Since I have unintentionally neglected my blog this week, I think a nice full post is better for today instead of a "Five Things" Friday reflective piece. Wahoo!

Nick (my new roommate and good friend from adventures past) and I made it to Colorado in one piece! Our USA road trip was SO much fun. We were able to check out a lot of the US that we had never seen before and spaced it over a not-too-exhausting length of time. Fortunately, we had friends and family to either stay or catch up with along the way making the journey a [relatively] painless feat.

I'll give you an idea of the route we took so you can follow the photographs captured along the way. To start, I drove down from New York to Nick's house in New Jersey. We left bright and early to voyage through the

über

long state of Pennsylvania. Luckily, our first-day's adrenaline got us all the way to Chicago within the first 24 hours of traveling. 

We spent a day exploring and were surprised by how much we liked The Windy City, seeing as it was the first time being there for both of us. When we departed Chicago, we headed through Wisconsin to make it to my family in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Along the way, we stopped at the Leinenkugel Brewery, the Mall of America and a few other interesting places (to come in the next post).

For now, here's the first half...Enjoy!

{Crossing over the Chicago River that flows through the city}

{I don't know why but this building really fascinated me}

{Good ol' Marilyn doin' her thang}

{Nick and I honestly had NO idea that Chicago had beaches along the Lake Michigan coast}

{So, of course, we went to investigate them}

{An interesting entrance to the Lake Shore Drive boardwalk}

{Chicago struck me as a very active, fun city - there's so much to do!}

                 {We particularly liked the boardwalk wall that the water crashed up against}

{Because it did THIS!}

{Everybody needs a little city love}

{Kinda looks like a beehive}

{Fascinating architecture, right?}

{The weather couldn't have been better for us to walk around and sightsee..tourists!}

{If you've never seen "The Bean"-- aka Cloud Gate -- get there solely to people watch.

There are some hilarious strangers out there.}

{Can't have a city without a fountain, I s'pose}

{Strolling through the Chicago Botanic Garden}

{We only roamed through a small part of the gardens

 but apparently there are 385 acres of beautiful flora smack dab in the city}

{After having seen Loyola in New Orleans and, of course, attending Loyola University Maryland, I forced Nick to swing by Loyola Chicago with me. One left to see -- Cali!}

{The view right next to the dorms. Lucky kids!}

{

Leinenkugel

 is Nick's FAVORITE beer

 so it was a treat

to be able to stop by the factory and brewery to see where it's made}

{Frame-able!}

{Tourists much?}

{My Great Aunt Mary and Uncle John's backyard in Minneapolis}

{I wouldn't mind seeing this every morning when I wake up}

{Never thought I'd see the Mall of America. Added to the bucket list and checked off!}

{A kid's dream come true...ours too}

               {OH yeah, we definitely rode this guy}

{And it was the greatest ride I may have ever been on}

{First we spotted the cheese...}

{...then the cheese heads! Bingo!}

 Part two coming next week!

Love and adventures,

Kelsey

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