Tag Archives: Chicago

family vacation ORD-EWR!

Today we woke up and a little breakfast and got ready for our departure to New Jersey. We gave Lucas his new cars from the movie Cars. He was excited. We went to Ohare around 9:45 and the first parking lot we tried to go to was full! We parked in parking lot G and took a shuttle to the airport tram. Lucas was excited to sit near the bus driver. He was doing so good so far. Getting through security was pretty fast so we decided to get some lunch at McDonald’s. Lucas got his first happy meal—chicken nuggets, apple slices, fries, and milk. He ate all of the fries and apple slices but wasn’t a very big fan of the chicken nuggets. He got a little bobble head of Fred from Scooby Doo for the toy. He doesn’t seem to care for it much.

After lunch we sat and looked at plane for awhile. He said “let’s take to the sky!” just like Skye does from Paw Patrol. It was so cute. Lucas was asleep on the plane before we even took off and he slept the whole way.

Everything went smoothly when we arrived at Newark and got our car then we headed to Jonathan and Wighanda’s House so Lucas could meet everyone. It was really fun seeing Lucas interact with his cousins for the first time. He ate a really good dinner of spaghetti, rice, and corn. We also had some chicken adobo that Don’s mom made. The kids played musical chairs, slime, and danced.

After dinner we headed to our hotel. We stayed at Homewood Suites. The room was really nice and we had enough room to set up Lucas’s tent. In the process of moving a coffee table though I somehow dragged it over my big toe. It was so painful!! Lucas was in his tent around 9:50 pm, very late for him but it was a pretty good day for all of the traveling we did.

Cider Rider Makes Its Way Into My Top 3 Worst Bus Rides of All Time.

I want to start off by saying that we were all really excited for The Cider Rider Tour and we did have some fun despite the downfalls. Cider Rider is a bus tour from Chicago to 4 different cideries in Michigan. So let’s start from the beginning. First off, Cider Rider did get a rough start with falling on Chicago’s first snowfall and coldest day of the year, so that was kind of a bummer. We met for the tour at 6:30 am and the bus took off at 7. We needed 6 seats together so we went to the back of the bus to get 3 sets of seats. Kara, Christina, Cassie and Marrisa sat in the back row, while Don and I got two seats in the row in front of them. These back four seats were different from the rest of the seats in the bus because they could be removed or folded up to make more space. They lacked adequate support for two people to be sitting in them so they leaned towards the aisle of the bus. I was sitting on the side closest to the aisle and it felt like I was slanting the whole time. Really uncomfortable, almost as uncomfortable as that time we were jammed into a van for 8 hours in St. Lucia….but that’s a different story.

Continue reading Cider Rider Makes Its Way Into My Top 3 Worst Bus Rides of All Time.

NYC Second Time Around

So we have moved back to NYC last week. It has been a pretty hectic past few months and up until now I have been constantly busy. I thought it would help to write more. Let’s start with the actual move. Last Monday (6/23) we paid some movers to load up our UHaul. Then around 11:30 am we set out on the road, Don driving the uHaul and Lina and I in the car behind him. The beginning of the drive was not too bad, but from about Ohio on it rained on and off constantly. Not just a light normal rain but downpours. It was scary. We stayed in a hotel Monday night in Pennsylvania. Lina did pretty good the whole first day and at the hotel.

The second day of driving started off pretty good there was barely any rain. We made it to NYC around 10:30 am. Ethan met us here and we had movers take our stuff up to our new 4th floor apartment in Washington/Hudson Heights. Luckily we have 2 elevators in the building. I was surprised to see how big the apartment was and I can’t wait to take pictures. I want to wait until we get a few more things done first.

The rest of the week was spent unpacking, organizing, and doing various things for my new job at NY Presbyterian. I start July 21. I also suffered from some sort of virus that made my muscles so sore and achy. At first I thought it was from moving but when it wasn’t getting better and my sister said she had similar symptoms I knew it was more than that. Luckily by yesterday I started feeling better but it was miserable. So achy and headache for about a week. How come every time I move I get sick? When we moved to Chicago I got a terrible cold. For the weekend we made a trip with the car to Lowes and Ikea in Brooklyn. We got blinds and various things but had no luck at Ikea due to their credit/debit machines not working. Hopefully we go back soon.

The place is pretty much getting in order now. Now I find myself having a lot of time to get things done but there’s only so much I can do. I find it harder to keep busy, especially with the weather being so hot. Keeping busy is key to not thinking about everyone and everything you’re missing. I love NYC and I love friends and family here, but I never thought I would miss Chicago so much. We made tons of friends there and my job at Lurie’s was the best. It makes me so homesick and sad to think about it. The problem is I don’t want to forget and lose contact with people…as well as I don’t want them to forget about me. But keeping in contact and wishing I was at work there doesn’t help with moving on here. I’m sure it will be different when I start working, I hope it will be good. Last night was the first night I cried about it in a long time. I know we did the right thing and I know things will get better. I also know we have no idea what the future holds. I’m excited for everything, I just want to feel happy and not homesick. I want to go on adventures with my husband and be able to sit around and watch our favorite shows again also. We haven’t been able to spend a lot of time together these past few months.

I went to the park today and it is so beautiful. I can’t wait to show people around when they come to visit. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings. Starting over is hard but I am able to do it, I’ll never forget our time in Chicago but mostly I won’t forget the people.

Chicago to Missouri

On Friday we left early to go to Columbia, MO.  This was our first road trip in the new Fiesta.  We were supposed to come up with a name for the new car on this trip but I think we kind of forgot about it.  The drive from Chicago to Columbia is about 6 hours.  And it rained/snowed off and on the whole way!

We made a stop in Springfiled, IL  to stop at a diner Don had seen on TV.  It was called Charlie Parker’s Diner.  The diner was cool because it was in an old building from WW2 called a Quonset Hut. I had the country fried steak special and Don had the breakfast horseshoe. The food was pretty good.  I think the atmosphere was a little better though.

We made it to Columbia around 4 pm and we killed some time doing a little shopping.  Then we met up with Judy and Steve and went to dinner.  We ate at Murray’s Restaurant.  We had to wait for a bit but we had some drinks at the bar.  Don and I both had steaks.  It was delicious.

The next day we woke up early to head to Saint Louis (about 2 hours from Columbia). Don and Steve wanted to check out the Star Trek exhibit at the Science Center in STL.  But first we had to stop at Pappy’s Smokehouse.  This place was awesome!!!  I ordered a pulled pork sandwich with potato salad and baked beans.  Freaken delicious.  If you are gonna go make sure to get there early.  We got there right at 11 when it opened and still had to wait about 30 to 40 min. The food was soooo good!!

After Pappy’s we went to the Science Center.  I have never really watched Star Trek but the exhibit was okay.  There was a lot of stuff to read about space exploration that was pretty interesting.  After the exhibit we walked around a bit, but most of the exhibits seemed to be pretty geared towards kids, so we left to check out the arch.  I really wanted to go up into the arch but the wait was long and it was getting late in the day.  So we just took some pictures and next time we will go up in it!

Then we drove back to Columbia.  We picked up Judy (she had to work during the day) and decided where to have dinner.  We decided on 44 Stone Public House.  It was an English/Irish bar.  They had an amazing beer selection.  I couldn’t resist and had to get a Strongbow and an Old Speckled Hen.  We shared a couple appetizers.  Then I had a burger.  After eating we decided to keep drinking and make a fire at the house.  It was a little chilly out but next to the fire it was nice.

Once we woke up on Sunday we got ready to head back home. We made a stop in Springfield again to visit a store called Scheels.  It’s like a sports/outdoors store. It was pretty cool.  But we were really excited to try an Irish restaurant called D’arcy’s Pint.  Little did we know it was closed on Sundays.  So disappointing but I’m sure we will be cutting through Springfield again in the future to visit Missouri.  So we couldn’t decide what to eat, nothing sounded good.  There were fast food places nearby and I said either Arby’s or Pizza Hut sounded good.  We decided on Pizza Hut since we haven’t had it in forever…..ugh I remember why I never Pizza Hut.  It’s okay while you’re eating it, not so good later.  So I was burping Pizza Hut the rest of the way home.

I noticed some things when we crossed the border from Missouri into Illinois. Immediately the price of gas went up 40 cents.  There were tons of political/election signs.  And a lot more traffic signs including tons of No Parking Signs on the side of the highway, which was highway 54.  Seriously…there was nothing on this highway, why in the world would there have to be no parking signs here?!  The middle of no where!  Even if someone did park there why would anyone care?!  I guess that’s just Illinois for you.

So I learned a few things…chicago vs. nyc

When I was living in NYC I mostly took the train, hardly ever the bus. In fact I only took the bus once by myself. Every other time I was with someone. I always thought the buses were more confusing. But here in Chicago I’ve been trying out the buses. The bus stop is closer to our apartment than the train, although the train is not far. Well let’s just get to it, today I took the bus by myself.

I knew where I was going, so I wasn’t scared of getting lost, so I’m just trying to relax and listen to some music. On the way downtown some crazy lady got on the bus and I noticed she was pretty much having a conversation with an invisible person. So then of course I take off the headphones and try to listen in to what she could possibly be talking about to this invisible person so intensely. She’s just crazy man. I can barely hear what she’s saying but it’s all nonsense. It’s like having a conversation with your friend at work and you’re talking about someone at work you don’t like. She’s gossiping to an invisible person. I know she probably has like schizophrenia so whatever…that was my bus ride to downtown.

On my way back home it was even CRAZIER! I walked into a crazy lady having a debate with someone else about racism. And how one person can’t make a difference. It doesn’t matter what she does in life she’s not making a difference. Pretty much she has like 4 strangers listening to her and one woman is getting kinda mad about it. Normally if someone is crazy you should probably just ignore them, but this woman was like asking the crazy lady questions. And not to mess with her, to just argue or prove a point against her. There’s 2 things you should do to crazy people: ignore them or mess with them. Never go along with them hahaha! So the normal lady asked the crazy lady “so what’s your take on God?” So we’ve went from racism to making a difference and then a couple of Obama health care reform comments to now religion. So what’s her take on God?…”Listen we all have earthquakes, hemispheres….atmospheres….” SERIOUSLY…what does that even mean? I suggest using it though. Good quote.

From religion we went to terrorism. How we got to that I don’t know. Crazy lady said something like “A terrorist isn’t someone out in the desert! A terrorist is someone taking money out of my paycheck!” There were many common things that we struggle with every day, that according to this woman were terrorists. Things I never really thought terrorized me, but had me second guessing. Especially when she brought up this one: “A terrorist is when you order an egg-roll and it tastes like fish.”