Time changes when you are traveling. So much distance is covered in a day that it feels like much more than 24 hours. And the time literally changes as we head east...making our perception of time even more confused. I can barely keep track of the day of the week, much less the hour. My figurative watch toggles between eating, playing, naps and Ember account visits.
I've watched the land turn from the flat, quiet prairies of Kansas to the lush green landscape of Missouri. And pretty much every state east of the Rockies so far is contributing miles of open space to cornfields.
As we crossed the Illinois border heading up to Chicago, both girls woke up from a nap in their car seats and needed to exit the car quickly to stretch and run around. I glanced around and saw nothing but corn. A few minutes later, we saw a hand made sign that said "Corn Maze next exit". Sounded perfect to me. We were guided into an empty field with a clear path leading into the corn. Although no one was there manning the small booth, we all entered the maze, glad to be out of the car. Not only did we not bring water or snacks, but we intentionally let Kairah lead the way, picking each turn without thinking much about it. Pretty soon we were completely lost. Just as our conversation began to turn serious about how we were going to navigate out of the endless rows of corn stalks, we were rescued by a young but official looking corn maze worker, whose main job was to rescue the countless innocent patrons that are swallowed by the Lincoln corn maze. Do not underestimate a good corn maze!
That same day we arrived in Chicago and stayed in Rogers Park for several days while visiting our Whole Foods accounts scattered around the city. I could feel the rich and colorful history as we walked through different neighborhoods. The energy of the city is invigorating, but it is uniquely offset by the expansive lake Michigan that sprawls out like an ocean right next to it, creating a peaceful calm as well. We dipped in the lake on one of the last summery days of the season. I could feel the onset of fall lingering in the air and I can only imagine how beautiful Chicago is when it is covered in white for the winter.
Right there in the middle of the city, we celebrated Shiloh's FIRST birthday! A little deep-dish pizza, balloons and huge slice of chocolate cake later she was officially one year old.
Getting to Chicago marked an important stretch of our trip. From Illinois East, the number of Ember accounts becomes more concentrated and our time in each city is defined by meeting with different stores. It is a unique perspective to learn about a city through the eyes of the local business owners. I am constantly moved and inspired by the stories and dreams of the people we partner with.
What an honor to be on this adventure!