I am in you Chicago

Let’s see… How shall I begin?

Oh yes. Chicago! I am in you!

I’m in Chicago because Bobby’s work sent him here for a couple weeks and I thought, ‘Hey, why don’t I go to Chicago for a few days? It’s not like I’m in the middle of moving, remodeling a house, and stressing about math finals.’ Except that I am in the middle of moving, remodeling a house and stressing about math finals. But that’s another post. Today’s post is about Chicago and what I did today because I am pissed at myself for not blogging my Boston trip in detail (or at all, but hopefully I’ll get to it soon.)


Chicago. Well, Schaumburg, Illinois to be exact, which is just a small part of Chicago Land. The hotel we are staying in is SpringHill Suites and I love it. It really isn’t anything fancy but it feels homey and comfy. The decor is very mod and that’s something I love. Pictures are coming soon.

Since Bobby was still working today, I was on my own. I woke up at 9:30 central (which is 7:30 PST so in reality I was up quite early) and got myself together for the free breakfast they offered downstairs. Of course breakfast was over so I decided to forgo the most important meal of the day and go shopping.

Incidentally, our hotel is near Woodfield Mall which is the second largest mall in North America, I hopped in a cab and headed there. It was enormous! I mean, I knew it was big but I didn’t know it’d be THAT big. (that’s what she said, giggity). There were many stores that we have back home but a few I’d never been to. Z Gallerie is one of the coolest furniture stores I’ve ever been in. I loved it. I’ve been to Anthropologie’s website a few times and was extremely excited to finally get to browse in person. Unfortunately since I’m flying home I had to limit my purchases which ended up being some super cute shoes from Charming Charlie, a puzzle game from a store called Marbles that sold all kinds of brain games, a Harry Potter version of the board game Clue from a game and hobby shop, and a non-Chicago “souvenir” for a friend.

One rule I try to make for myself when I travel is to never eat at an establishment I can easily visit at home. I’m usually quite good at sticking to this rule but the mall didn’t have a lot of dining options despite the fact that it’s so damn big. I ended up at Ruby Tuesday and had turkey burger sliders. I know it’s a huge chain but in my defense, I’ve never eaten there and we don’t have them back home.

After shopping my day was at a bit of a stand still. I headed back to the hotel until Bobby got off work. The entire time I was reading and watching TV I was internally driving myself crazy thinking of everything I should be doing at home.

Bobby got back just after 5 and we headed out to dinner. We went to Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant. The place was really cool. They make all their own wine and barrels of it line the walls. I had a glass of Moscato and it was probably the best Moscato I’ve had (which may not mean anything since I’ve only had a few).

Dinner starts off with bread and butter at the table, but not just any bread. This was PRETZEL bread and it was fracking amazing. I made Bobby a promise to try out a few pretzel bread recopies.

We ordered chicken pot stickers as a starter and they were awesome. Pot stickers are usually hit or miss for me but these were the best I’ve had which is saying something.

On to the entrees. Bobby ordered pretzel crusted pork tenderloin and it was great. I’ve never had pork that Was so moist and flavorful. I ordered a delicious Chicken Saltimbocca and I enjoyed it but as usual Bobby won the ordering award because his was way better.

We shared a Creme Brûlée and it was good. I’ve only ever had it twice so I am no expert but it tasted good.

Weirdly enough, the highlight of the day was our visit to Ikea. I have never been to an Ikea before, I have been missing out! The Ikea here in Schaumburg, IL happens to be the largest in North America. Three stories of awesome! Bobby and I have dubbed Ikea our new favorite store and we will quickly be making a trip to Sacramento which holds the nearest Ikea to home.

Tomorrow we head to downtown Chicago.


Memorial Day Weekend

Saturday 5/29/2010 – Woke up at 6am and Mom, Sister, and I went to Grass Valley,CA to visit my Poppop.  We were able to help him get his kitchen cleaned up and some dusting done.  My grandpa is a bargain shopper.  Any time anything is on sale, he buys it.  The closet of the guest room is filled with toilet paper and paper towels.  Every cabinet in his kitchen is over flowing!  He’s always prepared!  I decided that I’m going to try and start buying up stuff when it’s on sale.  Since we have such a huge garage we have plenty of space for it.  Also, Poppop has a big freezer in garage that he isn’t using so Mom and I were thinking that we’d get it up here and start buying meat in bulk when its on sale and we’ll share the freezer. 
While going through closets I found a ton of board games and he gave them to me.  I got Pictionary, Boggle, Trivial Pursuit, Agrivation, and all kinds of other stuff.
Saturday night we went to Auburn and had dinner at Sizzler with my Great Uncle Lenny and Great Aunt Mary.  It was nice, we sat and ate and talked for a few hours.  I miss seeing everyone on a regular basis.
Saturday night was also the first time I’ve ever had a real conversation with Poppop regarding his brain tumor.  Before I was born he had a brain tumor removed and it cause the left side of his body to be a bit off.  He has an eye that doesn’t open much, his mouth is droopy, and he can’t hear out of his left ear.  I’ve never really asked about it but it was interesting for him to explain it to me.  We also talked about his cancer.  I asked if he was in a lot of pain and he said not really.  Most of his pain is caused but other things. 
We stayed the night till Sunday morning.

Sunday 5/30/2010 – So making a random comment on my friend Anne’s Facebook saying “You’re in town!  We should hang!” or something like that apparently means “Hey, you’re in town!  Let’s have a party at my house and not tell me!”  LOL Anne lives and works in Washington DC and she was in town this weekend.  We ended up having a last minute get together at my house.  It was a lot of fun.  We played Buzz, Pictionary, and Kings Cup.  Drunkeness ensued. 

Monday 5/31/2010 – I went up to my Mom’s house to have a BBQ.  I made some “Devilish Eggs” from a Hungry Girl recipe.  YUCK! Instead of using the egg yolks you make a cauliflower mixture which sounded okay at the time but boy oh boy was I wrong.  Thankfully I had reserved the yolks and was able to make them into real devilled eggs.
Mom made bacon wrapped steaks.  YUM.  Good and unhealthy!  Sis made her famous Cabbage and Potato pie.  So good, I’ll have to get the recipe to post. 
While dinner was cooking we watch marathons of “Hoarders” and “Pawn Stars”.  Now I am addicted to both those shows.
Lastly, Mom made the most amazing home made strawberry shortcake with homemade whip cream and biscuit shortcake.  WOW! I think it’s my new favorite desert!