For my final “Top Five” list of 2020, I’m looking at photos that were taken the few times we actually went somewhere, starting with this wolf we saw at Brookfield Zoo back in January:
One of the last places Bunny and I went was to the Fabulous Fox Theatre to see Riverdance in February:
We took a lovely walk around Creve Coeur Lake in November:
Later that month, we attended Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Because the event started earlier than usual, we had the added bonus of not just seeing beautiful lights, but also a carpet of bright yellow gingko leaves!
When we visited Cahokia Mounds in November, I thought this tree stump was really cool:
It wasn’t hard to choose these pictures, because I just didn’t have many pictures taken away from home from which to choose. But in a way, that made these moments more special, and helped me appreciate the beauty around me in a way I might not have otherwise!
I had another big day planned for the third day of our trip north. First things first…we always take a family picture on the Combo Breaker Floor. Actually, that’s always one of my favorite moments of the trip. I’m pretty bummed that we’re missing that picture this year, so here’s a look back at the family photos we took during our first four Combo Breakers!
After a morning visit to the event, we were going to head to Brookfield Zoo. This has become one of our favorite Chicagoland locations, (we can spend a good six hours just walking around), and it would have been our second springtime zoo trip (to go along with two winter visits). You never see the same thing twice, and we were really looking forward to discovering something new!
I think this would probably have been the night we went to dinner at Alfie’s Inn, too. This restaurant has become another favorite place on our journeys, and they make a mean patty melt!
After dinner, we would have headed back to the hotel for a swim, and an evening of Combo Breaker fun. Now, I know that there’s no way the floor would look like this on Saturday evening, so empty and organized, but I really this picture!
Eventually we would have headed back to our hotel room…I wonder what was supposed to be airing on the Food Network tonight?!?
Up next…the third and final day of Combo Breaker 2020!
It’s that time again…time to look back at another winter weekend trip to Chicagoland!
Last Friday, we were up extra early in attempt to beat the expected winter weather out of St. Louis so we could meet Ryan up north in Wheeling for Frosty Faustings. And we did beat all of the weather on the way up (even though Moose’s school ending up canceling classes for the day!). It was a fairly uneventful drive, even though it was a bit nerve-wracking for me, as I don’t usually drive in that part of the Chicago suburbs, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.
It was nice and cold when we arrived at the Westin, but still pretty much clear, weather-wise, if not clouds-wise:
I’ve never stayed at a Westin before, and it was quite nice from the moment we walked in the lobby (the infused water was especially popular with the children!)…I especially loved the Lego model of the hotel they had on display!
The room was also nice, although it felt a little small compared the giant room we had last year at Frostys!
We took only the briefest of walks through the tournament area, because we realized that all of the things we had planned to do over Friday and Saturday would have to all be accomplished on Friday, thanks to an impending snowstorm.
Our first stop was the Brookfield Zoo. Just as we did last winter, we had an amazing visit, where we witnessed some new-to-us animal behavior (did you know that camels bark?!?), and enjoyed a walk around a very empty zoo. And the snow held off right until we left.
Then it really started coming down. We had tickets to Medieval Times, and it took us over two hours to drive from the zoo to the castle…traffic was horrible, and driving was very sloppy! We did finally make it, though, just as the castle doors were opening, which was a relief!
I didn’t pay for the VIP experience this time, but we had the best seats we’ve had yet…the second row, and right in the center. We also supported a different knight for the first time…instead of yellow, we were cheering for the red and yellow knight from the County of Perelada. As always, we had a great time, even though, as always, our knight didn’t win…at least our side won this time, and Bunny caught one of the carnations, which means that all three girls have now received one!
And then the harrowing drive back to the hotel. About a half foot of snow had fallen in just a few hours, and it was a mess. But there wasn’t much traffic on the way back, and everyone on the roads was content to go slow and careful, so it may have taken a while, but at least there was no pressure to keep up with traffic, which made it much easier to stay on the road!
I already mentioned that we visited Brookfield Zoo in May. And while we really enjoy any trip to a zoo, this trip was scheduled for one specific reason: to see the Lego Brick Safari exhibit that they’re hosting through the end of September!
The exhibit includes over 40 life-size animals of all kinds. There were signs with information such as how many bricks it took to make the animal and how long it took to build, and some of the animals even included a bonus challenge!
We really enjoyed seeing the animals that were accompanied by their young!
I loved how the young tigers were depicted:
The pandas were adorably role-poly!
Don’t these guys look they’re straight out of The Lion King?
Other signs included scientific information about the animals, which was very helpful:
There were plenty of sea creatures:
And immense animals:
And animals of every other size, too!
This was a really cool exhibit (it very much reminded me of the Nature Connects display we saw at the Missouri Botanical Garden a few years ago), and I’m glad we happened to be in Chicago while it was on display!
I’m still trying to catch up on all the fun we’ve had this summer! Today, let’s take a look at Brookfield Zoo, a place we visited for the first time in January, and had such a good time, we knew we wanted to go back in May!
Some things were pretty much unchanged from our winter visit (the camels and lions were basically doing the same thing as when we saw them in January), and some were different (we saw a peacock spread his glorious feathers, and the giraffes were in their outdoor habitat):
The grizzly bears were very busy, and entertaining to watch!
We really enjoyed having the chance to see Snowflake, a rare albino alligator, who was temporally visiting the zoo:
Instead of a beautiful snow-covered landscape, we enjoyed seeing flowers and fountains:
We actually bought a year-long membership to the Brookfield Zoo to make this visit happen, so we’re looking forward to going back at some point before it expires!