Monday, June 29


Sam & I just returned from a fun weekend getaway to Chicago. His brother, Jacob, got married on Friday evening & we enjoyed helping him celebrate the start of his new life with his new wife! (It was nice to finally meet our new sister-in-law before Jacob moves her away to Hawaii!)

We tried to make the most of our short visit & enjoyed a sampling of many tourist attractions. But as in all our travels, we realize there was so much we didn't see & do. We'd love to visit again someday to see all the wonderful museums & parks that we missed on this visit.

On Thursday, we arrived at Violeta's (new sis-in-law) house to meet her family. Afterwards, we checked in at our hotel in the charming little community of Oak Brook. It was a beautiful town with beautiful old homes! Our hotel was on the grounds of the McDonald's headquarters, but little did we realize we were staying right next to Hamburger University! No lie...

That evening, we met Sam's family & the wedding party at the church to participate in the wedding rehearsal. Unfortunately, the air conditioner in the church building was not working, so it was beastly hot during the entire rehearsal! We could NOT wait for the rehearsal to be over so we could enjoy the cooler air outside!

These cute kiddos did their best to keep their minds off the stifling heat inside the church building:

Friday, Sam & I slept in late, then enjoyed shopping & exploring around the small town of Oak Brook. We spent most of our time inside a Borders Bookstore... something we didn't have in the Philippines. I browsed for a gift for the soon to be married couple, while Sam enjoyed the cafe upstairs. We then headed to the wedding, only to find out that the air conditioner STILL was not working! (Those poor men in their suits!) Other than that minor glitch, the wedding proceeded beautifully! The groom was beaming & the bride was glowing. And, the rest of us were sweating profusely! But, it wasn't about us... so we sucked it up & celebrated the start of Jacob & Violeta's marriage. They made a beautiful bride & groom! Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of them, but got a nice one of Sam & I after the wedding:

On Saturday, we checked out of our McDonald's hotel & checked into a neat little historical hotel in downtown Chicago... Hotel Blake. This hotel is located in the old Morton Salt building & was renovated into a great little contemporary inn. We loved our overnight stay here!

After checking in, we met up with friends for lunch at the Chicago House of Blues. The hostess gave us a tour of the concert hall after we finished eating & was full of fun information about the House of Blues. We really enjoyed our time there!

We then ventured over to Sears Tower, which is now officially renamed Willis Tower. Since the new glass Skydeck was being remodeled, we could only go up to the 99th floor. But, that was enough for some amazing views of the beautiful city of Chicago:

When we returned to solid ground, we took off towards Navy Pier & Grant Park to enjoy the 2009 Taste of Chicago. We enjoyed a leisurely ride on the ferris wheel & snacked on ice cream, cotton candy & popcorn at the Pier. After chilling out for a bit & resting our tired feet, we ventured on an hour long river boat tour. We chose the architectural tour & enjoyed listening to the guide tell us all about the rich history of the buildings in downtown Chicago. It was truly fascinating! We then trekked over to the Taste of Chicago to listen to the Counting Crows free outdoor concert. We arrived just in time to hear their last song & watch Adam Duritz's famous dreadlocks walk off the stage. Huge bummer! We spent a bit of time sampling some yummy local food before heading to Millenium Park. Afterwards we walked back to the Pier to meet up with Sam's family for the Saturday evening fireworks show. It was a jam packed day full of Chicago fun!

View from top of ferris wheel:
Some interesting buildings along our architectural tour:

Millenium Park
A huge thanks to my parents & my sister for keeping the kiddos busy & happy while we were gone. It's so wonderful to be back in Texas with family nearby! We are blessed to be home!


Dara said...

So much fun! Love all the pictures. I also love the picture of you and Sam after the wedding - you both look fabulous. Can't wait to see it you both in person!!! Don't forget to at least look in Woodbridge... there are so many great homes and families there. We LOVE it! We are in the Highlands section and there are soooo many children there. It is a fun neighborhood.

Becky said...

cute dress, amberly! and I think you should homeshop in to put my 2 cents in, too!