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Family Weekend In Chicago! #MIMM

In Case you Missed it: I Guest Posted over at Sara’s Blog on Friday. Go check out why I think that Runners/Exercisers Make or Will Make Amazing Parents!

Welcome to the last week of August! And CONGRATS to Gabi and Pablo, my favorite newly minted Ironmen!!

gabi meet up suzlyfe

Gabi and I met in May (on Alex’s and my anniversary, actually!), and I am just so happy for and proud of her for accomplishing this momentous goal. During my long run on Saturday (HOLY FREAKING HUMIDITY), I saw so many people out in their cycling singlets and Ironman jerseys and I kept wanting to say do you know what my friend Gabi is doing tomorrow??? I’m sure that they would have enjoyed that.

This weekend was basically bursting at the seams, and I am going to have review it like I would a vacation–piece by piece! Also, stay tuned for some major restaurant reviews–we had 2 of the best overall meals that we have yet enjoyed in Chicago–But that will come later, right now, I’m just going to try to give a brief overview of what went on!

Thanks, Katie!

Thanks, Katie!

The reason for all the excitement was the fact that my WHOLE FAMILY CAME TO TOWN!!!! This was the first time that all of us have been together since the wedding, and the first time since we came that my dad had been to Chicago. Of course, after a mild summer, and not a lot of rain, we had the threat of tons of rain and the hottest and most humid days of the entire season. But we lucked out–we didn’t get dumped on for our outdoor activities, which I was truly happy about.

howells hood falafel bbq chopped fish chips burger suzlyfe

Once they got in and I woke up Alex (he had finished his last shift of night float that morning!), we went to Howells and Hood and sat out for a nice long lunch (in the sweltering heat, lol) followed by what, in my opinion, is the ultimate introduction to the city for anyone: the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Boat Tour. If you come to Chicago, I strongly recommended taking the 90 minute tour–you get a complete snapshot of history of Chicago, and the river trip is (nearly) always a pleasure. Plus, if it isn’t your thing, you can just go downstairs and get a drink from the full bar, haha.

boat tour

After the tour, we went and chilled at the hotel ( and I demolished some bar snacks, which were unnecessary, but very tasty), and then walked over to River Roast for dinner. This is where this beauty finished out our meal. River Roast is a brand new (4 week old) restaurant in Fulton Market (one of my fave buildings) and good gravy, I have to say that it is exceptional. The idea is the reinvigoration of Sunday supper, so it is a selection of small plates, salads, sides, and snacks, and then whole fish, whole chicken, and roast beef mains that are carved tableside. I’ll get more into it later, but it really did evoke those feelings of supper, rather than just dinner. And I ate way too much, which made me a little leery of what was going to happen the next morning for my run.

RiverRoast fam2

My run when surprisingly well, considering a) the amount of food eaten the day before and b) the fact that I don’t think that I have run in air that thick EVER. The fog was out in full force until about 2 (or later–we went to a museum, and when we came out, it had rained and the fog was gone). When I got home, I chugged Powerade and just threw my clothes into the shower ahead of me to rinse them because they were already soaked through. We went to Eggy’s for brunch (after going to Walgreens to buy Alex socks because we weren’t able to do laundry, always a good sign), and you know I a) did work on my omelet and b) wore a maxi dress just so that I could wear compression underneath.

Then it was off to the Museum of Science and Industry for the afternoon! We saw the D-Day: Normandy presentation at the Omni-Max theater, which we all thoroughly enjoyed and I would recommend. I was happy that it looked at the entirety of the invasion, not just the classic Omaha beach situation, as well as the more mundane technology that revolutionized the invasions. And Tom Brokaw narrated, so you know it was good ;). After the film, we poked around the space exhibit (about Mercury, Gemini, Apollo missions, etc) before heading to the U-505 sub exhibit, where we also scheduled a tour of the u-boat. If you go to MSI, this is a must-see. It is the only of its type in existence, 1 of only 5 u boats left in the world, and the only one that is preserved–the other 4 are in Europe and have been left to fall apart. Also, U-505 was the only sub that was taken by boarding (by the US), and was the first enemy marine vessel taken by the US (in 1944) since one of the final battles of the war of 1812. U-505 had something like 850 lbs of confidential documents and maps, 2 Enigma coders, and the actual coding book, all of which were instrumental in ending the War. So yeah, big deal.


Random fact: There were 59 men on board at one time, the coolest interior temp was 92 F, and there was no bathing or washing for the entire tour, typically 90-100 days. Oh, and for that period, they never saw the light of day. Clearances were comfortable for me, but that was about it–I don’t think many people were cut out for Uboat duty.

Our final exhibit was Storm Science, which Alex and I had seen before, but I was fading pretty quickly (even after a snack and refresher) so I chilled for most of it. I must say, however, it is perhaps one of my favorite science exhibits ever–interactive, educational, and informative. It speaks to pretty much all ages (within reason) effectively, and that can be very difficult to do.

Then off to dinner at Belly Q, another FABULOUS meal. The concept is modern Asian BBQ and is set in a restored pickle factory. We were lucky to have Chef Bill Kim (exec chef) working that night, and let me tell you, the food was as incredible as the night before (when we also had the exec chef in attendence!) but in a totally different way. Another massive thumbs up and highly recommend.

bellyq dessert donuts brownie peach pbj suzlyfe

Sunday, Alex had to go back to work, and I tackled the mountain of laundry before picking up the fam and driving up to Evanston for brunch and some driving around. I wanted to show the fam a bit of the other parts of Chicago–the older neighborhoods of the early suburbs, the mansions of Gold Coast, and the historic buildings up and down Millennium Park/Grant Park as well as the newer ones. I also showed them where I would have worked (the gym that I was auditioning at) and we all agreed that the drive would have gotten very old very quickly.  I think that they got a pretty decent survey of everything!

Dad got to meet Grandcat Zoe (WHO WE HAVE OFFICIALLY HAD FOR A YEAR TODAYYYY!) and I showed him our apartment (complete with hanging laundry everywhere), the hospital campus, and our area a little. Dinner at Cicchetti (visits one and two) rounded out the evening and was delicious as always, even though a bit different without Alex there (sadface).

This morning? I’m taking them to my office so that they can have a parent-teacher conference can talk shop with my boss (briefly) before I get to work and they head back home. And I have to get my head into work. Because it feels like forever ago that I even contemplated my job. I’ll should be caught up on comments and emails–obviously they didn’t really happen over the past few days! So I appreciate your patience, and I’m going to have some incredible recipes up for you soon!

Chocolate skoop muffins2 suzlyfe

When was the last time that your parents visited where you live? What did you all do?

Was it hot as balls where you live this weekend?

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