Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Oh, my goodness.  Where to begin?  I guess I'll start at the very beginning.  A very good place to start....

It was Jonny's year to plan the anniversary.  I taunted him that there was no way he was going to beat my awesome planning of 17.  He, apparently, was up to the challenge.  And, guess what?  He beat me. He shut me up.  And, he made me a very, very happy girl...

A trip to Chicago!  For FIVE days!  Without my children!!! (three exclamation points.  I really do love my kids...)

My husband totally rocks.  

Here's the hightlights of the trip.  Keep in mind I am terrible at remembering to take photos.  All of the following are from my iphone. Luckily, the memories we made are emblazened on my very soul. 

We took off last Wednesday.  We had a very dear friend come and stay with our kiddos until Jon's sister made it down from Washington.  We arrived after midnight in the midst of an A.M.A.Z.I.N.G lightening/thunder storm, the likes of which I have never seen in my life.  Thunder that sounded like gun shots right next to your ear.  Lightening that lit up the sky, one bolt after another.  Rain that was heavy, hard and WET.  It was actually quite magical.  

We stayed at the Palmer House.  Right downtown.  Super old, but remodeled and gorgeous.  Here is a little glimpse of our room:
The bed...

The next morning, we slept in.  Until 10:00.  So heavenly.  It's funny how much I appreciate sleeping in.  How much I long for it, really. Anyways, after a really leisurely shower, we headed out on the town.  We ate a yummy sandwich at Potbelly's restaraunt; a local favorite (my buddy Brittany gave me tons of sweet tips on things to do, restaraunts to try, and much more.  The trip would not have been as successful without her suggestions!  Thanks, Britt!).

After lunch we wandered down towards the water, and took a really cool architectural tour on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.  It was such a great way to see the city.  The architecture in Chicago really is amazing.  So many different styles.  Our tour guide was super funny and made it all very interesting. 

After the boat tour, it was almost time for our dinner reservation.  My husband is the cutest, and totally indulged me.  I am kind of a nerd, and LOVE the reality show "Giuliana and Bill." If you haven't seen it, it's about Guiliana and Bill Rancic, it airs on the Style Network, and it's totally cute.  They are an adorable couple and I am super addicted to the show.  Bill Rancic is a Chicago native and the couple recently opened an Italian restaraunt downtown called, RPM Italian. I, of course, have been dying to go.  Jon, of course, made reservations there to celebrate our anniversary. 

And guess what?  The Rancics delivered.  Big Time.  Awesome atmosphere.  Fabulous food.  Amazing service (weirdly enough, our waiter was from Tualatin, Oregon).  Here we are at dinner. And, some of our lovely, amazing food.

Our darling waiter brought these complimentary mini-gelatos to us!
Best meatballs E.V.E.R!!!

 After dinner we headed to Navy Pier, which is a cool touristy area on Lake Michigan with carnival rides, restaraunts, and gift shops.  We rode this BIG ferris wheel and one of us (me) enjoyed great views of the lake and the skyline.  The other one of us (Jon) played tic-tac-toe on his phone the whole time because he is a scaredy-cat-chicken-shrimp of heights.
Here he is on the ferris wheel, trying not to look freaked out.

The next day, we worked at the Expo for the Rock and Roll Marathon.  This is how Jon got the whole trip paid for (did I mention that in addition to being a rock star, he is also a genius?). We had tons of fun working together.  After work, we went to North Avenue beach and enjoyed this view while we ate some yummy beach food at a place called "Castaways."  The sun was setting and it was super romantic and picturesque.

Jon's company is one of the Rock and Roll Marathon series' sponsors, so we got two VIP tickents to run in the race.  We had a blast running the race together, and it was a very cool way to see the city.  It was HOT, even at 7:00 AM, but we ran slow and easy and afterward got to hang out in the VIP tent with amazing food and cold, icey drinks.

**As a side note, Jon dropped a trailer hitch on his toe a month ago and has not been able to run since.  He was such a good sport to still run with me and did amazing!

Here is my running poster- child posing in front of the Chicago Art Institute Lion.

After the race we enjoyed some amazing pizza, and then headed to Oak Street Beach (also on Lake Michigan, which I am convinced is not a lake, but the fifth ocean! It is huge and the beach is sandy and there are great waves.  It even smells ocean-y).  We napped on the beach, went for a swim in the refreshing, but not freezing water. H.E.A.V.E.N.

 We rented bikes that afternoon and rode for miles and miles along the flat lake-front trail. The weather was gorgeous.

The last day of our trip we did more sightseeing, checking out the famous Chicago Theater and shopping along Michigan Avenue and at Water Tower Place.  Then we had lunch and caught our plane home. It was so very sad to leave Chicago and our fun time alone together behind!
 It was really a wonderful anniversary.  Probably the best one yet.  I fell even more in love with my husband each moment we spent together.  There is nothing like time away to make you feel more connected and more appreciated.  We feel so blessed to still be crazy in love after 18 years.  I have been married the same amount of years that I haven't, if that makes any sense, and Jon has made this half of my life blissful beyond words. I will never forget the magical five days we spent in Chicago.  The laughs and new things we learned about one another, the encounters with homeless people, the inspiring talent we saw on the subway platforms,  and the new inside jokes.  I adored every minute of it, and can't wipe the perma-grin from my face.

I love you, Jonny, and can't wait for every day of the rest of forever with you.