9:30 PM

Back in July we took a family trip to Iowa! The trip was inspired because one of Stephen’s best friends from high school was getting married and rather than just have Stephen go all that way for a weekend, we thought it would be fun to go as a family and make a vacation of it! Stephen's parents had the idea to make the first part of the week a family reunion in Chicago, so after arriving in Iowa late Saturday night, we drove to Chicago, picked up his sister Sarah from the airport, and then all stayed together in an air B&B in the Ukrainian Village part of the city for a couple days! 

Spending Monday through Thursday in Chicago was a ton of fun! We're not really big planners, so although I asked a few friends for recommendations of what to do while we were there, we didn't have anything specific planned ahead of time and mostly figured it out as we went! (Except going to Shedd Aquarium, Stephen was very adamant and excited about taking the kids to one of his all-time favorite stops as a child, so that was a MUST.) 

We could not have been more fortunate with the weather and ended up hitting up North Avenue Beach three of the four days we were there and Lincoln Park Zoo twice 😂. Although I'm sure we missed out on a lot of typical touristy-Chicago spots and attractions (including the Bean...woops!) I honestly wouldn't have changed a thing! (Except for the fact that someone tried to steal the catalytic converter from one of Mom and Dad Olson's cars during the night, and I managed to lose my wallet and not discover that I'd lost it until we were about to head to the airport to go home...woops again! ðŸĪŠ) 

Late Thursday afternoon we headed back to Iowa City for a couple days. It just so happened that while in Iowa City RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bike Race Across Iowa) came through, so Friday night we went downtown and participated in some of the evening festivities with all the bikers (as much as one can, anyway, if they choose not to drink alcohol, haha). We ended up walking back to Mom and Dad Olson's house from downtown since the shuttle was taking a long time and we were so impressed that Lydia walked the whole way (over a mile!) entirely by herself! 

Saturday was the day of the wedding and Mom and Dad Olson were so kind yet again to watch the kids for us while we drove two hours to Decorah where the wedding was held and then back (not getting home until sometime after 1 AM!). 

It really was the perfect little family summer vacation and I think we commented about how unbelievably lucky we were in regard to the weather at least three times a day! 😂 (I had been pretty worried about spending a week in the infamous Midwest humidity while being nearly 6 months pregnant, haha.) 

I made a little video of some of our trip just using my phone so the quality isn't great, but I really love some of these clips and the memories that go along with them (I just wish they showcased Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Sarah more!). Traveling with kids may be exhausting and unpredictable, but man, they sure make life so much fun!!!! 

Thanks again Mom and Dad Olson for all you did to make this trip so wonderful!!! 
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