Heather Lauren


Heather Lauren

Kaimi: To Seek
We shall not cease from exploration, And the end of all our exploring, Will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time." -T.S. Elliot

I have a passion for traveling... experiencing new cultures, seeing amazing architecture and landscapes, and trying new food. I also like to learn from observing and listening to the people I meet along the way and hopefully make a few new friends.

2014 - I've been pretty quiet on Travelblog for a while...living in my childhood house, going to grad school and working 2-3 jobs at the same time didn't leave much fun or money for travel! But I graduated with my masters in Elementary Education, just accepted a 3rd grade teaching job in Arizona and moved to a small town south of Tucson. Hopefully, I'll be able to write about some fun new adventures!

2011: Back to Illinois, back to Orland Park. I've committed myself to a graduate program at St. Xavier, so it seems I'll be here for at least two years. I'm excited about the opportunities and the future I'm making for myself, but I must admit.... the wanderlust is doing its darnedest to pull me away!

2008-2010: Still in Colorado...must be a record for me, two years here!! It helps that I have a job I absolutely love, as Operations Manager of a Hawthorn Suites Hotel, with co-workers and a boss that makes it a pleasure to come to work every morning, I'm living with a fun roommate, and there's so much to see and experience here in Colorado!!

2008: Well, home from Europe, but still got that travel bug!!! I just recently moved to Colorado, and although I am BEYOND broke at the moment, you can still expect to see some ramblings from my new home state...and maybe even a couple of surprises, as well (that is, if the airlines surprise me with some super-low rates...sigh, how is miss Southwest's $29 airfares!!)

So here’s the plan: to seek and see as much of Western Europe as possible until my checking account is empty, pockets turned inside out, and my work visa has expired. I’m leaving at the end of May to move to Britain, where I have a 6 month work visa. Where I’ll work or where I’ll live is a mystery to all right now, and only my parents are worried about it!! I trust that everything will work out the way its supposed to…in whatever way that means!!

I hope everyone I love and miss, can in a small way share my experience and stay in touch through this great site!

North America » United States » Arizona » Tucson January 24th 2015

Every year, Tucson comes together to commemorate the capture of Public Enemy Number One, John Dillinger. On January 1934, the Dillinger gang chose Tucson as the place to lay low after their crime sprees. Robbing over 24 banks and four police stations, John Dillinger was the most notorious of all Depression-era gangsters. J. Edgar Hoover launched the modern day FBI as an answer to fighting John Dillinger and organized crime. Most of Dillinger's escapades took place in the midwest, and I've grown up hearing stories about him, but I had never heard about his connection with Tucson before. He was born and raised in Indiana and started his life of crime there. After his first robbery, he was sent to prison, where he learned how to be an even better criminal from some of the best ... read more

Although the temperature was predicted to be in the triple digits today, I still wanted to explore a national park that's only about a 40 minute drive from our new home. We just decided to get an early start so we could hike before the temperatures rose too high. Saguaro National Park (pronounced Saw-WAH-row) is named for the tall cactus that can grow from 30 to 50 feet high. It's only found in the Sonoran Desert, which encompasses the bottom quarter of Arizona, the western half of Sonora, Mexico and a bit of California. It's the tallest cacti in the United States and is protected by the National Park. Saguaro National Park is actually broken into two sections, separated by the city of Tucson. Today we decided to check out the Tucson Mountain District, which is ... read more
Rod on the trail
Beauty in Decay
Flowers on the Saguaro

North America » United States » Illinois » Chicago February 12th 2012

I love to read about free, cheap, or interesting things to do in downtown Chicago, but I'm afraid most of the time, I never get beyond the "oh, I'd love to check that out" phase. Sometimes it seems that life moves so fast I don't often have the chance to go downtown for the day. When Maureen asked if I'd like to go to the Contemporary Museum of Art with her, I jumped at the chance. I love spending time with Mo, I haven't seen her in forever, and I've never been to the Contemporary Museum before. The day ended up being better than I ever imagined! When Mo asked me to go, she also mentioned an exhibit at the Cultural Center that I had coincidentally just read about and was very interested in checking out. ... read more
Marilyn getting some sun
The staircase at the museum
80's exhibit

North America » United States » Illinois » Orland Park December 22nd 2011

Just some random photos of my fall and winter... read more
Bears Game August
Jaime and I at the Bears Game
Bears Game August

North America » United States » Illinois August 21st 2011

When I heard that the small town of Plano, Illinois, was being transformed into Smallville for the new Superman movie, I knew we had to check it out! This will probably be the only chance I get to see a movie set, and I thought it was pretty cool that it was in Illinois. Plano is a small town about 45minutes to the west of us, near Aurora. Dad likes to ride his bike out here sometimes in the summer, but I don't think I've ever been. I enlisted my mom on this adventure, and the two of us drove there on Sunday. There is a Main Street in historic Downtown Plano, which has been totally transformed for the movie. Superman is set to begin filming in a few days, so supposedly today is the last ... read more
This is what the stores look like from the back!
7-11 Built for the Movie
Go Smallville High!

North America » United States » Illinois » Chicago July 10th 2011

Although I've tried to stay clear of Wrigley Field and Cubs fans in general for most of my life, I voluntarily decided to take spend the day taking a tour of Wrigley. I won runner up in a photography contest for WGN radio, and one of my generous gifts were two tickets to a tour at Wrigley. I couldn't allow them to go to waste, so I decided to go for purely historical reasons.... I mean, if nothing else, Wrigley is full of history and interesting anecdotes. So I dug around until I found the only Cubs fan that I call my friend, Colleen and brought her with me. It was really cool and fun to learn all the stories about Wrigley and its storied past. Unfortunately, since I waited seven months to put up this ... read more
the Field from the Upper Decks
"Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks
My favorite...

North America » United States » California » San Diego June 30th 2011

I got the chance to travel with my friends Annalies and Kristen and their family to California this summer. They travelled for a CCHS (Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome) conference and then were taking a couple days to experience Disneyland afterwards. The conference was in San Diego, at an absolutely gorgeous hotel called the Town and Country Resort. We stayed at a Residence Inn Hotel just a few blocks away. It was only a quick two minute drive to the Town and Country. Built in the 1950's, the Town and Country is a huge property, with beautiful flowers, walkways and gardens throughout the land. Annalies, Kristen and I took so many pictures walking all around! We also got to check out a little bit of San Diego. One day, Annalies, Kristen and I went to Mission Beach ... read more
The Tiki Pavilion
Roses Everywhere
An old car

My 30th birthday? Did I want a party? Who knows me? As much as I love my friends and family, and love spending time with them, I'd rather have a weekend trip exploring someplace new. My parents and I decided to go up to Traverse City, Michigan for a few days. We went to wineries, the fabulous Tandem Cider, lighthouses, old bars, and beaches. It was a great time.... read more
Mom at Sledder's
Kiss the Moose
me and mom

North America » United States » Illinois » Litchfield February 27th 2011

Dad, mom and I drove down to St. Louis to spend the weekend with Brett and Megan. On the way there, close to the Missouri border, I saw some wild vintage memorabilia next to I-55. You know me and my love of kitsch!! On the way back, I begged to make a quick stop to check it all out and my parents indulged me. In the town of Livingston, there's a huge antique shop in what used to be the high school in town. I don't know if the town just doesn't have a high school anymore, or if they've built a newer building, but I thought it was a pretty good use for such a large building! Pink Elephant Antiques had a lot of interesting stuff on the lawn - of course, the namesake pink ... read more
Fiberglass Giants
Pink Elephant Antiques
Like father, like son!

North America » United States » Indiana » South Bend » Notre Dame November 12th 2010

Brett and Megan came up for the weekend and the whole family made the trip to South Bend to enjoy the day at Notre Dame and see the football game. I had been to South Bend before for my cousin Kevin's wedding at the Notre Dame chapel, but other than the chapel and the grotto, I hadn't seen much of campus. I couldn't wait to see the excitement that a game day brought to campus! It was really cool walking all around, seeing touchdown Jesus, the marching band, the grotto and chapel. We got to see the players coming out of the chapel, where they pray before every game. Tons of people are waiting outside to cheer them on. It was freezing cold and raining during the game, but it was still cool! ... read more
Megan and me in front of the Chapel
Megan, mom, Brett and Dad
Brett and me

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