This past weekend, my family, my husband and I packed up and headed to the big city – Chicago. (Our dog spent the weekend on the farm with my dad) My cousin got married in a small town about two hours outside the city, but we thought we would take the opportunity to do a little sight-seeing.
This was my husband and my second trip to Chicago, but the first time there for my mother and sister. We hit all the usual spots — Navy Pier, Wrigley Field and Magnificent Mile. And of course, we had Chicago style pizza.
I wanted to visit Lincoln Park Zoo, which, let me tell you, is a wonderful little zoo and it’s free! It was a bit of a trek from our hotel. (Sat on the train for a while and then walked several blocks.) The first view we got of the zoo was kind of like seeing the farm back home! It was a barnyard right in the middle of Chicago, complete with cattle, goats, sheep and all the animals. It was actually very cool to see a city take this step to teach urban children about another lifestyle and where their food comes from. They even had a milking demonstration. They showed the old fashioned hand-milking, as well as the modern machine based milking. (I wanted my husband to step in and show off his skills. He grew up on a dairy farm. He is always boasting about how well he can milk a cow.)
While we saw several children and school groups excited to see the monkeys, bears and sea lions, it was nice to see the same energetic faces get excited over a cow, chickens and goats. (A while the city is fun to visit, the green zoo was nice to get a little break from the concrete jungle.)
The day after sight-seeing, we made the quick two hour drive to a small town outside of Chicago. My cousin got married in a small country church with their reception on his wife’s family Illinois farm. (Complete with a barn dance!) It may sound silly, but I think a lot of farmers do this. My husband and I kept checking out the crops. Was the corn taller here than back home? How do their beans look?
One image I will definitely remember is, while we were driving through the country to the church, we kept getting closer and closer to these huge cooling towers of a power plant. When we drove right past the smoking towers, we all thought there is no way this is a nuclear plant. They would never let a road get that close right? Wrong. A quick web search revealed it was indeed a nuclear power plant surrounded by corn fields.
It was just amazing to see power for millions of people being produced in the heartland where food grows every day for millions of people.
As a look back, this past weekend was filled with city life meets country living.