Picnic at the Botanical Gardens

This summer, we visited the Chicago Botanic Gardens for the first time. We packed up lunch and picked up our friends and drove north of the city. The gardens were expansive and beautiful. There were lakes and bridges to cross, and my favorite was the Japanese garden section that reminded me of our trip last year. 

Our friends that went with us were our first friends in Chicago. When I came for my interview over two years ago, she was kind enough to get brunch with me, even though we had only briefly met once or twice before. Before I left to return to Florida, she invited me to dinner with 10 of her closest friends, many of which have become our core group of close friends today.

It's incredible how the world can pull certain people into your life, when you don't realize you need them the most. They have introduced us to many of our close Chicago friends, our Chicago family. The women I have met here have inspired me with their drive, their intelligence, and their hearts. It's because of these friends that Chicago is home, even many miles away from family.

Besides being grateful for friends that feel more like family, lately, I've been feeling grateful for:

9/6 - movie night with my coworkers. We're working through some museum-themed movies! Getting in the spirit early, we watched The Relic.

9/9 - Hurricane Irma went from a category 5 to a category 2 by the time it hit my family's houses in Florida. I'm so thankful that the damage was minimal. Trees were lost, fences tore down, but there was minimal flooding and most have already gotten their power back.

9/10 - Renegade Craft Fair is my favorite festival in Chicago, and it's essentially in my backyard. We walked around to see every booth, every maker. I even got to see my friend's work in person for the first time! The next time that I want a really nice piece of jewelry, it's her shop that I'm going to indulge in.

9/11 - my cousin, Amanda, who is more like a sister.

9/15 - getting all-you-can-eat sushi with our wonderful friends. Anyone willing to make the mistake of ordering too much sushi - and then dessert! - with you is a true friend.

9/18 - the first few yellow leaves on the ground, and a nice cool breeze in the air at night. I'm hoping that we can get some apple cider doughnuts soon to make it really feel like September, before it passes us by.


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