Memorial Day Weekend Trip

We took a mini trip over the long weekend of Memorial Day. I had heard at church about a resort right next to an Illinois State Park, so we decided to spend a couple of nights there and bring Benny with us. It turned out to be quite relaxing!
Dunes at Illinois State Beach Park

Saturday I slept in until 11 am and I ended up exceeding my walking goal by quite a few percentage points when we took a long walk through one of the outlet malls in Gurnee/Kenosha. I also walked away with a new dress, skirt, top, and clutch bag out of the deal. Not bad at all! hehe

But what I really liked most of all was being able to be next to a natural preserve of flora and fauna, and some pretty amazing sandy dunes and views of Lake Michigan. It looked so lovely I couldn't help think of Florida's own lovely beaches.

Benny was a total prince and did not mess up the room at all. Though he was incredibly anxious whenever we left him there and so happy to see us whenever we came back to walk him.

a low horizon moon rise
The first night, when we sat down to a casual dinner in the hotel restaurant, I couldn't help but notice the lovely moon rise. The moon was huge and clear yellow. And watching it rise above Lake Michigan and illuminating a trail of yellow water as it went up on its way was just lovely.

We also took a tour of the Jelly Belly distribution center. I've loved Jelly Belly candy for quite some time (at least since 1999!), and was thrilled to take a faux tour with a trolly and getting the full story behind the product and the company. It reminded me so much of those "behind the scenes" shows I used to watch religiously on the Food Network! Such as Unwrapped.

I was also very happy when I got a free baggie of Jelly Belly beans after the tour. We perused the shop and I got a Harry Potter chocolate frog, Bertie Bott's Gross Beans (I skipped the gross ones), and a box of 14 flavors of Jelly Belly beans.
The Jelly Belly Factory Tour

It was a great weekend and we even got to go to downtown Chicago on Sunday night to one of our new favorite restaurants, Howells and Hood in the Tribune Tower. They have amazing food, a spectacular list of booze for those who indulge, and great sports up on the screens. Highly recommended if you haven't been there.

That's what we did on Memorial Day weekend. It was good to get away a little bit, with our furry buddy Benny :)