Aug 19, 2009

The "Being" Part of the Vacation

Someone (I forget who) recently described 2 kinds of vacations - "do-ing" and "be-ing". By now it's probably obvious that I tend towards the do-ing type. I just feel like I want to do new things and see new places and, since I am the family vacation planner, that's what we do. But, I try to balance the constant motion by including activities for each of us and a wee bit of be-ing time. Our stay at the Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook satisfied the need to relax and offered highlights for Stinkette and I. She got a stop at Legoland Discovery Center in Schaumburg and I immersed myself in Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in Oak Park.

The bridge to Hamburger U

The Lodge itself was a good time too even if it was an ironic choice for someone who can't eat at the Golden Arches without regretting it instantly. See, the Lodge is on the McDonald's campus and the picture above shows the bridge from the hotel to Hamburger U. The property was beautiful, quiet and restful. It also included one of the nicest hotel pools I've ever seen - huge and tiled in an atrium and the spa/fitness center was top-notch. Add the super-friendly and helpful staff (Vimal rocks) and this place gets a big thumbs up from us.

Some of the art at the Lodge is totally arch-free and some is clearly Mickey-D art but most of it is like this and looks like an old master with burgers and fries cleverly added. Stinkette participated in a hotel sponsored scavenger hunt on the property and one of the tasks was to count how many of the paintings have Golden Arches in them. It kept Stinkette busy for quite a while.

More Hyatt Lodge Art

Of all the places we visited during the trip, the only one that was a slight let-down was the Legoland Discovery Center. It was fun but I think that we all expected/hoped for more. It was a good time though and seeing all the models of buildings, animals, and people made out of Lego is pretty cool by itself. Lego Einstein anyone?

Legos = Silliness

As nice as the hotel was and it's nearness to Legoland aside, the real reason I chose that hotel was it's proximity to Oak Park. I couldn't go to Illinois and not see the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. Here's the house and studio that he built for himself. It's amazing to think of a 21 year old designing a home like this for himself. We toured the home and studio and I loved all of the details. You can almost imagine him there.

Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio - Oak Park, IL

This is the house Hubbo liked best. It's one of a handful of homes FLW referred to as his bootleg homes because he designed these on the side while working for the Louis Sullivan's architecture firm. When they found out about his commissions on the side it led to a parting of the ways after which FLW started his own firm.

W.H. Gale House - Oak Park, IL

I liked the A. B. Heurtley House better. I love the warmth of the brick. It has the strong horizontal lines of his Prairie style homes and his signature hidden entrance. He had such a wonderful sense of space - both public and private. His integrated planters also struck me. They are such a lovely and thoughtful touch. For me they speak to the way he saw his buildings as complete and individual. He considered the intended use, budget, and the location and created a total structure down to the last detail including furnishings and ornamentation.

A. B. Heurtley House - Oak Park, IL

I loved Oak Park and I hope that future trips take me to more of his buildings. If you want to see more of the pictures from Oak Park you can click here for the flickr set.


Cursing Mama said...

I've always admired FLW architecture - thanks for sharing the pictures!

margene said...

You picked a great place to vacation. Everyone had a little bit of something wonderful to do and see.

Carole Knits said...

I'm of the be-ing vacation variety. I like to just "be" on the beach! But your vacation does sound like a lot of fun and you saw some really great things.

Anonymous said...

I usually go for the be-ing type of vacation (you know, laying around soaking up the sun). Sounds like your vacation was wonderful. It's great that you're able to find something for everyone; that can't be an easy task.

JessaLu said...

Not even the old masters are safe from the golden arches, eh? ;op

Love the FLW houses!