The Bean (Cloud Gate) in Chicago by KB Digital

Chicago during the holidays

It’s always a fun trip to Chicago when everything is nice and decorated. The trees are lit up, the ice rink is full of skaters and The Bean (aka Cloud Gate) looks more shiny than ever. We’ve been to Chicago several times this past 2019 holiday season and our only complaint was the frigid breeze from the lake, however, that didn’t stop us from taking a few pictures while there.

Willis Tower overlooks the Christmas tree in Chicago.

One of the busiest attractions is definitely the huge Christmas tree that’s set up in Millennium Park. For the picture above, it was a very frigid night but that didn’t seem to slow down the crowd as we had a hard time even getting a shot because of so many people being there. Nonetheless, the tree looked amazing and the red and green antennas on top of Willis Tower (still Sears Tower to us) looked picture-perfect. Now this is for all the photographers out there, imagine trying to capture a 1-second long exposure shot with shivering hands and no tripod. It was a challenge!

Cloud Gate (the bean) in Chicago during a frigid winter night.

Next stop on our list was just a couple hundred feet from the Christmas tree and it was the ever so famous bean, or as the official name state, Cloud Gate. Again, with no tripod and very low light, we had to try to capture a hand-held long exposure shot. What made this shot even harder is that there was no barrier between us and other bystanders. So sometimes we would have a rush of people walk within a couple feet in front of our camera and then get very dark pictures. Out of the several that we took, we managed to get one that we decided was good enough. To our surprise, we even captured the American flag in there and the red and white stripes show up just perfect as the people walked by. Talk about perfect timing.

Ice rink at Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois.

Adjacent to The Bean is the ice rink right there on Michigan Avenue. We captured this shot more for fun than anything else. You have some people skating and doing double and triple spins while others are barely standing on their feet. Now if you’re not familiar with Chicago, all three of our pictures were taken within a couple hundred feet of each other. It is one of the many reason we love visiting the Windy City, besides the wind of course. Even though it’s only January, we’re already looking forward to beautiful, and much warmer, Spring weather!

2019 Tough Mudder in Rockford, IL

The weather could not have been better for the 2019 Tough Mudder Chicago obstacle course race in Rockford, IL.

2019 Tough Mudder by KB Digital

KB Digital was there as thousands of people took part in the annual race. (See our pictures from 2017) Lots of muddy faces walked and ran the course through 20+ obstacles to make it to the finish line and receive that orange headband that says I DID IT. Some obstacles were quit a tough and some of course were fun. The electric strings were quite silly to watch, pun intended. However, our favorite is always Everest, that big rounded wall that you have to run up to the top.

Man hangs by his shirt at the Everest 2.0 obstacle at Tough Mudder Chicago.

We did not make it to too many obstacles as, well, it was quite a journey and we were not going to drag our cameras around for miles. We did enjoy the dance party though, and some of the dancers seem like they forgot that they came for an obstacle course and not the beats. For next year, we do wish more signs are posted around the airport to better direct traffic. Check out or photos page for the full photo gallery of the event.