Mini Vacation, Refeshing pause

Mini Vacation New Buffalo

Brentwood Tavern 

Mini Vacation

Long, long ago when my teen was a just a tot and vacations were not in the cards, dearly departed Joe and I used to create what we called mini vacations. For example, if Joe had a business appointment in a neighboring suburb, our tot and I would go on the appointment with him, hang out at a local park while he did business, and then the three of us would go to some place fancy like Steak & Shake for lunch. Or maybe we would all head out and “antique” at garage sales in a new neighborhood and then pick up sandwiches for a picnic in an unexplored park. Whatever we chose to do, we always tried to explore someplace new at least 15 miles outside of the city. Chicago certainly offers all the sights and sounds of a big city but a mini vacation offered us the chance to get away from it all.

As time has marched on, Cole and I have continued the mini vacation tradition. Starbucks included. We found our way to the deer -water pump park. We love to drive alongside the airport and watch the planes take off and land. Sometimes we head out and find an untried place to eat. Mini vacations happen on the spur of the moment, with little to no planning and, of course, now that my tot has grown up they are unfortunately few and far between. However, yesterday opportunity knocked so we handed Camp-Run-A-Pup over to Vickie’s capable hands, hoisted the carpe diem flag, packed up Rascal, and headed out on a mini vacation. We decided that our final destination would be New Buffalo, Michigan, about an hour from Chicago.

The first part of our journey included a torrential storm involving rain, thunder and lightning. Traffic slowed and we were able to enjoy the storm all the way out of Chicago. Our first stop was McDonald’s Oasis, where we got captured by a toll booth arm that refused to let us pass. This particular McDonald’s is one we have encountered before and, having never failed to have an adventure there, we were neither surprised nor disappointed. It took several trips back inside McDonald’s, and a foot stomp, to gain our release, but we were eventually on our way again with two mini apple pies, large fries, a coke, and an iced coffee.

We weren’t too far along the road when the coffee incident occurred. The one of us that was not me was holding his coffee when it somehow slipped from his hand and spilled all over the front seat of the car. This could have been problematic but fortunately, since the coffee did not spill on the person holding it, in my purse, or on Rascal, and we had plenty of paper towels on hand, it was not. The lingering coffee aroma souvenir will also allow me the pleasure of remembering our mini vacation long after it is over!

I think the rest of our trip is best told in pictures:


Mini Vacation Rascal

Starbucks. Another attempt at coffee and a Pupachino for Rascal. 

Mini vacation

Snapper dinner at the Brentwood Tavern

mini vacation

Ice Cream for Dessert. FUN

mini vacation

Stroll through outlet malls .  

UnNuclear plant, mini vacation

mini vacation

The Michigan City Power Plant cooling tower looks ominous and is often mistaken for a nuclear power plant but it’s coal fired.

Home again. We greeted our pups and fell back into our routine refreshed, renewed and in much better spirits than when we started out. A mini vacation isn’t the real thing but it certainly is a pause that refreshes.

Do you ever take off on an unplanned mini-vacation?

Odd Loves Company ,

12 thoughts on “Mini Vacation, Refeshing pause

  1. The weekend before I went back to work in 2010 husband and I and Katie took off up to East Lansing (about an hour away) and we walked around Michigan State’s campus. I went to undergrad there a gazillion years ago so it was nice. I know it was husband’s way of saying he was sorry that I had to go back to work. And it was sort of bittersweet to be out on an ‘adventure’ knowing the next day it was back to the dungeon…but still it was fun. You remind me that we should do that more often.

    • What a fun get away. Irene (below) commented on it too.
      A change in pace is needed from time to time. I’d like to visit ABQ and my parents in the near future but until I can break away a mini-vaca is a nice break.
      It seems like you and Katie have a lot of fun adventures together.

  2. As usual it looks like you two had fun running a muck.
    That snapper sure looks good. Sorry about your car but they’re much worse smells than coffee.
    I’ve been known to take off to part unknown from time to time.

    • The snapper was tasty. I had the chicken but Cole shared a bite.
      Yes, a coffee smell ages so much better than a hot chocolate smell. I speak from experience.

  3. Unfortunately, my excursions need a pre-determined destination. Just going for a ride is not part of who I have ever been. I’ve been told a time or 2 that I should drink more than I do & relax!
    Talented coffee spill by not landing on the special things in your vehicle!
    Dawn ^, my best friend went to MSU & loved her campus, too.
    Glad you, Cole & Rascal spent a few hours in MI. I spent 11 years there before coming down here. Who knows….I may return in a few years???
    Good afternoon!
    Wait! How about your city’s Little League team winning the US championship & playing S. Korea today for the National championship?

    • Planned is good. It gives you something to look forward too. Unfortunately, God laughs at my plans so often that I try to keep them undisclosed.
      The Little League game. Why didn’t I mention it? So exciting. Of-course we didn’t win but those kids are sure winners and Chicago treated them like celebrities.

  4. Some times we take a drive up in the mountains and have a walk by the creek. On the way back we stop at one of our favorite places for a late lunch. Fun and very relaxing.

  5. CH and I love mini vacations and we usually find ourselves in St. Louis! Plenty to do there and it might be where we head today or tomorrow~but it’s so dang HOT!
    Love the pictures and glad you two got away.. sounds like fun!

    • St.Louis is fun. As I mentioned I live there back in the 80’s for a few years. I worked at KPLR-TV in sales and lived in the Central West End dining often at Culpeppers. Two people I knew that seemed to know everyone in St.Louis were Cheryl Collins, and Sherry Murphy who now lives in Southern Il.
      St.Louis was my first home away from home and I enjoyed what it offered me.

  6. Mini-vacations are almost as good as lengthy vacays — especially when you’ve got such good company!

    Glad you two were able to get out of the city for a bit, see new places, and have fun adventures. Love the picture of Rascal licking her frothy nose!

    • Our Starbucks offer pups a free pupachino. Which is just a little whip cream in a cup. Rascal loves it and so far despite being dairy she hasn’t had any tummy issues.

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