Friday, October 31, 2008

Chicago, re-capped.

Last weekend, Mark and I traveled to Chicago for the purpose of seeing his/our friends get married. The wedding took up alllllll Saturday (it was a Catholic wedding, complete with gap), but it was REALLY nice, so can't really complain. The rest of the weekend, we had to ourselves for a mini-trip.

We left Columbus early Friday morning and arrived in Chicago around 2PM. It was a 5 1/2 - 6 hour drive. We were very glad to get there. We checked into the hotel, which ended up being very nice besides the fact that their parking lot/garage was closed for renovations and we therefore had to use complimentary valet, which ended up being really slow even when you called ahead to get your car. The room we stayed in was great - king sized bed, small kitchenette, sitting area, and a pretty cool view of the surrounding area. Anyway, we stayed out by O'Hare (the first time Mark took me to Chicago we actually stayed in the city) and it was nice because even though we had to fight traffic quite a bit to get into the city, I felt like I was able to see a lot more of it since we were utilizing our own transportation.

Friday evening, we ate delicious deep dish Chicago-style pizza at the DePaul location of Lou Malnati's. Ahhh, sooo good. At that point, I decided to add to my list of reasons why I could never live in Chicago the fact that if I lived in the city I would end up gaining a good 250 pounds - regardless of the extra walking involved! Don't worry, I already factored that in - because I would want to eat all of the yummy food all. the. time. And no, I would not walk it off afterwards. I'd be sure to stay nice a still while digesting my delicious meals.
Over dinner, I was shocked to find out that my pizza-loving husband didn't eat Chicago-style pizza at least once a day when he lived there. I don't know what the heck he was thinking! Something about lack of finances to eat out, but come on! If I lived in the city, I would definitely make eating fab food high on my list of priorities.

Saturday, we woke up and hung around the hotel until it was time to leave for our friends' wedding. The church they were married at was in China Town. It was a very ecclectic mix of Catholic- and Asian- inspired decor. I was totally diggin' the lucky bamboo that they had all around the alter. The ceremony was extremely long, lots of standing up, then sitting down, then standing again, but the decorations were very simple and beautiful, the bride's dress was gorgeous, and the bride and groom both looked very happy to be exchanging vows.

And there were these huge chandaliers that I was really digging.

Afterwards, we made our way out of the city toward a suburb where the reception was being hosted at a Westin hotel. Very fancy. The ceremony ended around 3.30PM, we were out to the hotel around 4.15PM-4.30PM, something like that, but the reception/cocktail hour didn't open until 6.30PM. Yuck. So, we ended up chilling in the sitting area outside of the reception hall.

Once the reception finally started it was first class. Full open bar, several passed hors d'ourves <-- (yeah, thanks to my own wedding planning I can spell that word off the top of my head. Pretty impressive if I do say so myself.) including spinach and cheese stuffed mushrooms, polish sausages and peppers on skewers, mini phyllo dough brie tartlets with a touch of raspberry jam/preserves, hmm... what else... prosuitto wrapped asparagus, oh! and some sort of yummy looking fritter-ball things with dipping sauce that I did not get to try thankyouverymuchwaiterwhogottomytablethenturnedaround!
The dinner was served as 4 courses (+ wedding cake for dessert, of course!) and a wine (in addition to the sparkling wine we were all served for toasting. Dinner started with a cream of asparagus soup, then a salad with gorgonzola, pears, candied pecans, and raspberry vinagrette, a lemon sorbet intermezzo (Mark was wondering why "ice cream" was being served mid-meal ; ) and then the main course, which was a choice of crab stuffed jumbo shrimp, filet with some sort of red-wine reduction, some sort of chicken (who the heck gets the chicken when you have the previous 2 options???!), and a vegetarian selection, which ended up being Penne with pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and toasted pine nuts (looked, and smelled pretty yummy). All meals (excluding the vegetarian selection) were served with lemon scented green beans and parmesean scalloped potatoes. FYI - I went with the crab stuffed shrimp, it was pretty good taking into consideration that it was seafood cooked then placed on plates with metal covers over them. It can only be so good, but I was fairly impressed. Dinner was topped off with a super-yummy slice of wedding cake - white/vanilla cake with a raspberry preserves/jam layer, and buttercream icing. It was one of the better wedding cakes I've ever tasted. I could have had a whole lot more of that!

Dinner ended around 9.30 and they layed out a big display of desserts, which I actually didn't try because I was full already, and a little bit later they brought out mini-burgers with all the fixin's for people to munch on. Again, I didn't try it, but I thought it was a cute idea. They played fun dance music, a lot of oldies/classics that people know and there were a lot of people dancing. We danced for a bit, but then ended up going home around 11.30PM (12.30AM Ohio time) and when we finally got back to the hotel we just fell into bed and went to sleep. It was a long, LONG day!

Sunday, we woke up and decided that we wanted to see a show - who goes to see a show on Sunday afternoon, right? Well, they were all booked! Unless of course you were willing to pay $80 for really crappy seats due to markup on ticket broker sites, or buy the more expensive $130+ tickets. I don't think that's in our budget. I was really bummed because I kept seeing Wicked advertised everywhere. Lies I tell ya! I TRIED to go see it, so did everyone else! Gah!

So, we didn't end up going to see it. I'm bummed about this. We did end up going to the Magnificent Mile and doing some shopping. We ate lunch at a bakery (like Panera) where there were ads everywhere for a pumpkin spice latte. Sounds good, I'll try one. NOT. I'm sorry, we don't have any today. WTH?! Chicago is a city of LIES!

Eventually we ended up back at the hotel and had some more Chicago-style pizza for dinner, this time a smaller, local place. I swear I could eat that pizza everyday. YUM!

Please note the fact that my trip did indeed revolve around food. That is why I go to Chicago.

It was a very good trip!

Happy Halloween!!!

My niece Kylie, the peapod. Isn't she adorable?!

And Belle, yeah, she's well aware that I'm crazy...

Coming soon (I promise!) a recap of our weekend in Chicago!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Introducing: My beautiful niece, Kylie!

Oh, hai World, I'm baby Kylie!

We welcomed Kylie into the world on Monday, October 13th at 4.33PM. She was 7 pounds even and 16 inches long and she came into the world ready to eat!
Some pics:

Oh, hai, so you're my Momma!

Kylie's first bottle. She is a good eater!

But, I'm still hungry. Maybe I should put this in my mouth and see how it tastes.

My first photo-op with Aunt Stefi!

Kylie's first bath! She didn't like it much, but that's to be expected.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Does it make me a bad person?

Does it make me a bad person that after I cut someone off on the freeway today (their own fault because they decided to try to slow down, instead of speed up when they were trying to merge) I felt a little bad about it for about half a second, but when the Asshat finally went around me, and I saw what political bumper sticker they had on their car, I didn't feel bad anymore because I assumed that they were just irreparably stupid and their lack of merging skills were probably merely one instance in a whole list of stupid things they do on a hourly basis?

Yes, no?

Monday, October 6, 2008


For my own sanity, a list:

Things I like about my new job:

My desk faces a window.
The people here seem to be about 80/20 in favor of being independently competent.
It is not 10 degrees below zero on any given day.
There is free flavored coffee and tea.
I don't have to take calls where people yell at me (at least not yet).
I get vacation just for being an employee (also related to this point - I get the day after Thanksgiving off, I get off at Noon on Christmas Eve, and I get the day after Christmas as a paid holiday, as well as New Year's Eve, which I did not get at the State.)
My working hours aren't bad.
People treat me like a competent adult.

Things I do not like:

The eleventy-billion cold telemarketing calls they are having me do!!!!!11!!!!!1! as busy work instead of training me for my actual job duties. These calls are about to make my head explode. Gah!

Okay, see, that's better, I do have more positives than negatives, but if we don't get started with real work soon, I swear, I'm probably going to go crazy. As it is, I'm not 100% sure that my brain functions properly anymore. Stupid, stupid calls, and stupid, stupid company for not being ready to train me when I started working here 3 weeks AGO!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Chicago, here I come!

I just finished booking the hotel for our upcoming trip to Chicago!

This is so exciting! I've only been there once before (November '05), and last time we were there we got engaged!

One of Mark's college friends is getting married, so we are going out for the wedding and staying in the city through the weekend. We got a pretty good deal on a hotel, so it's going to be more affordable than we had originally thought.

I can't wait to see all of the cool things and most importantly eat some yummy food - including, but certainly not limited to, some delish Chicago-style pizza!


Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Both our new couch and chair have been delivered! The couch got here last week and the chair was delivered yesterday. Mark moved the old furniture out to the garage and put the new furniture in place. It looks really good! I'll have to take a pic of the family room, but this is the set that we purchased (leather couch and matching chair).

I picked up the brand new Nicholas Sparks book from the library yesterday evening! I'm so excited to read it. I have yet to be disappointed by one of his novels.

Last night, Mark went to play poker and I watched the new Pride and Prejudice (the one with Keira Knightly). It was okay. I don't know if it was better, or worse than the version with Collin Firth, but I expect it was better because it was shorter. The movie was okay. I still don't find the story to be that extraordinary, but I'm going to be giving Jane Austen another try. I have Mansfield Park just waiting to be read. We'll see.

On another note, I can. not. believe! that it's October already! Boot season has officially begun for me - I am excited about this - and I have an urge to make a big pot of soup! I promised Mark that I would kick the soup season off with a new loaded baked potato soup recipe that I've been wanting to try. I guess it's time to break out that dutch oven that we got for the wedding!