Monday, August 29, 2011

Chi Town!! (Chicago Family Reunion 2011) + Keeping fit even on vacation

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful GREAT Uncle Bob and Aunt Joyce!! 
40 years...just wow.  That is a phenomenal amount of time to be together and to still be so in love!  Such and inspiration and such a wonderful couple to be related to!  Their lovely daughters threw them a very successful surprise party.  (If any relative can send me a pic of Bob and Joyce together...that would be great.  Seriously all the zillions of pics I took I did not get one of them together!  Grrrr)  There was a wonderful backyard get-together filled with family, fun and an amazing slide show of the couple.  Tears!

My Grandma Kathy is in the middle and to the left is her brother Bob (of Bob and Joyce) and to the right is her brother Larry.
 I brought the BF with me on this trip and he was such a good sport because it was, well, family-fun.  The good, the bad, the ugly with my family.  From miscommunications, to driving the toll roads of Chicago, to Mama Sue bringing the dogs on the trip, to getting left behind at a huge outdoor mall, we had some interesting experiences packed into 48 hours.
The good sport ;-)

We had to leave suuuuper early Saturday morning to get to Chicago because the BF wasn't sure if he would make a flight out Friday night with his new pain-in-the-butt-but-high-paying-job.  So this girl had to get up at 3:45am to make a 6am flight...there was definitely caffeine involved to make this happen.

Gilmore Girl's quote:
Max: We could go for coffee..do you like coffee?
Lorelei: Only with my oxygen.



Even with all of the craziness...I had SO. MUCH. FUN.  seeing the Chicago crew.  The last time I was there was about 10 years ago...so all of Bob and Joyce's daughters were all grown up with gorgeous kids and it was great to catch up.  The BF has a job where once his training is done (in about 10 months), he might be placed anywhere.  Chicago was a possibility...so I am almost hoping for Chicago so maybe I can tag along and hang out with the Chicago family!  But only for a little while because I would miss my hometown family (don't worry guys..I'm not picking favorites!).

You can see a pic of Bob and Joyce on their wedding day on the table!

We had some delish pulled pork and mac n cheese with cheeze-its on top!!  Yum!!

Mama Sue, sister Courtney and I



We have this "picture on the porch" tradition that started before I was even born...all the girl cousins take a picture on the porch each time we get together...and it's been about 10 years since the last one!
So although it may just look like a picture of some silly people on some steps...it's special to us!



We let the boys get in on it too...the tall dude below is my brother, Josh and he was trying to get the dog to move because she had decided she wanted to be part of the picture too.




Since most of the time was spent with family, not a whole lot of sight-seeing was done.  We did, however visit an amazing outdoor mall close to our hotel in Oakbrook.  This is the mall we got left behind at and we had to walk the whole three blocks back to the hotel (me in heels)...but I digress. ;-)

The hotel took us by van to the mall.  Brother friend and brother in the back.

Pretty artwork like this was everywhere..so I had to snap some shots!

Love this.  It's a bowl for cereal where you separate your milk and cereal so your cereal doesn't get soggy!!  Want one!!
We found this cool little deli underground...this was a little out of the ordinary because all of the shops in this outdoor mall were tres cher (very expensive) and we ended up finding a "hole-in-the-wall" deli and got a burger and fries!
Believe it or not...I got a pretty good workout in on this vacation without even going to the gym and here's how:
  • Took the stairs at the airport (both ways...serious workout)
  • Refused to use the straight rolling escalator thing instead of walking...come on people!  Put on your walking shoes at the airport!
  • Took the stairs at the hotel (even with bags in hand)
  • Got lost taking the stairs at the hotel so had to go back up stairs and take different ones...hahaha
  • Walked around the outdoor mall
  • Made sure to get up and socialize at the party instead of sitting around eating...beware of sitting with munchies staring at you on the table!!

Decent burger and fries...great when you are famished from walking around in heels for two hours!


Pretty pretty!


Another side-note on eating while on vacation: split food!  Usually you don't have a place to put the leftovers so you feel guilty and try to eat it all...big no-no!  The BF and I split a delicious room-service breakfast and it ended up being the perfect amount of food...plus since room-service is pricy we saved a little moolah!  (Although I got scammed into an $8 dollar tiny pot of coffee that I thought was free...and made the BF help me finish it...)


The BF and I ended the weekend hanging out with Bob and Joyce because our flight wasn't until 5:30pm and the rest of the family drove the 9 hours home.  We got to hear all about how they met (in a different country but both lived in Chicago) and a little more about their life.  Such sweet, funny and wise people.  I am so sad we only got a couple of days to spend with them!  (P.S.  Candid shots are the best right??)




We are trying to convince Rebecca (the oldest of Bob and Joyce's daughters) to have Thanksgiving at her house next year...so maybe there will be a Chicago 2012 trip??  I hope so!!

Well, I am off to unpack, do laundry and catch up on stuff I didn't do the past two days...oh and try to figure out what to do about my college completely cancelling my Chemistry class...a class I need to take...ugh.

--->Also make sure to check out Mama Sue's first post on her journey to her healthy weight:  Weighty Woes Part 1 because I am going to be posting the second post this week.  So proud of her ambitiousness (that really is a word)!! 

What did you do this weekend?


Any family reunions recently?


Have a happy, semi-healthy, and blessed day!
~Amanda @ Semi-Health Nut~

No comments: