Chicago Trip Part 2

Yesterday I blogged about the first part of our trip and the half marathon. Today I’m wrapping up the Chicago trip.

Saturday- The main reason we came home this trip was for the wedding of my cousin Cindy which was on this Saturday. There were two ceremonies in the morning and afternoon, one was Lutheran and the other was a Hindu ceremony which was so elaborate and gorgeous.

BHVYyMFEjJ40zpN0wvktEL7MOPe61kssTR_Wh0n1WyM=w662-h882-noWe had some downtown in between the 10:30 ceremony and the 2:30 ceremony so Dave and I went to lunch in one of our favorite spots in LaGrange, Prasino’s. My friend from junior high happened to be in the neighborhood so she was able to stop by and we got to catch up. She’s one of my oldest friends (that I’ve know the longest, not age wise old, hah!) and I’m so glad we keep in touch. Last year when I moved to California she came to visit me in Santa Monica and we went on the Warner Bros Studio tour and it was awesome!

C713jq78tM-pQ0fhETY6QY2gxWBkNv3nVRpuZFpNcFM=w662-h882-noI got this Mediterranean platter and it was delicious and perfect finger foods.

tywKLTf1BJ9b4ZtWqI1Zuh321YJPblDGRlOQ3q43Dtk=w662-h882-noAlso in the downtown area, they have these new book donation boxes which I thought was so cute!


-Br2tDoOc2H4dFh0hlPWWAf2KnnILxGtjLmcGMiEiqA=w662-h882-noAfter lunch, we stopped by Dave’s parents and hung out with them for a little before going back to my house and picking up my dad and step mom to head to the reception, which was so pretty!

zHg45KMquTB9xZOHIGO-BT0c212vYMUIW4cMmvGSQQk=w662-h882-noHere’s the 4 of us outside taking a quick pic. They are 3 of the most important people in my life, my dad, step mom and Dave. It was SO much fun to go to this wedding together. We all danced and ate the wedding cake (more great pre half marathon food choices) and made wonderful memories together.

Don’t let my dad’s sweet smile fool you, he dances like nobody’s watching and I so wish I had filmed it. He has always been a great dancer and it’s always fun to see him enjoying himself. Seeing him dance and do the twist, was worth it for me to buy the plane ticket home! Hah 🙂 I’m a big ole daddy’s girl. We’ve always been really close and I’m so thankful for our relationship.

wG65NAG0nniqgi4LnMmPrz2II7yJ-SmoYpGr3I3RCBI=w662-h882-noThe day was full of love, laughter, traditions, and dancing and I’m so happy we could be there to celebrate with the happy couple!

On the way home we stopped by the grocery store to buy bananas and wheat bread (my pre race fuel) and ran into our friend Ryan’s mom. That is one of the things I miss the most when I’m home. Running into people I’ve known for years and/or my friend’s parents.  It’s a sign of long friendships, which aren’t always easy to come by when you move a lot and are always trying to make new friends like Dave and I. In the last 3 years we’ve lived in Washington DC, Chicago, Santa Monica, and now Orange County, and we’re moving this fall to Seattle. (Gotta explore and do it now while we don’t have kids yet, or a mortgage to pay!)

I was in bed by about 11pm and gathered all my things for race day before sleeping.

Sunday- This day was one of my favorite days so far this year. It was jam packed with awesomeness and so much fun!

071915 Julie's Half Marathon & House-18I talked about the half marathon yesterday, which started our morning, then afterwards my dad, step mom, and Dave and I went to eat at one of our favorite diners in the city, Eleven City Diner. We used to go here all the time in college and it’s always fun to go back.

37432c9bf1e8c9ece87d38b6cc1ee417I had the turkey slides with a side of my new medal 🙂

lbIay_2dt67BRBpD_1NJHnEK-8NNSrRL9GIAsJeM6zc=w662-h882-noAfter brunch we took an Uber down to the Chicago River and got dropped off by the Chicago Theater. We walked down by the river walk which is so peaceful and pretty.

NH4-gFx4xXRZxd-g_Sax503zgEdGErncZrlpkfC5o_Q=w662-h882-noWe took the Wendella Boat Tour which was so awesome. I learned a lot about the architecture of Chicago, stuff I’d never heard before. I’d highly recommend going on this or any architecture tour. It was beautiful and very informative and it was cheap, only $19 for a 45 minute tour, totally worth it!

93AEgzvpoJoPAQTA2aLprCKt9CoSmD6cSvIrYrlzeCg=w662-h882-noI’ve lived in Chicago my whole life minus the last 3 years and I’m still always amazed and taken aback by this city’s beauty. The architecture is amazing, so pretty and there’s so much to do and there’s such history there.071915 Julie's Half Marathon & House-53

071915 Julie's Half Marathon & House-51

071915 Julie's Half Marathon & House-55Chicago was recently voted 2nd best skyline after Hong Kong by some magazine I can’t remember which, I want to say Forbes. But I can’t argue with that. ZUBlj0pJ1Tg-ek2uVbACYtmFXkR-pb5QzyMG87bts_k=w1176-h882-noI feel like a broken record but I’m telling you Chicago is a gorgeous, gorgeous city. But I will also tell you that as amazing as summers are, the winters can be brutal. But at least you get to fully experience all 4 seasons.

After the architecture tour, we stopped to grab some coffee and sat looking at this view.071915 Julie's Half Marathon & House-59Then we walked down the famous Michigan Avenue where they have lots of upscale shopping, and went to the Water Tower Place, which is a mall, near the John Hancock building.

CT11DGbvNgHGBN3Xo5eiLh8651fewdvdbkSxmvoHzjo=w662-h882-noWe also stopped in the actual Water Tower, which is one of the only buildings they survived the Great Chicago fire.

071915 Julie's Half Marathon & House-64We took another Uber back to our car, my parents took off for home, and Dave and I went to Trader Joe’s to grab some food for Ryan’s BBQ later that night. Found this little guy near Eleven City Diner. I love graffiti/street art!

qdfdpqrEoJYiKGxs0QojElp6YZRph3LF0Gvi-ciQcSI=w1176-h882-noWe drove to Melissa’s place and I showered and we car pooled over to Ryan’s. It was so nice of Ryan to host a little gathering for us and our friends. He went all out, made kabobs, fresh squeezed lemonade and cous cous. It was so nice to catch up and see our friends.

Being home is the best feeling and makes me oh so happy. What are your favorite Chicago hang outs?


Fun Wedding Cake Toppers

With summer almost upon us, it means that it’s also wedding season. I have gone to one wedding this year already in beautiful NYC, and have another one in July in Chicago, October in North Carolina, and if I can make it, in November in Indiana. I love going to weddings. I love the details of the day, seeing everyone so happy and in love, and just being with people I genuinely love.

Recently I came upon a website called Patience Brewster that sells all sorts of creative ornaments, purses, cake toppers, and jewelry, etc and it inspired me to share my current favorite cake toppers for wedding cakes. I always love looking on Pinterest to find inspiration. Here are a few of my favorites:


Dave and I have lived in the suburbs of Chicago, in Chicago (in Wrigleyville), in the Dupont Circle neighborhood and Washington DC, in Santa Monica California, and now in Orange County, California. We love to travel and I love creative ways to show that in wedding details like these two cake toppers:35aef241af16debacdf5b9a4438178afNo matter where I live Chicago will always be home and hold a special place in my heart, so I love this idea of putting a mini skyline on the cake.

tkrny14ss_montage_rachelmatthew_12And lastly I love when couples show their personalities in fun little ways like having penguins as cake toppers!

d684af3cb4d0fa878fdd68ad6d7f0487I went over to the Patience Brewster website and found a bunch of cute Christmas ornaments that they sell and could also be used as a wedding cake topper. And how cute to have your cake topper double as an ornament that you hang on your tree every year?


If you’re looking for a creative gift, ornaments, or otherwise (they also offer purses, journals, and holiday decorations) be sure to check out their delightful website!

What was your favorite cake topper at a wedding you’ve been to? Or what was the significance of your wedding cake topper?