-edited to add: I am sad that Paul Walker died, even in such an ironic fashion. He was my first real celebrity crush, and I still think he is one of the most beautiful human beings. Most importantly, he seemed like a really nice guy.–
So, this extended weekend was beyond mahvelous. And it’s Monday, so instead of bombarding you all with posts like I did last week, I am going to attempt to exercise some restraint and roll up some of the key pieces into a single post. A la unroll.me (holla #Elf4Health!)
And a thanks to Katie for hosting!
- First off, shout out again to my Elf Brandi–we successfully motivated eat other to get our sweat on this past Wednesday when NEITHER of us felt like it. #unstoppable
Most marvelous? Food, Family, and First Married Thanksgivings!
I took a bit longer getting motivated for movement than I had planned, so my mom and brother landed before I had gotten down to the gym! I got way too carried away cleaning up and taking selfies in my new SwirlGear Sunny Long sleeve (love it! More to come).
They called, I hoofed it downstairs, and 7 pain-free, MARVELOUS TM miles and a quick shower later, I gave them a huge hug and brought them back to the apt to meet Zoe! We hung out for a bit and then went on a wild goose chase to find lunch, only to end up back at the hotel’s restaurant. Where they were serving a VERY limited menu or a FULL feast. Oh well.
Majorly marv: Alex got off hella early and met us there! We stayed for a while, returned to the apt, got set up and chilled, and then got to stuffing our faces like a pre-teen trying to fill out a bra.
That night, after Mom and bro left, Alex and I attempted to digest and found Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. AMAZING. I ended up staying up way too late, which I paid for by feeling very off Friday morning.
But I got a shout out from Top Chef alum Carla Hall!!
I woke up to work out, but as soon as I got down to the gym and got on the bike, I knew it wasn’t happening. My legs needed a break from rigorous cardio, and I was mentally all over the place. I blobbed around for a little bit, but decided to listen to my body and my heart and instead take my mom some pecan pie for breakfast!
Bro met up with us after an hour or so, and then we went off to explore! I took them along the lake shore and Grant Park, and we stopped for lunch at one of my fave places, Ma & I. I ordered way too much, ate too much (again), and loved every bite. A preview, but perhaps a full review to come:
I am responsible for all of these dishes. And I am proud(?) to say that I ate every piece. And we wonder why I felt a little bit off that afternoon?
We continued the theme of overeating with our trip to Chicago q.
The first time I came to Chicago q (almost exactly a year ago), I got the BBQ flight (Kobe Brisket, pulled pork, pulled chicken) and I remembered how amazed I was simply by the pulled chicken (even over the others). And my stomach was feeling a little wonky, so after much deliberation, I decided on the BBQ chopped salad with pulled chicken and bacon (no cheese). As soon as I ordered, I had buyer’s remorse–like CRAP, another salad, Suz? But allllll of that went away went our dinners arrived. Simply, and utterly Marv.
The pulled chicken is, quite honestly, the absolute best that I have ever had (and I know my BBQ). Also marvelous? the 4 different BBQ sauces that they bring out to the table. Consensus was that the Sweet Mustard was the best. One more pic for the road but I want to do a full post on this place.
I am going to have to do a post on BBQ because I like to think myself something of a connoisseur 😀
Alex’s day off! Again, I woke up a little out of sorts, and when I went to the gym, I decided to run because I honestly wasn’t feeling anything else. Well, I barely made it 3 miles (I felt GREAT at mile 1.5 at $#!+ at 2.7). It was super windy outside, but was sunny, and I made a spur of the moment decision to run outside to finish up. So glad I did. It was another roller coaster of a run (easy then hard then easy then hard), but it+realizing that I was putting too much pressure on feeling like I should “host” + deciding to stop acting like a beehatch+a hot shower+decision to host a leftovers brunch = a new Suz.
The rest of the day was marvelous partially because we did NOTHING. We just hung out, watched TV, read, and the like. And then it got even more marvelous when I took a selection of my creations to 2 of my coworkers, who I had excitedly been discussing my anticipated menu with all week. It was one of those moments where you remember what the season really is about–sharing friendship, flavors, and just doing things for each other. It was such a small gesture, but I rode the high from their excitement during my walk to our final indulgence opportunity of the weekend, dinner at Farmhouse Tavern.
Like q, it was Alex’s and my second time and so I had some things that I knew were must gets. I was the first to arrive, and after pouring through the drinks for quite a while, I went with the drink I had planned to get from the beginning, the Humdinger.
We had an absolutely incredible meal, and though my stomach started to hurt again (it was overwhelmed by the emotion and adrenaline of the weekend as well as general over-eating and richer than normal food), I had an incredible night and beautiful walk home. And I was still able to enjoy my nightly ice cream (Sarah, it was cookies and cream :D), Alex had some of the whiskey pecan pie.
Last food post of the weekend, and the end to this novel of a post. Before mom and Bro left, I took them to Alex’s and my fave local breakfast/lunch haunt, West Egg Cafe. I got my Carl’s Cool Creation (no cheese), and both Mom and Bro got French Toast.
Then I said goodbye to them and went to the grocery store, after making a short detour to pic up a little baby Xmas tree and Icy Blue Pine candle!
I can’t believe how much food, family, love, laughter, work, leisure, and absolute #marvelous ness we fit into the past 4 days. If you are still reading at this point, you deserve a freaking medal. But I am cheap, so I will golf-clap from afar. (Men at Work, anyone?)
Now I have to go do laundry and then I think I might continue to talk about food and write up my reviews on the restaurants. I can dig it.
And shout out to my girl pickyrunner, who won her first road race this weekend!
TALK TO ME, GOOSE:
Do you get overwhelmed and feel pressure to be the happy hostess, get mad at yourself, and turn it into a vicious cycle of why am I acting like this?? How do you snap yourself out of it?
TELL ME ALL OF THE AWESOME THINGS YOU ATE! What was your favorite?
If you weren’t able to see loved ones, what did you do to help yourself feel connected to them?