My cousin Nate got married in Itasca, IL this past weekend. After a couple years of dating, he finally proposed to Lisa last July, and they married where Lisa grew up! It was a beautiful wedding, I mean, seriously incredible. We headed to Chicago on Thursday and went out to dinner on Thursday night as a family ( all 20 of us!) Joel and I had some great Chicago style deep dish pizza and then topped it off with some peanut butter cup ice cream. Yep, that was a good night!
Friday we decided to head into downtown Chicago. There is a train station just a few blocks from the hotel we stayed at, so we took the train in. It was only $9.00 a person for a round trip ticket to Union Station, which we thought was pretty reasonable and made it much easier than trying to drive there! After our train ride, we stopped for some much needed starbucks (yes, I got decaf, but it was still delish). We started wandering around downtown. Literally wandering. No map, no directions, no idea where we wanted to go. Joel wanted to just "see some stuff" so we did just that. We wandered by Sears Tower, now called the Willis Tower, but we didn't go up due to my fear of heights. We went down to the Art Institute and then walked around Millennium Park.
There are some really cool sculptures in that park. We stopped by a few shops, went through NikeTown, and then decided to head down to the Navy Pier.
Luckily my tech-savvy husband found a free trolley that took us down to the Navy Pier because before that, we were walking everywhere and I was about beat after 5 miles of wandering. So, we hopped on the trolley and it dropped us off at the beginning of the Navy Pier. By far, the coolest part was the Children's Museum (don't judge us!) but the views of Lake Michigan were pretty awesome too.
We went through some of the exhibits, including some incredible stained glass designs.
We talked about going on a dinner cruise on one of the cruise ships, but decided we would get back to Itasca too late since the dinner cruise ended at 11pm and we would have to get back to Union Station and then back to Itasca. Plus, I was already losing steam. So, we took a bus back to Union Station, one which conveniently left the Navy Pier and dropped us off at Union Station, so no more walking!
Saturday was the wedding, and the day was beautiful! Nate and Lisa had a 2:30 ceremony, and then Lisa's parents opened their home to any guests wanting to hang out between the ceremony and reception. Lisa's parents have a beautiful house, garden, and back patio area, which was perfect for guests to relax for a couple hours.
The reception began at 6pm, and was back at the hotel we were all staying at. They had a cocktail hour, followed by dinner, and then a giant party/dance. It was great to see a lot of our family that we don't see very often, and catch up with people we hadn't seen in a few years. Plus, with a little liquid courage, many of the older folks got on the dance floor and boogied the night away. Everything was decorated so thoughtfully, and they didn't miss a single detail!
I punked out early, but blamed on tired baby. I actually lasted until almost midnight, but finally went up stairs and back to bed. Sunday we had to head back to Des Moines and then Monday morning it was back to Webster City, since I had to work at 3pm on Monday. Overall, we had a wonderful trip. I wish it was a longer vacation, and I definitely wish I didn't have to come back to work right away, but we had a fantastic vacation!