Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chicago Vacation

We had a great vacation in the windy city of Chicago. This is my first time visiting this amazing city and I loved it. And what made it extra special was my in-laws met up with us. Can I just say, I have the best in-laws! They are tons of fun to be around and are just darn good people.

As soon as we checked into the hotel I knew it was going to be a good vacation-simply because I liked the hotel. You see, I have this thing for hotels. They basically gross me out, and if they are not super clean and up to date then I have a hard time staying in them. This hotel was very modern and nice and had lots of amenities. But, of course, I still brought my own bedding and my super-duper-homemade-germ killer spray (aka vinegar and essential oils) which I use to douse everything upon immediate arrival of the room.

We woke up Sunday morning and I made a quick run to Trader Joe's. This was my first time in one of these stores and I am counting down the days (9 days) until we get one here in KC. Then all of us took the train to downtown. This was quite the experience trying to figure out which one to get on, which one to change over to and where to get off. I'm sure it was quite the site watching all 14 of us maneuver our way through the city.

You know, I thought I lived in a fairly big city. Whateva! KC ain't got nothin' on Chicago. There is so much to do and see in Chicago. And please forgive me for saying this, but I noticed right away that people are much more in shape here. There were so many bike riders, roller bladers, boat riders, walkers, etc. It made me wish I lived in a more walkable city.

We visited the Navy Pier, which is one of the city's biggest attractions. I loved seeing the beautiful lake. It was huge.  We got to take a fairy ride to cross the lake. We also rode rides in the carnival area and played a game of miniature golf. Maleah and Jarod had a great time. I think it made Jarod want to move to a bigger city.

Maleah and Uncle Charlie

Michaela, Mike's daughter, also flew in from Mississippi. We don't get to see her very often so it was nice that she was able to be with us. Maleah loves her big sis.
Maleah and Michaela

My bro-in-law, John, took us to eat at this AMAZING vegan/vegetarian restaurant in an area of the city called Lakeview. What a funky, artsy fun area. The food at this place was crazy good. It was funny watching the non-vegetarian family members try to order something off of the menu. I kept hearing, "What the heck is that?" and "I'm not eating that!" But everybody ended up really liking what they ordered. I thought it was so great that everyone ventured out and tried something new.

And, of course, if there's an Ikea in the city I'm going! I simply cannot understand why we don't have one. Maybe that's a good thing, though, because I would have to practice the art of restraining, something that doesn't come easy to me.

grubbin' at Ikea

Here we are saying our good-byes. I hated having to tell them good-bye. Once a year is just not enough time to spend with loved ones. But I am super grateful that we got to take this trip and am looking forward to doing it again.

me and Mom Grigsby


  1. Hi Mara:

    I found your blog through the KC Star. I'm a current IIN student (I started March 2011) and live in KC. I'd love to connect with you in person if you are interested. I love IIN but am yearning for more in-person contact with fellow classmates. If you're interested in meeting sometime, please email me at sara{at}dstreetwellness{dot}com.


  2. Sara, so great to meet another IIN student in the area. I just sent you an email.