Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Weekend in the Windy City

We found out a week or so before I left to come home that I would most likely be here through the 4th of July.  My parents had already planned to head north to Chicago to visit my aunt, uncle and cousin, so I decided to tag along with them.  I didn't realize that it would be my last weekend in the United States, but I was so grateful that I got to spend it with my family.

My parents and I headed to the airport on Friday and, after finding out we were delayed an hour, we chose to spend our time differently.  My dad chose to nap....

while I wandered the terminal and ran into these guys....

After our delay, we took an uneventful flight to Chicago and met my aunt for lunch.  It was really past lunch time, but we (mainly my dad) had been eagerly waiting for deep dish pizza, so we obliged, despite the time.  If you have my family, you know there are a lot of us.  So many that I had to draw Mike a family tree so he could keep track of us all.  He probably still has it somewhere and references it when I'm telling another family story.  Anyways, one of my second cousins 5 million times removed was in Chicago visiting a friend from college and had emailed my aunt about meeting up.

My dad, Katie, and aunt

That evening, we hung out at a brewery with my aunt and uncle near their house.  We ended the night at a Mexican restaurant.  It was so fun to hang out and catch up.

The next morning, we started out the day with my dad's favorite apple pancakes.  Can you tell how happy he is? 

That afternoon, my parents and I went for a walk and hung out at the house while my aunt and uncle prepared this delicious meal for us.  That evening, one of my dad's best friends from college and his wife came over for dinner at my aunt and uncle's house.  It was so fun to listen to him and my dad tell stories from college.  I learned about a whole different side to my dad.  ;)

The next morning, my aunt, my parents and I headed into the city.  We made a quick stop at the bean and couldn't resist a selfie at the bean!

We walked around the city and couldn't resist a picture of the sign that might be as loud and as obnoxious as it's owner.

We stumbled into Millennium Park where the orchestra was practicing.  We got a free concert just listening to them practice!! How cool is that? I love finding things like that in cities.    

After hanging out in the park, it was time to head down to the river for our boat cruise.  My aunt had raved about the architecture tour via boat and it was the perfect way to spend the afternoon sight seeing.

That evening, we headed back to Evanston where my aunt and uncle live and went out for Indian food with my uncle and cousin.  The food was delicious and we all left very content.   The next day, Fourth of July, I had an early flight home to Norfolk, while my parents stuck around to celebrate.  Evanston does a big celebration for the fourth, filled with games and a parade.  My cousin was participating in an egg toss, so they all went and watched him before coming back for some pie.  How cool is this pie my aunt made?  Pretty impressive right?

Once I got home, my aunt picked me up.  The original plan was to go to the beach, but torrential rain cancelled that plan.  Instead, we went to lunch where I had a cheeseburger in the American spirit. It was a great last weekend in the United States filled with lots of laughter and love for this great country we live in (sometimes).

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