He and I had already been talking about a trip to the West Coast of America as our family summer adventure. So when Small broke his arm back in June and the highly anticipated trip to NYC to visit my brother and his family was disappointingly abandoned, a new plan was immediately hatched. Once in a plane heading Stateside, there seemed to be NO reason not to drop by Chicago en route.
Brother, sister-in-law and most divine nephew live in Iowa (when not in NYC, Berlin, London, Australia, Florida etc) where they are professors at the university there. (Actually, nephew isn’t a professor just yet but I’d bet my bottom dollar his IQ is higher than most.) So they drove 4 hours to the mid-west’s largest city – which is where they first met and then graduated with their doctorates – to meet us.
During Brother’s early student days, I spent a brilliantly hot summer in this city: clubbing, concerts, parties and sleeping on blow-up beds in an empty apartment. This time – 20 years older and with the Smalls in tow – Brother had found a great garden floor apartment to rent in the Old Town with plenty of room for the cousins to catch up and hang out.
The stunning architecture, inviting lakefront and pretty impressive river tour were the other fond memories I had from all those years ago. Of course, there’s a ridiculous amount to do in Chicago but as our trip was limited in time and involved small walking steps, we picked out the following:
Ps While in that part of the world, we also so enjoyed visiting some friends who left London last year for the charming village of Winnetka. Visiting real homes and hearing first hand about exciting relocation moves always makes a trip more special. At home, we are so submerged in our daily lives that we find it hard to imagine a different way of living. Anyway, we adored their new home (walking distance to school and beach!) and can’t wait to hear more of their adventure as it unfolds…