Cheers to Champaign

Back in June, when my mom and I were planning a trip to visit The University of Illinois over Labor Day, I frankly thought it would be quite boring. I knew we would have fun and feel fulfilled picking out furniture for Diana, touring the campus and overall helping her get settled - but it was not going to be a trip to Tokyo or Paris.

When coworkers asked about my Labor Day plans, I mentioned I was going to Urbana-Champaign to help settle my sister into law school. A few were familiar with the area, and in fact commented on the desolate, boring nature of the towns. Well alrighty then.

Much to my surprise, Urbana-Champaign lives up to its fancy name with amazing food, drinks and activities! If you're ever in the area, use my guide below to ensure a fun trip. I have to admit I'm a little bit jealous of Diana's new home and I look forward to visiting her again soon. Yes, it was that fun!


The Bi Bim Bob bowl here changed my life! The rice on the bottom of the hot bowl gets crusty and charred - IYKYK.

Harvest Market

The coffee bar here competes with coffee shops in NYC. 10/10 espresso drinks.


I had my first birria taco experience (thanks, Diana). This trend hasn't quite hit Atlanta yet, but I look forward to the day it does.

Curtis Orchard

This family friendly attraction has it all: a corn maize, apple picking, kittens, horses, a country store, goats and hay rides. I could have stayed here all day.

Football Game (or basketball depending on time of year)

If you happen to be in town during a home game, make the effort to go! It was a lot of fun and makes you feel like part of the community.

Driving through corn fields

The ambiance of Urbana-Champaign is relaxing in itself. I enjoyed driving through corn fields and channeling my inner Dorothy.

We are happy to hear from Diana too:

Having my mom and sister in Champaign for Labor Day Weekend was invaluable! I've only been here a couple of weeks and my apartment still needed a lot of work. They got right at it: cleaning, rearranging, decorating, and buying (much-needed) furniture. During well-deserved breaks, we went to amazing restaurants, a football game, and a beautiful orchard. The weekend flew by and I miss them already, but am so grateful for all their help and company! I'm excited to have them back again soon.

Mom's Blog