As you likely know, I spent this past Friday through Monday in Chicago visiting my good friend Chelsey. It still doesn’t seem like our trip, something we have looked forward to for months, has now come and gone. The weekend was jam packed with so many good things. Instead of doing a full play by play, which could easily take me forever, I am going to give you the top 10 (of the many, many, many) highlights of the trip.
1. Staying with another blogger…and the good food that comes with it.
I certainly wasn’t complaining about the meals this weekend. What can go wrong when you stay with a fellow pumpkin oatmeal, salad, roasted vegetable, and quinoa loving gal? PS – Go make some of Chelsey’s Coconut Almond Butter and Pumpkin Granola Bars NOW. I can attest that they are PHENOMENAL!
2. Walking around the city.
We walked over 21 miles in the 3 days of our traipsing around Chicago. I didn’t mind, though. Chicago is such a great city! I loved it so much and hope to go back again. It appealed to me because it wasn’t just glass building after glass building and had some interesting architecture. Also, being on the water gave it extra beauty, which never hurts in a city. I also found it clean…which says a lot for a city.
3. Going to church together. It should come as no surprise that the two of us go to very similar churches. We are eerily the same person in different cities. It felt so great to connect with God amidst a busy weekend and to have a good friend to share it with.
4. The HEALTHIEST frozen yogurt in the WORLD!!!!
One afternoon we grabbed some frozen yogurt and it ended up being quite the experience. We had a live comedy show going on, I tell ya. The place we went was a new location and the owner kept yelling this INSANE claims at all the customers stopping in for the free samples. He got more and more amped up with bigger and bigger claims as we ate. By the time we left, we discovered that we had just eaten a big cup of the “healthiest frozen yogurt in the WORLD – 100% fat free, 100% dairy free, 100% organic, only one like it in the whole country, inspired by Europe!!!”…and all for ONLY 25 calories per CUP! <<—Yes. Quite entertaining and laughable. We wanted to ask him if he knew the Nutella and Pistachio flavors we were eating would make that whole organic and fat-free claim go down the tube.
5. Blogger Meet-Up with Katie.
I have been rooting for this girl for the longest time in her training for Chicago, so it was fabulous to meet in person and share a delicious lunch together. I hate that we didn’t get a picture of us all together, though. So see what Katie looks like and read her amazing recap of her first marathon on her blog!
6. Blogger meet-up with Lindsay.
Saturday morning, the three of us grabbed coffee together at Starbucks and sat chatting for what felt so brief but was really over an hour. It never surprises me though that bloggers can have so much to talk about! Lindsay and I will actually be rooming together in a little over a week at the Runner’s World Half. Can’t wait!
Chelsey, Jess, Jolene, and I
We had lunch on Karyn’s on Green and it could not have been a better experience. Unless it was longer. Our lunch date went by too fast! I’ve met Jolene before when she came to Atlanta for work earlier this year, but this was the first time meeting Jess. We’ve read each others’ blogs for over 2 years so you can imagine how great it felt to all be together.
portabella sandwich with butternut squash + coconut soup (still drooling over this!)
We talked about anything and everything – in between eating the ridiculously good food – in the short time we had. And, I have to say it again Jess, SO PROUD OF YOU for your first marathon!!!
8. Grocery Shopping at Trader Joes. Can’t ever go wrong with that….
9. A low-key last day together. Before I left on Monday, Chelsey and I kept things very light. We slept in (until 7 am – haha!) and then spent some time lounging in our pajamas watching Friends. It was a dream morning. Then, we hit up Trader Joes, went for a walk, spent some time in the kitchen. You know. Typical blogger stuff. I miss it already.
10. Cheering at the Chicago Marathon.
I was a little worried that I would feel bummed watching the race since I should have been running it. However, I had so much fun! You can’t beat the energy of a good race atmosphere! Plus, we had fun with our sign holding and cheering. It always cracked us up to hear runners going by and getting a good chuckle at our signs. You would hear huffing and puffing and then suddenly “HA! Chaffed nipples.” We even got a few man flashes of their band-aided nipples. We also were spotted by some blog pals – Molly and Megan – during their runs. Great work, ladies!
As you can see, I had a fantastic time. You can imagine I already hope to be there again next year.
Your Turn – Have you ever been to Chicago? What’s the best race sign you’ve ever seen?