We spent the weekend walking around Highwood and Highland Park, the two communities that surround Fort Sheridan. We popped in and out of shops, ate lunch al fresco (complete with knit hats and coats) at That Little French Guy, and enjoyed the ability of being able to simply walk to such places from our house. While we have no idea where we will settle after our Army adventure fades, the number one item on our non-negotiable must-have list is a walkable community. The fact that we can open our front door and have access to both serene trails in one direction and restaurants and shops in the other will probably keep Fort Sheridan/Highwood/Highland Park high on our ‘Favorite Places The Army Has Sent Us’ list.
We logged quite a few miles as a family over the long weekend – we walked around historic Fort Sheridan, we walked along the water, we walked throughout the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve, we walked by grand estates, we walked by simple cottages, we walked among trees, we walked through open fields, we walked in the morning, we walked at night, we walked at high noon – we simply walked.
The concept of going for a walk in the countryside for pleasure is often credited with Romanticism and the changing attitudes toward nature during the 1800s. I’m thankful we currently live in an area that is conducive to walking – not everyone is as lucky in the United States. I absolutely adore the concept of fell walking in the UK and how the public can legally walk on footpaths, bridleways, and other routes, even if they’re on private land. Clay and I did a lot of hiking on our trip to Scotland and when we took the kids to England a couple of years later, we walked throughout the Cotswolds.
So perhaps it is fitting that when Clay and I popped into the small wine and liquor section of the local grocery store this weekend, we spotted a lone 10-year Glengoyne whisky in a tin case featuring the hill we hiked before touring the distillery while in Scotland a few years ago. Glengoyne is unique in producing Highland single malt whisky matured in the Lowlands. It’s not easy to find Glengoyne stateside and our afternoon at the distillery is one of our favorite travel memories so there was no doubt that we were taking the bottle home that day.
Fostering a love for the outdoors (and I suppose eventually whisky) is one our parenting goals as we raise our two little humans. They still love their electronics just as much as the next kid (and adult!) but they also enjoy being outside and exploring nature. And we’re not going to let the winter weather stop us either – after all, the best way to warm up on a cold day is with a brisk walk. Bundle up, kids!