On Sunday it was time for all of us (minus Ryan and Turkey) to head home so that Moose could march with his school’s band in the town Memorial Day parade on Monday. We said a sad goodbye to Combo Breaker:
And got a few last pictures:
We took one last walk around the beautiful hotel lobby:
And then hit the road. We were excited to watch the odometer kick over to 80,000 miles on the way. We were even more excited to stop at Portillo’s and eat lunch on their patio!
It was weird arriving home without two members of our family, but they returned Monday with gifts. I didn’t have the opportunity to stop at a Jewel-Osco while we were in Chicago, but Ryan found time to buy my favorite chocolate torte:
And he brought back staff medals for the entire family as thanks for the work we did over the weekend…I was rather overwhelmed at being recognized!
And so that wraps up what was a slightly shorter than usual but greatly appreciated trip up to Chicagoland for Combo Breaker. Hopefully it won’t be another three years before we make it back, but like I said, I won’t take it for granted again!
The final day of our weekend getaway was fairly low-key. We started with a trip to the Jewel to (finally) buy an I-Pass to make driving on the Chicagoland tollways a bit easier…and then proceeded not to need it at all on the way home. Oh well…at least it will be ready when we go back up in May!
We had planned to walk around the Chicago Botanic Garden on the way home, but wind chills in the single digits made that a less than appealing prospect. So instead, we stopped by the Chicago Baháʼí Temple to marvel at its architecture:
We also drove through the city, just so we could see the skyscrapers:
Of course we had to stop for a moment so I could walk along Lake Michigan. Have you ever walked on frozen sand before? It’s a weird sensation!
And, as always, we stopped for lunch at Portillo’s, where I had my favorite, the Italian beef (dipped, of course!):
So that ends another road-trip wrap-up. It was a pretty short trip compared to what we’re used to, and we didn’t get to do everything I had planned, but it was still a fun getaway!
It’s time for another Markel Family Road-Trip Wrap-Up!
One week ago, the Fab Five and I left home dark and early to drive up to St. Charles, IL, to meet Ryan at Pheasant Run for this year’s Combo Breaker. Even with the lovely Chicago construction traffic, we made it to the resort by 10:30.
As always, we ran to the Super Target to pick up a few things…the novelty has yet to wear off, and it’s still a treat to shop there!
Then it was pool time! I think we spent almost three hours swimming that first day!
Upon returning to our room, we discovered that the resort fairy had stopped by, and left a basket of goodies, Kane County Cougars caps, and vouchers for tickets to a game while we were in town (stay tuned for the details on that!), along with a lovely note!
We went to dinner with my mom and her husband at one of my favorite Chicagoland restaurants…Alfie’s Inn in Glen Ellyn.
We stopped at the Jewel-Osco after dinner to pick up a chocolate torte, a dessert I have loved for about two decades (more on that tomorrow).
We then enjoyed a pleasant walk around the resort before the storms rolled in and we headed to our room to watch the Food Network on cable TV:
Tomorrow’s post will feature our adventures in downtown Chicago!
Day two of our winter getaway began with a look at the calm before the storm at Frosty Faustings. We were able to go in with Ryan and take a look around before it officially got underway…it was definitely the quietest the Clarion Inn was for the next two days! We especially liked Ryan’s streaming location, marked by the St. Louis city flag:
After that, the Fab Five and I headed to Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg. We had stopped there briefly last January, and the children were impressed both with the size of the mall and the fact that it was actually busy. So we decided to go back this year, and walk around the entire mall. It took us three hours, but we went around every level and stopped in many of the stores. We also ate while we were there…we shared a pretzel at Auntie Anne’s and a cinnamon roll at Cinnabon (classic mall foods), and we had lunch at A&W, including root beer floats for everyone. It was a really fun way to spend the morning!
After our mall trip, I wanted to do something educational, so we went to the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst. This was a really unique experience, and I think we all learned a lot (including what the word “lapidary” means!). There was a lot of beautiful stuff on display, but Castle Lizzadro was probably the most beautiful of all:
We then stopped briefly at Frosty Faustings to see what was going on. We didn’t have much time, but we did get to take a look at all the vendors, a little bit of the game play, and we saw Ryan at work on the stream:
Then we went to The Popcorn Store in Wheaton. Originally, I had planned to do this Saturday, but thanks to the impending winter storm, I wasn’t sure that we would make it then. It was definitely too important of a stop to miss, so we squeezed it in to our already busy Friday.
Then on to dinner at Alfie’s Inn in Glen Ellyn, where I enjoyed an amazing patty melt.
We stopped at the Jewel on the way back to the hotel. I continue to be amazed at how little it has changed over the last 20 years…sure, some things are new, but for the most part, it looks like it did when I used to shop there!
Back at the hotel, we divided up our spoils from The Popcorn Store and watched more Food Network while we waited for the snow to start. It was another very relaxing evening!
Our last day of our winter weekend getaway was pretty low-key. We slept in as long as possible, and watched a little more Food Network before we had to pack up and leave the Clarion Inn.
I stopped at the local Jewel-Osco one more time before we left town…I love visiting local grocery store chains when we travel!
And then we hit the road. We weren’t quite ready to say goodbye to Chicago, though, so we stopped at Portillo’s in Normal, IL, on the way home. There’s nothing like Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian beef!
And that was the end of our little vacation. This is the third time we’ve visited Chicago when the Fab Five were really old enough to enjoy it, and we’re already looking forward to our next trip!