Again, this may be a stretch… But I’m going to go ahead and write this post anyway. Just a little backstory… My kids are like puppies. They love to be wild and then snuggle, snuggle, snuggle. “Alone time” just really isn’t a thing with them, and my introverted self is amazed by and loves them for it.
So, while they are young and think that sharing a room is fun and special, I’m more than happy to oblige. As I’m sure you have been able to gather from reading Mackinaw Road or following along on Instagram, most of our travels take us lake/oceanside. I tried to incorporate this “feel” without being to nautical or coastal.
My husband and my first trip away from our children was to Laguna Beach. Even though I knew the kids were in very capable hands, I was nervous to leave them. And then we got to Laguna Beach. We were gone for 4 days. It was the perfect amount of time to recharge. On our last night, we took a cab into town for dinner. Afterward, we hit up a typically-tourist shop and found the surfer van pictured above for our curly, blonde haired, never-has-shoes-on-his-feet son.
Having lived in Chicago for 3 years and run along the lakeside path from Belmont to North Avenue, I definitely think that it can be categorized into a lake-feel kind of town, at least in the summer and fall. (I don’t want to talk about Chicago winters.) Two years ago, our family went to Chicago in the summer (the kids were 2 and 5). My husband had a “strategy” for buying Cub’s tickets on the street during the 3rd inning. While he negotiated, my job was to entertain two children during their normal nap times. It was not going well and my husband was taking too long. Finally, I just went up and made an offer. This was a smart man to know not to mess around with a mom with two squirrelly kids at nap time. Done. We can talk about actually trying to sit with a squiggly 2 year old and watch a baseball game another time. (For ideas about more children-appropriate Chicago activities, check out this article.)
And of course, no room would be complete without a leather elephant bank from Dilli Haat. My husband and I went to India almost three years ago. While searching for gifts, we purchased two leather elephant banks for our children. It was one of the best purchases that we have made. Our kids like to play with their banks and naturally want to put their own money in, which inevitably led to several broken ceramic banks. The elephant banks are durable, cute, and remind us of our time in Delhi. (Yes, there really isn’t a lake theme to this one, but they are just so perfect for kids.)
Of course, you won’t be shocked to find Michigan coasters by the kids’ beds. My grandfather-in-law was an extremely talented oil painter and did the sailboat painting of the ships in Chicago harbor above one of the beds. I am not talented, but needed another boat painting, so used the one I had painted/copied at a painting studio. (We originally had metal farmhouse letters above the beds, but they were unapproved/denied/rejected/etc. by my future-HGTV-celeb daughter, so that is why they are definitely not the correct height above the beds.)
Dusting is not a favorite activity, but when I am constantly cleaning objects that bring back such special memories, the task seems much less arduous. (And, yes, for now the memories are mostly mine, but when the kids’ start cleaning their room, they are also welcome to add their own decorations;-))
*As always, this post may contain affiliate links, meaning that, at no cost to you, if you click and purchase, I may be compensated. Thank you!