Let’s Explore! Apple Picking at County Line Orchard





For the longest time, I wondered why apple picking was such a big deal. Some people have told me that the orchards are far away from the city and that they are so crowded. So I always stay away from them. But a few weeks ago, Charlie mentioned that we should give apple picking a try instead of going to a pumpkin patch this year. I was a bit hesitant at first because I didn’t want to drive all that way to be miserable (I don’t do well with crowds). But thought it over and decided we needed to give it a try.

So yesterday, we left Chicago for Hobart, IN to County Line Orchard. It took us about an hour to get there. The place had ample parking but there was a short wait to drive our car into the lot. I thought they did a great job with directing traffic for people coming and going.




Luke devouring his fresh donut


Once we got there, we walked into the huge red barn that was full of goodness…like donuts, pies, cooks, cider, etc. I think I could’ve stayed in that barn all day (sans the crowd). Okay, the donuts were so good!!

Just to the right of the barn is a place for you to pay for admission into the orchard, which is only $1.00/person. If you wanted to do other things, like the petting zoo, the corn maze, etc, it was extra. But overall, I didn’t think the prices were expensive. You pay for the apples you pick at the registers located in the barn.

After we paid for our admission, they gave us some plastic bags and we boarded a huge tractor which took us out to the orchard. The first stop did not look like there were any apples left, but the driver told us to walk further down as the apple trees down there have not been picked at yet. So we walked down and the excitement was building for both me and Luke. He was so fascinated with picking the apples, any apples, and I was so happy to be able to take pictures of him picking the apples. (I’m not sure if Charlie had fun carrying all our apples that we picked.) The weather yesterday could not have been a more perfect fall day!










We spent most of our time at the orchard but did make it back to the barn to enjoy the donuts, warm apple cider, and apple slushy (Luke’s favorite). We also found County Line Orchard also serves food, which is located to the right of the barn, past the admission area. I have to say, I found that everyone working at County Line Orchard was so nice and helpful.


Luke was having a tough time making a shape of a heart with hands. I love the expression on his face.


Saturday’s weather was perfect for me to wear my new Anthropologie Midland poncho pullover and my new Sorel Major Pull On boots (which are on major sale here). It’s not often that I get to wear new stuff on our family adventures. So yay to being able to dress up. I think these two items will be on heavy rotation this fall.

I can’t say enough about how much fun we had. The orchard is big enough that you are not running into other people. We felt that we had the place to ourselves, even on a Saturday.  Charlie and I have decided that apple picking will now become a new family tradition because we enjoyed it so much. I asked Luke what he liked most about yesterday and he said “picking apples and drinking the apple slushy.” He agreed that we should go back next year.


I wish had more time to enjoy the pumpkin patch and the petting zoo but I guess that will be on our itinerary for next year. This was a great start to a new family tradition!!


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. If you do not want to click on the links, I’ve tried to make the information as descriptive as possible for you to find without clicking. 

Gilt City Warehouse Sale


The Gilt City Warehouse Sale returns to Chicago this fall with even more designer finds for women, men, kids and the home—all at up to 80 percent off retail. Members are invited to experience the legendary Warehouse Sale featuring hundreds of the most coveted brands. Shop both up-and-coming designers and renowned fashion houses, including Chloé, Valentino, Derek Lam, Jimmy Choo, Lanvin, Oscar de la Renta and more.

The sale takes place on October 14th and 15th at the Museum of Contemporary Art Warehouse.

Tickets and additional information are available at http://www.giltcity.com/chicago

I’ve been told the following tips will help provide the best experience:

  • Arrive early:  Just as you would for any sample sale, arrive early!  No matter what session you come to, be sure to get there with ample time. This ensures a full shopping experience, and it’s best to view the merchandise when it’s most organized.
  • Reduce your drag:  Come prepared to shop – we require coat check and large bag check, so bring a small purse or wallet that you can keep your credit cards and ID in. A small wallet or cross-body bag will leave your hands free to peruse the racks, or sip a cocktail! Also, shopping in light layers will allow you to try clothes on easily, and you may even decide not to wait for a fitting room!
  • Skip the Line: Guests with bags smaller than 5”x7” with no coats can access the FastPass line and avoid coat check.
  • Think Ahead: Don’t be afraid to shop for future seasons.  You’ll find that there are amazing deals for every occasion – score designer suits or that perfect glam dress for the holidays.
  • Have an open mind: The most exciting part of the Warehouse Sale is the element of surprise! While you may have certain items in mind that you’re really focused on purchasing, take your time, look through the racks and filter through the shoes and accessories with an open mind.  This is usually the time when the magic happens and you’ll find yourself going home with some great steals that you might otherwise not have found!
  • And Remember – Plastic! No cash, so bring your debit or credit cards!

Let’s Explore! The Happy Garage

I still don’t know what to do when I grow up but I do know what I love… finding and exploring unique places in Chicago!


Back in the spring, my friend Diana sent me a picture of this garage with all this happy heart art work on it. She was even kind enough to provide me with the exact location of the garage. So I give her all the credit for finding this treasure!


We were at this garage last week to take some pictures but as it turned out, I had my camera set to the wrong shutter speed…and most of the pictures turned out blurry. This is just a lesson for me to learn more about using my DSLR in manual mode. I’ll add it to one of my goals for 2017.




So we came back here today to re-take some pictures. But earlier in the day, I dropped my 50mm lens down the stairs. I think I broke it forever (insert crying emoji) because the lens wouldn’t focus properly. And Luke was not in a mood to take any pictures today. All this must be a sign, right?


I was ready to give up on taking anymore pictures of this garage when a couple walked over and said they have named it “The Happy Garage” and that there’s an Instagram page for it. Then I realized that I shouldn’t be upset that I didn’t get the right pictures because this garage is about happiness. It was like an “a-ha moment” or another sign…just be happy with what you got!

Then I remembered how happy we were being here last week as Luke and I got our dance moves on in front of here. That should have been enough.

The moral of the story: I was able to find this location (thanks to Diana), we had fun as a family taking pictures of it, and now I have some pictures to share. Achieving happiness can be pretty simple.


The art work is by Chris Uphues. The garage is located in the Ravenswood neighborhood at the corner of Ravenswood and Winona. Happy hunting!