Hey hey hey ladies and gents! I had a wonderful extended four-day weekend and it sure flew by! I can’t even believe it’s the end already! Time sure flies when the weather is gorgeous and you are out exploring and having fun! For the long weekend, I scheduled a little weekend trip with my brother and his wife to go down to Chicago. We spent Thursday-Saturday down in and around Chicago and had a great time soaking up the sunshine and warm air. We didn’t stay through Saturday night/Sunday since I had a wedding celebration to attend on Sunday…but it was a great weekend across the board! So for this week’s Marvelous in My Monday, hosted by the ever fabulous Katie, I’ll share some of my weekend highlights which equals COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF PICTURES!
We decided to have our first stop be at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, which is actually about 20 miles north of the city. We got a little bit later of a start to hit the road, plus a little traffic, so we stopped for lunch on the way, breaking up just about a 2 hour drive. I haven’t been to McDonald’s for years I think, but made due with a grilled chicken sammie, apple slices and some milk. 🙂 I sort of felt like a little kiddie hehe
But it actually hit the spot pretty good. So then we made our way to the Gardens. I was so excited to be able to enjoy the sunshine. It was a little cool temperature-wise, but the sun felt so dang good. We roamed all around and I had no idea that the Gardens were expansive as they were. We foolishly didn’t grab a map of the place, but smart girl I was, I took a picture of the map on a placard, so I actually referred to my camera many times for a sense of direction 😀
We had a really great time spending time in the sunshine and taking in all the pretty flowers and colors of everything. There were so many different areas and gardens and displays. I took SO many pictures! It was just beautiful there. We eventually decided we should make our way to our hotel to drop off our things in hopes that we could still make it to the city in the evening to walk around a bit. We hit a good stretch of traffic jams along the way so we didn’t get in til much later than we were expecting. We stopped at Subway to get some dinnie din din and then decided since it was about 8, to make our way down into the city (since we were staying outside of the city) would just not be worth it since we wanted to get an early start the next day. So we went to a park near our hotel and walked around a bit and found a playground that kicked our TOOSHIES. This place was INSANE.
We had such a hard time doing ANY of these activities. Either they were super challenging or we are just getting so old that we are no longer flexible or care-free enough to care about falling and hurting ourselves…either way haha…we laughed so hard here trying to do all of the activities. It was a fun time. We then headed back to the hotel and just chilled the rest of the night to try and get to bed early for our day venturing down into the city.
We started the day off right with breakfast before heading out into the city!
After breakfast, we headed to Rosemont Station and took the train then the bus to the Shedd Aquarium! This was one spot we all had wanted to make sure we hit. All my times down to Chicago, I never visited the Aquarium. (And this was Travis and Jessa’s first visit to the city!!!!) So this was definitely something we wanted to do!
After walking through some of the exhibits and seeing the 4-D theater show, we had a little time before the aquatic show, so we stopped off in the cafeteria and got some lunch and brought it outside to enjoy the beautiful sunshine and gorgeous view of the city! Seester lovin’ ❤ Then we made our way to the aquatic show to see the beluga whales and dolphins! It was so neat!
After the aquatic show, we made our way through the rest of the exhibits. My favorite one, hands down, was the jellyfish! They had a special exhibit on the jellyfish and it was SO AWESOME. I literally got a little over-excited but these things are so neat and I had no idea there were that many different types of them. My big, badarse camera’s battery died on me here, I was taking so many pictures, but I had my phone as a back-up 😉 The bottom right were upside down jellyfish! You wouldn’t know it or think it, they totally look like plants!
Last but not least, we got to pet some sting rays! 🙂
And of course, after a long day of roaming around, we needed to relax a bit before the next leg of our adventure began. Basking in the sunshine on the steps of the aquarium felt so great! (Sorry, my boobs are hanging out a little bit! :X)
After some relaxation for about 10-15 minutes, we made our way by foot to Grant Park, Millennium Park, Navy Pier and into the city! Lots and lots and LOTS of walking!
We finally made our way to our dinner location. It was about 7:45 by the time we got there and I was tired, crabby, and hungers. Baaaad combo. Dinner was light though since we got our food late and I didn’t want a big meal late. I ordered an appetizer and salad.
We got back to the hotel by about 10:30 or 11 I believe…it was a long day. All I wanted to do was shower and unwind a bit and hit the hay. The next day was up in the air as far as what we’d do and if we’d just make our way back home. We were getting pretty worn out. But we decided to head to the Lincoln Park Zoo and Conservatory.
After roaming around for a good part of the day, we decided to head back to pick up our car at the Rosemont CTA Station and make our way back home. I started getting a really bad headache and felt kind of lightheaded during the day. I think the sun and the crowds were just starting to get to me. All I wanted to do was be far, far away from crowds! I am definitely not comfortable in very crowded, busy places and it was getting to me after a while. It felt nice getting home and spending a relaxing, quiet evening in with Scott and the kitties. I had a really busy and nice time in Chicago and enjoying the weather and sunshine, but it did feel good to be back home to my little family ❤
Sunday morning was so nice and slow. I just relaxed and edited some pictures from the trip. Scott and I went grocery shopping, then got ourselves ready for the wedding celebration. I never really wear dresses much (I don’t know why!) so I had Scott take a picture of my cute outfit 🙂 (Don’t mind the mess ;))
It wasn’t the actual wedding ceremony, but the reception since my good friend had a private wedding at the courthouse. But she definitely wanted to share the celebration with all of her dear friends and family. I am so glad I got to go and also got to spend time with Scott and my parents, too. My mom and I got the job of cutting the cake 😀
The food was delicious. They had Chicken Parmesan with a salad, tasty bread, and pasta. The cake was fabulous! It was a chocolate cake with black raspberry creme and liqueur. Soooo good!
The reception hall was right along a local lake, so after the cake we went outside for a bit and took some pictures together. The weather was hot and humid, but there was a nice refreshing breeze off the water. Scott and I even took a tied up paddleboat (not sure if we really should have!) out onto the lake for a little spin, too 🙂
I had a fabulous four-day weekend and got to spend some really great, quality time with some people that I really love dearly. It was such a great weekend. I am so thankful for these wonderful, beautiful people in my life. ❤