The full story

We had a great trip.

We left around 4 from Columbus, and traffic was already getting pretty heavy. We stopped for dinner, and that was about when I started to feel sick. So, the good news was, Brandon was healthy in time for us to leave. Bad news? I wasn’t.

We got to Naperville around midnight, and stayed at a Hampton Inn with Brandon’s dad and brother. The next day, we rode in Brandon’s dad’s rental car to O’Hare and took the subway downtown. We walked around the city and went to the Hancock Observatory deck at sunset. Before the deck, we ate a huge Thanksgiving meal at Maggiano’s, an Italian place that had a special Thanksgiving menu. We got to pick two salads, two entrees, had three appetizers, two side dishes, two pasta dishes, and two desserts. We could barely move when we were done.

We took a train back into Naperville, and went to bed early.

Friday morning, Brandon, his dad, and I went to Walmart at 4:30 a.m. for Black Friday. No one got trampled at our particular Walmart, whew. I can’t even write about the awesome deals I got, since I don’t want to ruin any surprises, but they were amazing. Then we went to Target for more. I love Black Friday. I can’t believe we got his dad to go.

We then got ready to head into the city again, and Brandon and I met my aunt, uncle, and my aunt’s side of the family for lunch at Exchequer. It turns out my aunt has two other nieces. I had a bit of niece envy.

My uncle took Brandon and I around the city a little bit. We went to see Macy’s store front display and we walked to Millennium Park and saw "the bean" which I hadn’t seen before, besides in pictures. Then, we met Brandon’s brother and dad at the Billy Goat Tavern, which my uncle pointed out to us. I had always wanted to go there, but never made it.

On Friday night, most people were pretty wiped, so we ordered Giordano’s pizza to our room at the Sheraton. The Sheraton was an added bonus– I had no idea we were going to be staying there, the same hotel where my Model UN conferences had been held every year.

We again went to bed early Friday, since we’d been up since 4. Saturday, we spent the day at the Field Museum. We saw Sue, the biggest and most complete dinosaur skeleton ever found. Pretty sweet.

After that, we went to the Adler Planetarium, and it felt so good to just sit in a super dark room for a half hour. The stars were pretty sweet, too.

We met up with Brandon’s brother after that, and ate at Bandera’s on Michigan Ave. It was really fancy, and the food was amazing.

We spent a lot of time walking along Michigan, and we covered a lot of ground. It was nice for me to be there around this time of year, because this was a week after Model UN would have taken place. And even though it felt weird hearing what my co-workers did with their families, and I wasn’t with my family, I am glad I wassufficiently distracted from feeling really, really depressed.

We left the city yesterday morning before the snow hit, and got back around 5 (Ohio time). We unpacked our Black Friday haul and felt twinges of buyer’s remorse for all the things (mostly movies) we bought for ourselves. Maybe buying seasons two and three of "The Office" wasn’t really necessary, but at least I won’t have to rent them anymore when I get the mad urge to watch as much of the series as possible in one weekend.

And now, some photos: