On Wednesday, September 20th, I packed my bags and bid farewell to Rizzo then headed over to Sissy’s with her and Tim. We spent the night and woke up a couple of hours later, Thursday, where I was devastated to find that I forgot to pack my jeans.
Anyone who knows me knows that I cannot stand sitting in many public seats without my legs covered up due to the nasty seats. But I prevailed – I put on my athletic shorts and we carried on for our five am flight where they gave out Stroopwafles as a snack.
We landed at eight and bought a day’s worth of public transportation.
After a fairly long train ride and a short walk later, we checked into our hotels, threw our bags in the room and headed off to breakfast.
After a short walk, we ended up at Yolk.They messed up mine and BIL’s order but other than that, it was delicious! Too much food for one person!
We walked across the Chicago Riverwalk towards a Loft nearby just so I can buy a pair of jeans. Thank goodness! Such a beautiful view and look how scary it is that they all park backward in that garage!
Then we all headed to Millennium Park where we checked out the famous bean, The Cloud Gate. So many fingerprints were smeared all over that bean and I was sad to find that I couldn’t get a flawless picture because of it and I wasn’t about to wipe it down (shuddering at the thought of all the germs!).
And the Crown Fountain. I’m not too sure what the faces are about but there were so many little kids splashing around which was adorable.
After standing around for a while, we decided to hop on a bus to make use of our one-day transportation pass and headed to Navy Pier.
Navy Pier is right next to the Children’s Museum and therefore we saw a machine making many bubbles with little kids running through it.
Sissy and Tim played with the bubbles and said that it was super sticky so I can’t even imagine the parents having to clean these babies off!
We walked around the pier and due to the heat BIL got a margarita to go at Margaritaville while Tim and I got a cup of water.
I stopped into Making History Chicago, a souvenir shop for my usual postcard purchase before we headed outside.
Look at that view. I wish I lived somewhere where I can walk and see this. But I probably won’t enjoy it as much if it was at my fingertips, though.
As we were walking back to the bus stop, we noticed a lot of spiderwebs all over the beautiful flowers so I just had to get a snap … and also because Scruffy hates spiders and Sissy and BIL thought it’d be funny to send him some love this way.
I need to better my picture taking skills but you can make out that gorgeous spun web.
We hopped on the Nordiac bus and a short walk later, we were at Goose Island Tap Room.
We sat and chatted for a long while since we were drenched in sweat and dying from the heat.
What a coincidence to see this sign. So much love coming all the way from Chicago.
We were recommended to have dinner at Au Cheval and decided it was time to check out the reviews where we found out that the wait was going to be horrific. The boys chugged their beers and we headed there just in time because when we got seated, people started piling in.Sissy’s order. I’ve never had garlic aioli I wasn’t a fan of until now and only because the mornay sauce was the bomb! Apparently, the porterhouse (a two to three serving) has limited availability and BIL just had to order it. Tim and I declined to share since we wanted the burger (what they’re known for) but we did hint we wouldn’t mind trying a small piece. Towards the end, BIL shared a bit more than intended. Though it was good, I’m not a big fan of pork (other than the bone area) so not something I’d recommend though BIL and Tim probably will.
Tim and I both got the single cheeseburger with added egg. Tim added bacon as well so just picture mine without bacon. It also comes with a pickle. Delicious. Maybe I was super hungry but it could pass as one of the best burgers I’ve had in forever.I didn’t know Sissy got fries so I ordered the regular and I kept trying to steal some of her mornay sauce. Without that sauce the fries aren’t worth the money.
We walked to Walgreens for water and little knickknacks we didn’t pack before heading back to the hotel and calling it a night. We slept like babies due to lack of sleep the night before.
We woke up Friday morning and had breakfast at the hotel.
We played a couple rounds of some card game BIL brought with him (Gordon and Patsy stopped by to say hi since they had just landed) then packed up our bags, checked out, and checked in our bags at the concierge.
Then headed to Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria. That was the reason for the card playing.Sissy being vegetarian got the personal pizza that served one and even then did not finish due to a heavier breakfast. It was good but the crust on the bottom was quite soggy due to all the veggies. Tim, BIL, and I shared a large and though I am a lover of pan pizza, I will say, with all the ingredients in there, the crust on the bottom was still super crispy.
Look at how the ingredients pile up! And there was still leftovers — the boys tried so hard to shove it down their throats and did not complete the challenge.
We headed back to the hotel, got our luggage, and headed to Hertz to pick up our car.
We started our drive towards Madison, Wisconsin where I worked on updating and memorizing the wedding schedule and took a nap.
Soon enough, we were checking into the hotel where we received goodie bags from the bride and groom.
After dropping our luggage off at our rooms we went to The Great Dane, a pub and brewing company.
We ordered beers and snacks while playing Chinese card game.I got the sampler tasting cup size so it was only like a dollar something. So worth it since I don’t drink much. I wish more places did it that way! It was nothing special. Tasted like fried mozzarella. No squeak, which is what I heard makes cheese curds, cheese curds. This was a better option, cheaper too than the cheese curds. We scarfed these down very quickly.
After, we dropped Tim off at Ichiban Sichuan for the wedding rehearsal dinner – without the rehearsal – and headed to the lake.
We walked around and I was able to capture some shots.
I tried to capture the ducks and only got this good picture since seconds after this shot some kids ran up to them telling them to shoo away.
We walked into Graze for dinner but due to a short wait, we took a walk around the capital.
Look how it lights up!
And how it reflects off the glass building across the street. Graze is located on the right of the building.Sissy ordered the bibimbap which was way better than I expected since I live in a city with a Chinatown. Though my gnocchi was to die for, especially the vegetables thrown in there, it was super expensive for the amount of food I got. I forgot that’s how fancy places are.
We walked into Walgreens for my usual postcard purchase before we headed back to the hotel where I got ready for tomorrow’s big day while Sissy, BIL, and Tim played more card games.
Saturday morning, Sarah and Jacky’s wedding day … but first breakfast at the hotel after a quick stop by Brudda’s and SIL’s room to pick up Emmy to join us.
After breakfast, Emmy, Sissy, Brudda, SIL, BIL, and Peggy all went to Dane County Farmer’s Market. We kept bumping into people and it took us a while to realize that everyone was going in one direction and that it looped around the capital.
Brudda and I took so many shots of sunflowers since the bees were buzzing. He has way better shots than mine (he has a better camera too) but it was fun getting to shoot alongside him since these moments are very rare now.
A bunch of various flowers was way cheaper than those we find here in Houston. I am not a lover of flowers but the colors captivated me.
And the tri-color cauliflowers! I wished so bad that we had an extra day and a kitchen so that we could buy ingredients and make a meal!
Everyone bough mango smoothies to beat the heat except for me. Does anyone else get even thirstier after drinking juices?
Soon enough we found a cheese curd stand worth stopping for, Schroeder Kase.
I went crazy and bought a few bags and Sissy and BIL bought a couple. So much squeak! Sadly the squeak was gone when we got it home but a few short seconds in the microwave put the squeak back (a bit).
One of the places I wanted to visit for cheese shopping was Fromagination so I was ecstatic to find out that it was at the same place as the market!
Look at all the cheese! SIL and I were able to try some before we made our purchases. Great customer service here.
We headed back to the hotel where I quickly picked up my things and headed to Olbrich Botanical Gardens with John, Tim, and Jo to set up the reception area. John and Tim got us Chickfila for lunch. Yum!
After much set back the wedding was on its way. I was able to catch a shot of the bride and father of the bride as they walked down the aisle toward the groom and pastor. Not to toot my own horn but I love this shot and what this shot symbolizes.
There was a buffet of food and I must say the best wedding food I’ve had ever … and I’ve been to many weddings!
The bride and groom even paid for everyone at the wedding to attend the Gleam: Art in a New Light Exhibit which the gardens held for the public.
There were lights hanging off and wrapped around trees and even lighted up sculptures. I love little lights! Sigh … so pretty. My photography skills are still lacking, but I am still going to share the pictures below.
After cleaning up and making sure everyone has left the location we headed back to the hotel, changed, and packed up. Then it was a long drive back to the Chicago airport.
Our flight was at five am Sunday so we didn’t get any sleep. We knocked out on the plane – I missed snack time! When we landed a little before eight am we stopped by Sissy’s and BIL’s house before heading home and dropping Tim off on the way.
Once home we all took showers then headed to New Pho Katy with the family and Tim and all head back to our house where we played a few card games before Scruffy and Luna came over.
We played a round of Camel Up before disbanding and calling it a day. We were all pooped and couldn’t wait to lay in bed and do nothing.
I accepted when Sarah asked me to be her day of wedding coordinator. I’ve done certain parts of other weddings in the past but to be in control of a whole day was something I never imagined especially coming from my cousin! I can only hope I did a good enough job to where the bride and groom had a swell time. It was a great experience and I had fun doing it!
Sarah and Jacky had their tea ceremony on Saturday, September 30th at her parents’ house and afterward, we all went to Sushi9. Scruffy got to experience how a tea ceremony kind of works and I was so thankful he showed up even though he was not feeling well. Trooper. Now that her wedding is over, who is next? Call me up. I can be your coordinator. hehe