Right when I landed in Chicago, my mom picked me up and we met my Dad and sister Hannah for dinner. I'm really bummed that we didn't get a picture, but we had a fun, fun night and I was so glad that I was able to get into town with a little extra time before I had to work.
Every week my mom and Uncle Jimmy take my Grandma (Kuka) out for breakfast. Whoever is in town or free joins in, and this week my cousin Liz and her kids Jack and Ella were able to join too.
Ella had turned one the day before so I was able to get to celebrate with her since I won't make it back for her big birthday bash.
The weather in Chicago was perfect the whole time I was there. Everyone was so happy to see the first signs of Spring, and I loved the crisp 50/60 degree temps so my mom and I tried to sneak in walks whenever we could.
Believe it or not, that's the only snow I've seen all year (sorry).
We ordered deep dish pizza (obviously) and hung out with my Uncle Charlie and cousins and then I had to leave early Thursday morning to work on a conference in the city through Saturday.
Thankfully the conference ended by 4 each day so I was able to sneak in time to see my friends. Thursday night I finally made it to Eataly and it is just as cool as you would expect.
Literally it's a playground for adults that like to eat and drink, so we were in heaven. Amanda, Sara, and I continued our carb fest at Quartino's which is one of my all time favorites in the city and it's had been a long time since I had been back so the girls happily obliged to take me there.
Friday was another full day of conferences but it was downtown so I was able to sneak breaks and enjoy a few walks in the city which was really nice.
Friday night, after happy hour at Amanda's, Jenna and Hannah joined us for dinner at The Boarding House.
I had not been before, and it was amazing. Everything we had was spot on, service was amazing, and when we couldn't decide what our final 3rd dessert choice would be, the waiter brought out both of what we were deciding between.
We stayed at the table for almost four hours, and while we were there Hannah's boyfriend stopped over to say hi. He was hosting a big St. Patty's day party the next day and was on his way home from the bank when he stopped over.
When we left, we got into the cab and got a call from the restaurant that an envelope with A LOT of cash had been found under our table. All of the girls in the cab had no claim to it, and then it dawned on us that it must have been Michael's.
He had collected everyone's bus money for the next day and the envelope had fallen out of his sweater pocket. Michael came right back to pick it up, but I was overwhelmed with the honesty and kindness of the restaurant, I just had to share the story. They wouldn't even accept a tip for doing the right thing.
I will always be a fan, and if you find yourself in Chicago, I highly recommend you give this restaurant a shot. Top notch food, ambiance and clearly...people.
On Saturday after the conference I took the longest train ever back to the suburbs with about 3 million drunk St. Patty-celebrating fools. I'm pretty sure 3 people were arrested just on our train ride, so by the time we got home (which took an extra friggen hour), I had a pounding headache. My dad made steaks and we watched a movie which was just what the doctor ordered.
Sunday the three of us walked up to breakfast which was a perfect way to start the day.
My mom and I did some shopping, but I came out empty handed and when we got home, I took a long nap before my dad made a perfect St. Patrick's day dinner.
Monday morning came too quick, like it always does, and I was back in LA before I knew it.
A work trip that brings me home is the absolute best kind....so now it's back to reality (and the gym) before Joel's family arrives in California for their spring break on Saturday!