After dinner last night, we took the kids to The Skydeck in Chicago for an impromptu outing. From an enclosed glass balcony on the 103rd floor of Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), we could see all of Chicago’s twinkling lights and the dark, smooth expanse of Lake Michigan. It was an evening that will always stand out in our memories, partly because the experience itself is so phenomenal, but also because it was so spur of the moment. This is the way summer life should be – grabbing exciting moments here and there because you can! The days are longer, there isn’t any homework to do, mornings have a slower start — why not explore the world a little? Sometimes an unexpected trip is just enough of a getaway to make you feel like you’ve escaped your everyday life and refreshed your perspective. We’ve decided to take a few of these quick, surprise trips with our kids this summer to explore the nearby scenery and learn a few things along the way too. This post is the first in a series called “Backyard Adventures” where I will share with you all of the details of our unexpected jaunts around the Chicagoland area. I hope they inspire you to try something new near your home. If so, be sure to check back and leave a comment to share your story.