiting there for mini getaways a few times a year since it is only a 3.5 hour drive from where I live.

  84. We were in Chicago Wednesday & Thursday, boy was it hot! I love visiting there for mini getaways a few times a year since it is only a 3.5 hour drive from where I live.

  85. Your vacation looks lovely! It makes me excited for my own trip to Montreal soon.

  86. I live a very short distance from Lincoln Park, beautiful neighborhood! Glad you had a fun time with the family in Chicago!

  87. Anonymous says...

    Beautiful photos! Looks like a great trip! Thanks for sharing.

  88. Gotta say…you did Chicago FAR more justice than a certain recent NYT column…Perhaps you should take over Stephanie Rosenbloom’s beat??(kidding! but not really!)

    Always appreciate your lovely words, fun adventures, and super-cute family.

  89. Seriously?!? You were in Traverse?!? A perfect weekend to be here, for sure. Maybe we can meet up next time….

  90. Not to be a total downer about your great trip but that last pick of Toby in the car seat made my heart skip a beat. Having the chest clip so low could seriously hurt his internal organs should you be in a car accident. Might want to do some research if you are interested. This website has a nice photo “do’s and don’ts”

    Again, looks like a lovely vacation and is a treat to read about all the things you did!

  91. I love these pictures, and I love Chicago! At least 3 months out of the year anyway. :P

    I liked the Sears/Willis tower thing. I must say, I’m not afraid of heights, but it was still pretty intimidating. The key is to not look down as you step on. Once you’re in, you can look down.:)

  92. I am heading to Chicago in the morning with all three kids and the hubby to visit my Best Friend and all your photos have made me really exited for the trip! Thank you for sharing!

  93. I’m deathly afraid of heights. And, I’ve got the same swimsuit in a one-piece. I’m not brave enough to wear a bikini post-baby this summer. Next summer! ;)

  94. Loved all the pictures, and Toby is such a grown cute little man, look at that row of teeth!

  95. Am I the only one who thinks your friend is super darling (post grooming :)?

  96. I love the shot of father and his boy at the baseball game. Perfect shot and to my mind, it tells a story, on a number of levels. Good shooting!

  97. As usual, I loved your post, but the picture of Toby on your dad’s shoulders is priceless. You will all treasure that one for years.

  98. Your trip looks fantastic – such a cool city, I really want to go. And your friend looks really dishy without a beard!!!! What a great holiday. I bet it was hard narrowing it down to just a few photos.

  99. Is that you in the beautiful swimming suit? Gorgeous! And do tell where to find one like it!

  100. Julie says...

    I just spent a week in the Traverse City area! My family has had a cottage up there since I was Toby’s age, and I get so homesick every time I leave. No summer is complete without a swim in Grand Traverse Bay :)

  101. the hot dog looks great! The main key for a Chicago dog is NO ketchup.

    Have you ever seen this sketch from Conan, with Jack McBrayer at Chicago’s Weiner’s Circle?

    so glad you got to Wrigley field – it’s the quintessential Chicago experience!

  102. Anonymous says...

    I’m from Traverse! Isn’t it beautiful? I live in Brooklyn and often wonder how I can stick it out. I miss it so much! Hope you enjoyed yourself.

    <3 JB

  103. I lived in Chicago for an internship and stayed in an amazing place near Lincoln Park for women – I loved it there. But, I’m feeling shivery just reading about that skyledge thing – you would not catch me on that things for $1m dollars!

  104. You took some great pictures of Chicago! Were you there for the Cherry Festival in Traverse City?

  105. Reading this makes me so homesick :( And YES, you did get the hot dog right. lol Wow that looked scrumptious!

  106. Anonymous says...

    So glad you had a great time! I was one of the bajillion Chicagoans who commented last week with advice, and it sounds like you really did hit all the best spots for a short (and tasty!) trip. Come back soon! :D

  107. Lovely photos, Joanna. You make everything sound so wonderful (not that it isn’t, you just have a talent for describing things as you experience them). I want to go to Chicago! I was once there when I was little but don’t remember much. So tempted by the food.

    I did something similar to what Alex did on the Sears Tower… when I was in Toronto a few years ago I did the glass bottom on the CN Tower. Freaky!!

    Just wanted to mention you look so nice in a swimsuit… any chance you could do a post on how you stay so slim sometime in the future? I imagine you have a pretty busy life, but you always manage to look so pretty.

  108. amazing-looks so much fun. cuple of things-
    1. love the idea of the beach and a city.
    2. your friends looks way better clean shaven.
    3. hell no – i could not do the glass box outside the building thing-looks so scary!
    4.toby looks so happy-love it friend always talks about the chicago marathon being amazing-now i want to do it!

    thats it! x

  109. I grew up 30 minutes from Chicago and now I live in Indy, I have traveled quite a bit but Chicago is still one of my favorite places on earth. Your husband earned mucho points with me because every time we go to a Cubs game I say this is my idea of what I think heaven must look like!! I’m so glad you had a wonderful time!!

  110. Lovely photos! Thank you for sharing :) I just moved from Chicago to Switzerland and one of my first dates with my then-boyfriend, now-fiance was at Avec and the Violet Hour! Such wonderful memories of that city, I’m glad you guys had fun.

    It’s cool to see a place that I knew so well from a different perspective :)

  111. Chicago is the home of my heart! Unfortunately the rest of my body finds a home in Sacramento. Glad you had a fun trip.

  112. So fun to see how you enjoyed my own stomping grounds of Chicago and Michigan. And that’s so cute/funny that Alex conquered the Sears Tower like that all on his own. Way to go, man! I’m not normally afraid of heights but standing on that glass ledge totallly freaked me out!

  113. You got the hot dog right. Love the shot of you at North Ave. Beach and your swimsuit is cute! I’m from Chicago, born, raised and still there. Love it and love when visitors love it as well. Nothing like getting back to your home though.

  114. Go Cubbies!! My husband grew up there and we try to go back every year in the spring when it’s not yet so hot. I love the idea of renting an apartment for a week and pretending you really live there. Alex is far braver than me – just looking at your pictures of the Skydeck makes me queasy!

    Love the naked Toby booty! He’s getting so big!!

  115. Ahhh you went to some of the best restaurants – nice work! I hope you had the incredible burger at Ah Cheval. Best of all, I love that your friend is wearing a Sunflowr Bike Shop T from Lawrence, KS where I went to college. Looks like you did Chitown right.

  116. Allie says...

    ohhh helllls no to the skydeck. i’m pretty sure i would throw up and/or have a full-on breakdown.

  117. What a lovely trip! Thanks for visiting our fair city of Chicago. :) Glad it was nice to ya…

  118. Oh my my my too many pictures to comment on! I love them all. But that one house covered in vines. Oh. Took my breath away. I want it!

  119. so many special moments captured here! and that vintage road bike — yes!

  120. Love when you talk about Michigan. I live and am from Traverse City! Hope you had a fabulous time and went to Leland too :) xoxo

  121. not a single word about how much FRIENDLIER the people from chicago are compared to NYC??? oops! that’s right, you’re really a midwesterner too, so you probably just fit right in and didn’t even notice ;)

    i love living near NYC, but since i grew up in ohio, chicago steals my heart because of the people and their midwest charm!!


  122. Whoops! Typos (afternoon”) and word rep (laugh)…

  123. it looks like you really got everything you could out of this trip!

  124. Big sigh. I am originally from Michigan and this made me a tad homesick! We used to love to take the train over to Chicago back when my husband and I were dating. Love Chicago. Your trip looks like it was perfect!

  125. Aw, I love the image of toddler-on-grandpa’s-shoulders. It makes me remember the days I spent up there, haha. (For toddler eyes, what a view!) And the “lollipop every afternoon: made me laugh. My brother and I laugh and shake our heads at how our mom has gone all soft since my niece and nephew came to town. We can’t remember ever getting treats like that! ;) But maybe my memory is selective.

  126. Sally says...

    I love the photos of Toby and your father. There’s something about grandfathers and their grandchildren that is so sweet. (Ditto for grandmas!)

  127. Sunflower Bike!! That’s 4 blocks away from my apartment! How crazy to see in your blog. (Although I suppose if he was working in a bike shop it’s not really that weird. And it’s a popular shirt. So maybe I’m a little too excited.) oh well, it’s a small world :)

    Lovely trip! Makes me so excited to get back to Chicago!

  128. Dude, Max knows EVERYONE.

    And as long as there wasn’t ketchup hiding under the other ingredients on the dog, it looks like you got it right.

    Glad you had fun in our great city!

    (P.S. I’m from Michigan, too – love spending time there)

  129. So glad you guys had a great vacation! As for the hot dog, I think it looks perfect. I didn’t really love hot dogs until my husband told me about the Chicago version, which is basically everything I love on a hot dog.

    Also, I think I have the same bathing suit. Gotta love that classic look.

  130. !!!! Toby is SUCH a little man!

  131. love your photos! i’ve only been to chicago once, basically passing through and time enough to visit wrigley field :) i love the picture of toby on your dad’s shoulders, he looks like such a little man!

  132. love your photos! i’ve only been to chicago once, basically passing through and time enough to visit wrigley field :) i love the picture of toby on your dad’s shoulders, he looks like such a little man!

  133. What a fun weekend. I’ve only been to Chicago once and it was a day trip, so I appreciate all of your words of wisdom on what to do and see whilst in the city.

  134. It looks like you got the Chicago hot dog right! My favorite at Wrigley is adding the caramelized onions, but not every stand has them.

    Glad that you had a fun trip!

  135. Aww Joanna! I live in an ivy-covered apartment in Lincoln Park that looks just like that one! I’m so in love with it. Glad you had a great time! xo

  136. KJ says...

    Sounds like you had great fun in my town :)