I know that our "sister-cation" to Chicago was already blogged, but I finally have photos from my REAL camera to post! I didn't take as many as planned, mainly because I was enjoying the time just being there, in the moment. But, I did take some! This was what really kicked off our summer, and I'll always remember this weekend trip to Chicago with Clarissa fondly.

things to do in chicago for free

I can't take a trip to any major city without visiting some sort of Art Museum! Degas' always reminds me of the time I visited Paris in high school (did you know I took 4 years of French?!) and Clarissa will dish that I did, in fact, do a happy dance seeing one of his dancers in Chicago. ;) 

interior shot of the chicago art museum
my favorite degas art piece in chicago
downtown rooftop bars in Chicago called Cindy's
walking downtown Chicago in the rain with sister
millenium park in the fog
a foggy day downtown at the Bean in Chicago's Millenium Park
unique photo of jay pritzker pavilion in Chicago
things to do when you are visiting Chicago

Below is my stunning friend Abi. She's a mega-talented artist who lives in Chicago (check out her website) and kindly toured around the city, went out for drinks at Cindy's Rooftop Bar, and brunched with me during my trip!

how to get to Cindy's Rooftop bar in chicago
where to eat and drink in Chicago with the best view of Lake Michigan
destination senior photos with view of Chicago

Changing pace a little bit here, now! Fast forward about 6 weeks, and the next time I really pulled out my camera for fun was the 4th of July. Last year, I spent the 4th of July in Ames (a first for me!) and loved getting the small town feel with a parade, and fireworks at Reiman Gardens. This year, though, I returned to my roots and headed to my parents' home in Cedar Falls. Our good friends, the Merrills, often host a large potluck for our church and it was so fun to be back!

fireworks in Cedar Falls Iowa in July
fireworks and 4th of July celebration in Dike-New Hartford Iowa
white chicken shed with tall evergreen trees on farmland in Iowa
brother and sister playing game on farmland in Iowa
walking dog in senior photos Dike-New Hartford Iowa senior photographers
senior photos with golden retreiver dog
Cedar Falls IA family photography

Not pictured? Setting off fireworks after dark! It was such a blast (literally) and the friends who stuck around enjoyed our show. I'm so glad that fireworks are legal in Iowa during the holidays, now! I'm glad they don't sell them too long after the 4th, tho... or I'd totally be that girl setting them off every weekend. Hahaha. 

What's been your highlight this summer?! I'd love to hear about it! Leave a note in the comments below!