"Piano, piano" as the Italians say. In other words, "little by little." I'm so far behind on this blog that the only way I'll catch up is little by little! So here are some pictures from our Chicago trip. John and I went up there for a conference of mine. It was a fun trip--on the way, we drove through downtown Springfield, IL, to get in touch with Lincoln.
Downtown Springfield makes for a neat afternoon stroll. You can follow the steps of pre-presidential Lincoln, including his law offices. Okay, on to Chicago!
Our first stop in Chicago was Gino's East, which is famous for its deep-dish pizza. Though the decor, as you can see, is a little grungy, I highly recommend the food.
Here's John, showcasing the glory of deep-dish.
This was my favorite thing in all of Chicago. It's official title is the Cloud Gate, but most people just call it the Bean. I love it. It's just so big and shiny. Plus it reflects the surrounding buildings.
A nice view of the Chicago River.
"The theatre, the theatre. What happened to the theatre?"
Me all gussied up for a night out on the town.
The "L" or "elevated train," which serves as Chicago's metro.
We both liked these buildings. Look closely at the bottom levels--they're parking garages.
From Chicago, we drove over to South Bend to stay the night: John wanted to show me the campus of Notre Dame, which was definitely worth the visit.
The Golden Dome of Notre Dame.
The campus had many, many trees--it looked like a forested park. So since my feet were sore from walking in Chicago, I took the opportunity to recline by one.
"Touchdown Jesus", so-named because this spectacular mosaic on Notre Dame's library is in view of the football field. Despite the tongue-in-cheek name, the mosaic was a good reminder of Notre Dame's need/desire to focus on Christ as the center of truth, academic or otherwise.
John outside of ND's stadium. This is where the magic happens.
On the way from South Bend to West Lafayette, we spotted some unusual barns. Apparently it was a trend at some point to shingle designs into the rooftops. Can you tell what's on this barn?
On our way back from Chicago, we swung east over to Indiana to visit our friends Matt and Courtney (we met them when we were in Italy last year). It was our first time together on American soil! They live on a scenic little plot just outside of West Lafayette, near the campus of Purdue University. Their two kids, Nolan (4) and Meredith (2) enjoyed showing us around their turf. With the help of his father, Nolan even took us on a hay ride! Here he is, showing us how it's done.
In honor of our visit, Matt and Courtney orchestrated a BBQ over by their fire-pit. We enjoyed ribs and corn-on-the-cob, Indiana-style.
Meredith is quite the adventurer. She took great joy in digging under rocks to find bugs and caterpillars.
Nolan, making a car seat look cool.
They also took us on a tour of Purdue. On one part of the campus, there's a child-friendly fountain which Nolan and Matt took full advantage of. We thought we'd better get a group shot, so here it is. Again, we had a wonderful, relaxing time. If only Indiana were closer to Texas. Or perhaps we could start a commune in Missouri. . .
Nolan kindly took this picture for us--good job, Nolan!