Staycation Recap, Chicago, & Saturday Runday

Hi long lost blog friends!  Vacation makes me lazy, especially staycation, so I didn’t update my blog as much as I’d wanted to.  It was a pretty awesome week off.  I deep cleaned my apartment (I’m not really a messy person, but when I only have Sundays to clean, things don’t always get done), read, crossed movies off my “must-see list”, met up with a colleague/former supervisor for lunch, had lunch with my mom (at Bob Evans! HA!) and just caught up on life. It was a fantastic week.

On Friday, a friend and I took a quick jaunt up to Chicago to visit some of our friends that now live up there.  Since the train tracks are being maintenanced for the new “high-speed rail” that is to make our trip to Chicago 1-hour shorter, the trip up included catching a 6:30am bus (3-hour ride) and then transferring to the train that would take us to Chicago (3.5-hour ride).  What’s normally a 4 to 5-hour train ride took us nearly 8 hours with our train “layover”.  Woof.  Fortunately, my friend and I can make any long trip seem short with our silliness 🙂

A few pictures from the trip:

FRIDAY

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Friday night, we met up with a friend and her boyfriend for drinks at Millennium Park.  See the Bean?! 🙂   That’s my attempt at an artistic shot of the city through The Bean.  Eh, you can only do so much with a camera phone.

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For the first time in my life I finished my beer.  I’m not much of a beer person.  I like the taste for the first few sips, then I’m set.  While my accomplishment is noteworthy, my cup is the smaller cup.  Everyone else got “big kid” cups and finished those with ease.

SATURDAY (run day)

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Ah, my glorious view during my Saturday run.  Since we’d be traveling home early Sunday I had to improvise and complete my long run 1 day earlier.  I LOVED running in the city.  The community of runners/cyclists was so neat to be a part of.  I’d take this view over the snakes, possums, & deer I deal with during my runs any day! Naturally, my GPS wasn’t working so I had to run for time.  I ran somewhere between 9 & 10 miles.  Solid.

I had a fantastic runner’s high.  As great as it is to crash on the couch all day after a long run/workout, it felt just as great to hit up some of the shops to catch some deals.  I turned up empty handed, but I love looking, regardless!

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My view during lunch.  We ate at a yummy restaurant/pub in near Lincoln Park. The address of this building/apartment is my dad’s birthday!  March, 1933.  How cool!

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After lunch, we walked to the beach.  It felt so good to soak up some Vitamin D and people watch.  The water was insanely cold so we just put our toes in.  It was a great afternoon of food, friends, and laughing.

My legs were pretty dead on the way back from the beach.  My friend’s apartment is only about 1 mile from the beach.  But after my long run and laying down on the beach, my legs started tightening up and letting me know they were done for the day.  “Too bad”, I said. My friend (travel buddy) and I were dying for some Giordano’s pizza.  We only had an hour wait, but oh my goodness, it’s worth any amount of time spent waiting.  Gosh, I still drool when I think of it!

SUNDAY

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This awesome meal was my lunch on the train.  My “purse/carry-on” was nicknamed “my pantry” because I had TONS of snacks and fruit in there.  I’m never one to be caught hungry and without food.  And since I didn’t know when/where we’d be eating I wanted to be prepared with some healthy options.  The bagel & cream cheese was left over from our Starbuck’s breakfast (oatmeal w/peanut butter, blueberries,  banana, & skinny caramel macchiato..YUM!) . That water bottle cost me $2.25 on the train (dumb, but I always have to have water or I convince myself I’ll die of thirst).  I am in love with the packets of salmon.  They make for easy lunches during the work week and (obviously) on vacations!  I had an apple, grapes, and a reduced sugar Quaker granola bar for dessert.  I told you…I had an insane amount of food in my bag! 🙂

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