Posted by Nicole

PHEW! Talk about an exhausting day. It is currently 11 PM… which is 1 AM Illinois time. This morning I woke up at 4 AM (2 AM Cali time… crazy), took a shower, and headed to the airport with my mom. I was thankful to sleep two of the four hours of the flight; otherwise I would have been a zombie today.

Although vacations are fun, it feels good to get back in the normal swing of things. Work was productive, the carpool ride home was speedy, and my late night gym sesh was awesome.

May 19th (a whopping 11 days ago) was the last day I ran. I did three painful miles before calling it quits because my piriformis was aching just too much. I’m so happy that I have NOT run since then, because today I got back in the running game. My body needed REST. (I know 11 days doesn’t seem like a long running break, but it was.)

I did 5.5 wonderful, comfortable miles on the treadmill and felt 90% back to normal. Afterwards, I foam rolled and stretched. I think I’m gonna try a new (more responsible) approach to running…….. and actually take ten minutes to STRETCH afterwards. If there is one thing I have learned from years and years of dancing, it’s the importance of stretching.

Though I’m getting accustomed back into San Jose life, I still want to recap my final day of vacation. Let’s get to it…….

***

The train arrived in Chicago just on time. We were greeted with tall buildings, quite a contrast from the corn and bean fields of Southern Illinois!

IMG 4460 8 Hours in Chicago and a RUN

IMG 4461 8 Hours in Chicago and a RUN

We dropped our suitcases off at my aun’t house and headed out for a late lunch. We decided to follow our tummies, and ended up at Northside Bar & Grill (the same place we went last time we were in Chicago). Once again, the restaurant did not disappoint.

IMG 4464 8 Hours in Chicago and a RUN

We dined al fresco, enjoying the perfectly warm weather. My mom and I split a vegetarian reuben, sweet potato fries, and a salad.

IMG 4462 8 Hours in Chicago and a RUN

 

IMG 4463 8 Hours in Chicago and a RUN

Vegetarian sandwiches are normally super boring, so I rarely order them, but this one was fantastic. I’m glad my mom chose to swap a vegetarian burger for the corned beef so we could “go splitzies” as Lauren would say.

While we digested, we walked around Bucktown, and then drove back to my Aunt Cindy’s house.

Back at her place, my mom and I hung out with the twins for a while before heading out to dinner. I painted their nails, battled them in tickle fights, and enjoyed some quality (god)sister time.

For dinner, Mia suggested we go to Brickhouse… and what she says, goes!

Brickhouse reminded me of an upscale Outback… kind of like BJs.

I rolled with a similar meal (like the past 3 meals out) and ordered a fried appetizer and a salad. Gotta balance is out, right?

IMG 4475 8 Hours in Chicago and a RUN

The zucchini curls were really good, but a little too greasy. The sriracha ranch sauce was awesome, though. As for the wedge salad, it was my first time ordering a salad with bleu cheese dressing, and I actually liked it. Sam dipped her chicken strips in the chunky salad dressing – this surprised me because I thought bleu cheese dressing was the worst when I was a kid. I was all for the ranch :)

A few hours later, we got ready for bed because my mom and I had the early morning wake-up call.

IMG 4474 8 Hours in Chicago and a RUN

Before dozing off, I read a few books with the girls and finally got them to take some silly pictures with me. They are just reaching the camera-shy age, and after taking pictures they yelled “these BETTER not be on FACEBOOK!” Sorry girls, they are on a BLOG.

IMG 4472 8 Hours in Chicago and a RUN

I’ll miss Illinois and my family, but I know I’ll be back soon.

And now… bed!

- Nicole

 

3 Responses to 8 Hours in Chicago and a RUN

  1. GASP!! Not on the blog!!

    Haha, I am shocked that my younger cousins friend me on Facebook. I’m like BACK WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE, I used my dial up AOL to chat to my 4 middle school friends….
    Jordan @ food, sweat, and beers recently posted..The Doughman Race 2012: We Ran, We Ate, We ConqueredMy Profile

  2. Sounds like you had a great time in Chicago with the fam! That veggie sandwich looks delicious– I love it when places get veggie sandwiches right! I’ve never actually been to Chicago (with the exception of getting stuck at the airport for 5 hours on Monday) but really want to go! It looks like such a fun place!
    Emily @ Glitz Glam Granola recently posted..May Foodie Pen PalsMy Profile

  3. [...] bleu cheeeeeese. i’ve been obsessed with bleu cheese since this salad in Illinois last [...]

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