Welcome

Hello,

My name is Ine. I am a 40 year young Belgian living in Chicago. And I seize the day. That’s also my profession; a Seize The Day – Expert. I’ll help you seize the day through Travel, Tea and Happiness. Cause The Point of Life is Happiness.

With pleasure, Ine

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Travel: Chicago with kids

Our nephew was 2 years young when we left Belgium for Chicago. Our niece was 4. Now, three years later, at the age of 5 and 7, they are big enough to visit us. Together with their parents, they stayed for 12 days. And we made it 1 big party.

Some kids-impressions:

Each day we celebrated one’s birthday and the birthday girl/boy chose what to do and what to eat.

  • Tijl: Legoland + swimming in Lake Michigan
  • Lilia: Lincoln Park Zoo + cycling on a surrey at Lake Michigan
  • Ellen: Architecture Tour (kids did water taxi) + Navy Pier + Chicago view from John Hancock Building
  • Geert: Millennium Park + Art Institute of Chicago
  • Bart: Beach + craft breweries with brother-in-law + babysitting while rest went to Ravinia for Lords of the Ring accompanied with live music from Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Ine: Pilsen mural walk + museum for Mexican art
  • Other days: Air & Water show at the beach / Solar eclipse watching from the beach / Shedd Aquarium / Maggie Daley park / swim-swim-swim / Andersonville shops-resto’s-little libraries ….

I think we made up for everything we missed in the last 3 years…

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(None of the above businesses have invited me to write for them, nor have I received any compensation from them.)

Travel: Colorado

I’m definitely a fan of the color ‘green’ outdoors and that’s why the state of Colorado became our latest travel destination. And ‘green’ it was!

We visited:

  • 4 National Parks: The Rocky Mountains, The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes
  • Glenwood’s Iron Mountain Hot Springs and the Royal Gorge Bridge
  • 15 breweries among which Bart’s favorite saisons Trinity Brewery
  • awesome scenic byways!!!

A true happINEss trip.

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(None of the above businesses have invited me to write for them, nor have I received any compensation from them.)

 

Kiekenvlees en een klets

… die woorden hebben me 20 dagen achtervolgd.

Ik begeleidde net een reis voor Djoser door het ZuidWesten van de Verenigde Staten waar ik zowel chauffeuse als reisbegeleider was voor 12 Nederlanders en 1 Belgische. Een supergroep! En de Nederlanders vonden mijn uitspraak “het kost 50$ en een klets” wel grappig alsook dat ik “kiekenvlees” van iets kreeg. Dus pastten ze zelf deze uitspraak te pas en te onpas toe. Hilarisch!

Een paar reis-impressies:

 

PS: Vorig jaar was het “foto’s trekken” en “pinnekesdraad” 🙂

 

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(None of the above businesses have invited me to write for them, nor have I received any compensation from them.)

 

Travel: Aloha Hawai’i

A little story about our 1 week vacation in Hawai’i:

I really wanted to see active lava and that’s possible on two spots in Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. The easy spot is to park at the Jaggar Museum and watch the lava at sunset in the Halema’uma’u crater. For the other spot a bigger effort is required, and a bigger reward received… On our first attempt the trail was closed due to the toxic smoke. The next afternoon we were more lucky, and it even stopped raining the minute we started our hike.

Here’s our lava flow story:
To see an active lava tube ending in the ocean we have to hike 4,5 mile/7k one way through a lava field erupted in 1983. It’s black everywhere…

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People claim their land back and build ocean-view cabins…

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And they invite visitors to enjoy the energy on a lava field…

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You see a curtain of smoke at sunset getting bigger towards the ocean where the active lava leaves its tube…

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After the 90 minute intense hike we’re rewarded with a wonder of nature…

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Yeah, I was really there…
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And then I discover a dragon in the smoke, a symbol of happINEss and my Chinese zodiac…

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Mahola Pele, sacred goddess of fire, we’ve received enough energy to hike the 7k back in the dark!

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(None of the above businesses have invited me to write for them, nor have I received any compensation from them.)

 

Travel: Het toeristische seizoen in Chicago ging weer van start

Chicago ontwaakt geleidelijkaan uit haar winterslaap. In april ervaren we zowel winterse dagen als zomerse dagen. In mei zal plots de zomer definitief voor onze deur staan. Joepie!

Mijn collega gids Leentje en ik tonen onze bezoekers uit België en Nederland (en bij uitbreiding de hele wereld) heel erg graag de verborgen pareltjes van ons thuisstad, te voet of op de fiets. En met plezier beantwoorden we ook aan speciale verzoeken zoals bijvoorbeeld het bijwonen van een gospel-viering!

Kom je ook naar Chicago en zin in wat anders?
Contacteer me voor vrijblijvende tips en toer-mogelijkheden.

Kijk ook eens bij Via Americana waar de toers van Chicago collega Leentje worden aangeboden samen en van de Belgische stadsgidsen in NY, LA en Washington D.C.

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(None of the above businesses have invited me to write for them, nor have I received any compensation from them.)

 

Travel: A trip down memory lane

Last-minute we decide to hit the road from Chicago to St. Louis, Missouri and visit Springfield, Illinois on our way back.

Why St. Louis?
As a trip down memory lane…
although I don’t recall anything from my first trip, 39 years ago when we used to live in St. Louis for 10 months.

St. Louis touristy stuff:

  • Gateway Arch
  • Old Courthouse
  • City Garden with public sculptures
  • Laclede Landing’s neighborhood
  • Anheuser-Busch beer experience
  • Broadway Oyster Bar
  • Light show in Union Station’s Grand Hall
  • 4Hand Brewery
  • LaFayette Square with Victorian Houses
  • Soulard’s Farmers Market

St. Louis Route 66 stuff:

  • lunch at Crown Candy Kitchen
  • Walk over the old Chain of Rock Bridge with a famous 20° bend

St. Louis memory lane:

  • Near and under Gateway Arch
  • Tasting Budweiser, bwwhh
  • In front of our apartment building

Why Springfield?
It’s the capitol of Illinois…
although Chicago is wayyyy bigger and it’s the place where president Lincoln spent his entire career before becoming a president and allegedly it could be the hometown of the Simpsons….

  • Frank Lloyd Wright’s Dana-Thomas House
  • The Capitol of the State Illinois
  • Lincoln’s museum: a must!

Last -minute getaways are the best!

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(None of the above businesses have invited me to write for them, nor have I received any compensation from them.)