I know it’s a little late, but I don’t want to wait much longer to share some highlights from my trip to Chicago this past weekend. So let’s dive right in!
Mike and I took off from Minneapolis early Friday morning. I was fired up!
After we landed we spent a good amount of time just wandering around, taking in one of our favorite cities. The rest of the day was filled with delicious food, drinks, and quality time with very good friends!
It was a great first day in the city and probably the most fun day of the entire trip. We got to see so many people and visited several of our favorite restaurants, including a hot dog stand near the DePaul campus at 3:00 in the morning. Yikes!
Our second day was a little more low key. Mike went off and did his thing with some friends while my former roommate, Gabby and I hung out.
By our final day in Chicago, Mike and I were pooped. The weather was pretty gloomy which was perfect for a lazy day. I’d say the highlight of the day was our dinner at one of my all-time favorite restaurants, Athenian Room. Mike and I have been going to Athenian Room for a few years and always order the same things; kalamata chicken for Mike and a gyro salad for me!
It was the best and only vacation I’ve had in quite some time. I’m so happy I got to see some of my favorite people in the world, and I can’t wait to go back again. Now it’s time to attempt to eat as healthy as possible after a long weekend of greasy food. Totally worth it!
Guess what! I had a normal person weekend this week! Yup, just plain old saturday and sunday.
I asked for this weekend off months ago so I could visit one of my favorite places in the world: Lake Vermilion!
On Friday night I headed to Minneapolis before Mike and I took off up north Saturday morning. We were only up there for about 36 hours, so it was a pretty jam-packed trip. Here are a just a few highlights in chronological order:
New favorite road trip snack.
Man is water skiing a good workout. My back and forearms are so sore today in a good way. I wish I could do that more often!
And Mike tried water skiing for the first time! Woohoo!
Visiting Gordy’s Hi-Hat in Cloquet on our way back. Just good old fashioned food.
Gordy’s has been a northern Minnesota staple since the 1960s. I think one of the most interesting things about the restaurant is it’s only open during the summer months. That probably explains why it’s always so packed in there!
As a kid I always ordered a cheeseburger and fries at Gordy’s. I decided it’s time to branch out so I went with a spicy chicken burger instead. Not bad! You can tell it’s not just a typical frozen chicken patty. Mike went with the roast beef sandwich and a vanilla shake. We decided to split the ‘small’ fry that wasn’t so small after all.
What a weekend! I woke up at 4:00 this morning to drive back to Sioux Falls and make it to work on time. As you can imagine I’m exhausted, but the trip was definitely worth it.
Oh, and remember how Mike and I were supposed to be ‘good’ for the next three weeks before Chicago? Well, that got thrown out the window at Gordy’s. We’re bad influences on each other!
My 23rd birthday weekend has officially come to a close! It was by far one of the best I can remember.
Mike was visiting Sioux Falls this weekend, which made it extra celebratory. Saturday was my actual birthday, but the festivities really got going into Sunday. Saturday included a solid day of work, and a fun night of bowling with some of my coworkers! It was a blast, despite the fact that I’m a terrible bowler.
My mom was nice enough to have cupcakes from Oh My Cupcakes delivered to the news room Saturday afternoon.
After work, I quickly drove home for the nice birthday dinner Mike had prepared of very fresh and delicious chicken tacos.
The fresh cilantro is what made these tacos. I was thoroughly impressed. The next few hours included several games of bowling, and several rounds of beer before we found ourselves at a bar just next to my apartment building.
On Sunday morning, Mike and I woke up feeling less than 100% due to the previous night’s festivities. It took us a couple hours to gather ourselves and make our way out the door for our drive to Omaha, NE! We’ve been planning a little 24 hours getaway to Omaha for the past couple months. I know Omaha doesn’t necessarily sound like a real hip travel destination, but I must say I was impressed.
We actually stayed just outside of Omaha in Council Bluffs at Harrahs Casino. We have a weird obsession with casino buffets, and naturally we had to seize the opportunity to try out a new one.
This was the first plate for both of us. The first of four, that is. This was by far the healthiest one. Some of the highlights for me were the macaroni and cheese, hash brown casserole, and some type of a spicy sausage. We left the buffet feeling absolutely stuffed, and ended up just relaxing in the hotel room for the next couple hours.
By the time night rolled around, we had somehow made room in our bellies for dinner. We had reservations at 801 Chophouse in downtown Omaha, which I had chosen based on some amazing reviews I read.
We have a really hard time taking good pictures. Anyway, our meals were excellent. As soon as I saw the pork chop on the menu, I was sold. It was really dark in the restaurant and I was a little nervous to use my bright flash, so these photos aren’t the best.
Mike ordered a delicious chicken dish with a sauce of dried fruits and beans. For sides, we went with somewhat healthy options of asparagus and sweet roasted carrots. And then there was my monster pork chop.
It came with an apple and cherry jus, just like the one I’m used to ordering at my favorite restaurant in Chicago, Ditka’s. While it wasn’t quite the same as Ditka’s, it was more than satisfactory. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pork chop as thick as this one was.
Look at that thing! Mike and I tried to guess how many grams of protein were in the entire thing (which I ate all of), and decided it had to be at least 60 grams. Hey, at least pork is lean, right? In our final attempt to get one good picture from the night, we asked our sever to take a couple of us.
Unfortunately, the combination of living in the sunless midwest and the bright flash turned us into ghosts. Oh well! We were so exhausted from the weekend that we didn’t even make it down to the casino like we had planned. We spent Monday morning exploring a bit of downtown Omaha and the Old Market area. We treated ourselves to one last birthday weekend indulgence at a bakery in Old Market.
That is supposed to be one slice of apple crisp. Apparently ogres are common diners at this bakery, because I don’t know where they got the idea that this is a normal sized portion.
Overall, this weekend left me full and happy. Let’s hope the rest of the year brings the same feelings.