our week in indiana & chicago.

As many of you know from my weekend in pictures post at the end of June, we were in Indiana visiting Aaron’s family. We just got home a few days ago last week & I wanted to be sure to share (lots of) photos from the trip!

We spent the first part of our trip in Indiana where we got to see lots of Aaron’s immediate family.

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{Papaw Sam, Charlotte, & Eloise played “ring around the rosy” & Eloise loved it!}

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{The two youngest granddaughters! Eloise & Charlotte are 10 months apart.}

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{Eloise likes to wear her (sun) glasses when it is bright outside (the sun is out)! We headed to the Indy Children’s Museum with Aaron’s sister Cari & her two youngest kiddos.}

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{All the kiddos in the race car.}

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{Eloise was not happy about leaving, however.}

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{Eloise enjoyed the wooden blocks. Some of them were the magnetic ones which sort of threw her off a bit, but she picked it up soon!}

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{Charlotte & Eloise loved this wind tunnel. It had a stream of air where you could put the scarves & they would blow all around!}

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{We caught music time & made a soundtrack to Goldilocks & The Three Bears. The kids really liked the instruments.}

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{An Aaron & Eloise selfie.}

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{She was patiently waiting for Aaron to build a really big tower & then she knocked the whole thing down, Godzilla-style.}

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{Eloise’s second time on a merry-go-round. This was taken before the ride started. By the time I saw them again (one lap), she was off the horse & in Aaron’s arms! Maybe we need a little more time before the merry-go-round is fun…}

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{Eloise had a good time playing in the make-believe soda shop!}

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{When you are Indiana in the summer, you have to eat corn on the cob. Eloise got the hang of it pretty quickly!}

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{One evening while Aaron & Sam were walking a few of the greens, a hot air balloon landed! We could hear other ones flying over & around the house too.}

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{We made it on a playdate to the Indy Zoo with the Garner-Ballard clan!}

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{The kiddos were so good & this aquarium window was perfect for the trio of littles!}

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{Shark watching.}

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{The whole crew of us. So amazing to see you Garner-Ballard family!}

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{Saying our good-byes. Silas was so sweet with Eloise.}

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{We made sure to stop in & see Eloise’s great-grandma Eileen.}

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{And we lunched with Kait & Oliver. Despite her face, Eloise really loved them both. So good to see them too!}

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{We had a fun evening with “Uncle” Colt & went out on the houseboat for some swimming & shenanigans. Eloise wanted to drive!}

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{Oh man, these three. I also realize that Eloise was not wearing a life jacket. She was safe, I promise!}

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{Eloise looking like her doll Louise – overalls and pigtails! The overalls E is wearing were passed down from Aaron’s oldest brother & to the rest of the three siblings which makes them almost 40 years old! I love this tradition!}

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{We headed to Maggi’s house one morning for a Lower family get-together. Family generational photos were a must.}

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{Neither of us take a lot of selfies, but this is Eloise taking a selfie (she’s saying “cheese!”) so she must have learned it from someone!}

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{An attempt to get a picture of these kiddos.}

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{This was the result. Thanks Eloise & Crosby!}

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{And look who happened to be in town – Kendra! It’s like we planned it… Thanks for being an amazing host Maggi!}

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{Eloise in deep conversation with her great Aunt Sharon.}

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 {After lunch & headed to the car. Maggi gave all of the kids a bucket full of goodies & Eloise held onto that bucket all weekend long!}

We headed up to Aaron’s grandfather’s lake house for the holiday weekend!

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 {Welcome to the lake!}

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{Being at the lake house means being on a boat. So here’s a boat selfie.}

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{Aaron pre-backflip!}

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{Nearly all of Aaron’s (maternal) cousins & Aunts & Uncles were up at the lake for the weekend. That is one BIG family!}

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{Aunt Molly with her youngest nieces & nephew!}

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{Eloise being a ham.}

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{Happy Fourth of July from the Lower/Cambridge kids! These are all of Eloise’s cousins.}

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{Eloise, Maddie, & Charlotte doing Sudoku. Maddie was so patient with the little ones.}

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{Selfie with Aunt Jodi & Landon!}

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{Yes, s’mores! Worth the bug bites & smelling like a camp fire.}

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 {Testing out the selfie-stick!}

And then we headed to Chicago for a mini -vacation (just the three of us)!

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{We ended up in this great little Airbnb in Logan Square & it was super kid friendly! Eloise is obsessed with rocking horses.}

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{And even though we didn’t have a car in Chicago, we still had the car seat & Eloise took full advantage of being able to play in it. She loved to be buckled in!}

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{We stopped into the Longman & Eagle for apps & drinks. It did not disappoint!}

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{A homemade pretzel, meatballs with polenta, & a cherry soda. Amazingly good!}

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{Mama & Eloise twinning. The best! And this is pretty much the best picture we could get. The other ones are of Eloise holding her dress up to show her belly…}

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{Family photo in the park. Eloise was happy despite her stoic look.}

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{For breakfast on the way to downtown we stopped in at Bang Bang! for biscuits. It was mind-blowing! If you ever are in Chicago, please go. There are pot pies & regular pies on the menu as well. We were able to chat with the owner Michael who gave us a sampling of pies after breakfast – SO delish! – & he was super cool. He gave us some tips about where to dine for the rest of our trip.}

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{We took the L downtown. Even though we live in a big city, I am still in awe when we visit a big city!}

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{Papa & Eloise. I think she was ready to get out & run around!}

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{Cloud Gate – aka The Bean – did not disappoint!}

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{Mama & Eloise!}

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{Love this little family of ours.}

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{After Cloud Gate & Millenium Park, we stumbled into the Chicago Symphony playing the musical accompaniment to this silent movie. It was really cool! I wish we could have stayed for the entire film.}

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{Across this really cool footbridge from Millenium Park is Maggie Daley Park. It is this enormous playground that has all of these little play areas for kiddos. We could have spent hours & days at this park, but it was so, so hot (100 degrees with the heat index!) so we got just a sampling. The water features were nice for cooling off!}

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{Down the slide!}

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{She often goes feet first down the slide.}

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{Just one of the many play structures at the park. Do you spot Aaron & Eloise down there by the slide? They climbed all the way to the top of the tower & came down the tube slide.}

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{Eloise really liked this dribbling fountain.}

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{Aaron got us tickets to the Cubs game at Wrigley Field. Luckily our seats were in the shade! What a cool stadium!}

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{It was just before nap time, but Eloise would yell “Go Cubs!” & put her finger up in the air when she heard the crowd cheering.}

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{And she was out. For about 40 minutes.}

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{Obligatory picture with the marquee sign. It was so packed with people after the game!}

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{At Michael’s suggestion, we went to Parson’s for dinner in Logan Square to celebrate National Fried Chicken Day. I don’t know if this was an actual made-up holiday or not, but we went with it.}

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{Eloise & I breakfasting before we left for the airport.}

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{After many, many hours of travelling by train & plane, we were happy to be on the light rail headed home. Eloise & Aaron did pull-ups to pass the time.}

Phew! What a trip! It was hard to be gone for so long, but it was nice to see so much family since we have only been getting back about once a year these days. This was also our last hoorah trip since we didn’t have to pay for a seat for Eloise. Though, I am sort of looking forward to the extra space when we have it!

Eloise was such a good little traveler &, even though we set our expectations really low, she far exceeded them. She was really good on both plane rides & took a short nap. We snacked a lot, drew on her new doodle pad, & played with her mermaid stickers. We had Sesame Street downloaded just in case, but we didn’t even need to bust that out, which is good because we were assuming it would completely occupy her but we don’t know since she doesn’t get official screen time yet!

Where are your family travels taking you to this summer?

M

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