Anna Maria Locke

palm trees and lily pond, and summer vacation


This week is the official beginning of Ben's summer vacation, and therefore I feel like I should be on summer vacation too! Well, I'm only really jealous at 6 am...but having a month and a half of paid time off is still not enough for me to ever consider becoming a teacher!

This June is flying by, just like all the other months of this year. At the beginning of the summer it always seems like the season is endless and big enough to hold tons of bucket list activities as well as lazy weekends at home. But every year without fail, the weekends fill up before I can even finish planning everything I want to accomplish, and I spend the weekdays recovering from mini-excursions!

Last weekend Ben and I drove to Indiana for an infamous tiki party at my aunt and uncle's house. This is their backyard--my uncle used to work in construction and built this enormous tiki bar himself, using an old telephone pole, a tap from a Dutch bar, and thatch from ornamental grasses in his yard! He's also obsessed with collecting palm trees, in case you can't tell from the photos.

And he is crazy-awesome in the way that only the Dutch can achieve.

As is my dad. Guess which one he is? Luckily he was wearing his "lounge trunks" in this photo, and not his pool Speedo's.

Ahhh, paradise. The weather was absolutely perfect all weekend, mostly sunny and low humidity in the mid-70's. A relaxed fun time (and lots of Heineken) was had by all!

I've spent the week so far trying to detox and regroup. I love seeing family, but hate being away from home all weekend because it's always a scramble to catch up on groceries and the boring things of life (ahem laundry)! On Monday I finally walked down to the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pond, which I've been meaning to check out ever since I started my new job since I've seen it featured so often in engagement shoots by our wedding photographer Christy :) It is literally an urban oasis of calm between the zoo and Lincoln Park Conservatory. I think I've found my new summer lunch spot!

Can you spot the bunny?

Zoomed in. I love bunnies! They are everywhere in Lincoln Park, probably destroying the vegetation, but they are so cute!

I never get tired of this view!

And of course I can't leave you without a couple of zoo animals...

Our polar bear who is usually shy and hiding behind the scenes,

And sleepy sand cat! (I die.) 

I hope you are having a great week so far! 
I also hope you're staying safe if you're in the path of the crazy storms that are rolling through Illinois right now. So far we haven't gotten much besides some showers and distant lightning here in the city, and that is fine with me!