Sunday, November 30, 2008


About a week ago, I was wishing that Jim and I could "get away" for an overnight trip, as we sometimes enjoy doing. It's nice to stay in a hotel (I have always loved it!) and be somewhere different, and feels like a mini-vacation. Well, the exact same day I was mentioning to a friend of mine how I wanted to do that, Jim got a notification from the USCIS that he had to go to Naperville to get biometrics. This is because he has just applied to have the conditions lifted on his permanent residency. Never mind the fact that he already did this two years ago (do fingerprints change??) . . .that's okay. It gave us the excuse we needed to get away!

We stayed about a mile from the biometrics office in Naperville's Staybridge Suites. We LOVED the hotel! It was clean and very nicely decorated. Our room was huge, and had a fridge, stove, microwave, sink, dishwasher, dishes, cable, HBO, DVD player . . .a couch, a desk, and a great view! On top of that, we knew that we would get "light Hors D'oeuvres" on Thursday night. This consisted of: mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey, sweet potatoes, really nice green salad, corn, biscuits, and breadsticks. This was served buffet style, all you could eat, and also included limitless wine (5 different kinds), beer (Miller Light and Samuel Adams Winter Lager), and soda (including iced tea, Powerade, and lemonade). Now, while I clearly couldn't take advantage of the beer or wine, I was still impressed by the offering, and Jim had a glass of pinot grigio . . .and when we go back next summer (which we've already planned to do!) I will certainly enjoy a small glass of wine. :)

That night we drove downtown to see the Christmas window displays at Macy's. It was a lot of fun, though we were a little confused by the window theme. I can't really describe it, except to say that it was like . . .little fairy-type creatures (kind of looked like Thing 1 and Thing 2) who made Christmas stuff out of Chicago . . .like bubblegum using bubbles from Lake Michigan. ?? Your guess is as good as mine. The poems were bizarre and did little to shed any light on the whole thing. But we had a great time and are glad we went! The only glitch was that I am pregnant, and a pregnant woman has to pee . . .a lot. So even though I peed several times before we left, I had to go REALLY BAD when we got there, and it being Thanksgiving, EVERYTHING WAS CLOSED!!!! And the people we asked for help we SOOOOO friendly (note the sarcasm). The clerk in the parking garage looked at me as though I were the dirtiest, most disgusting piece of human crap she'd ever seen and shook her head with a vengeance. hahaha Needless to say, I was relieved when we found a Walgreen's store open on the way back.

The next morning we enjoyed a huge full breakfast of waffles, oatmeal, cold cereal, omelets, bacon, sausage, hash browns, biscuits, gravy, donuts, muffins, bagels, toast, hard-boiled eggs, various fruit, yogurt, and various fruit juices. Yummmmy. We also discovered the hotel had a really nice pool, hot tub, and exercise room, along with FREE washers and dryers for guests! We debated for about 2 hours about going to the Brookfield Zoo. We had decided to go, when I started to feel a little heavy and crampy . . .which is "normal" (apparently) for this stage of pregnancy, but for someone like me, it's hard to know what normal is, and so we decided to take it easy instead. We agreed that the Brookfield trip will be another thing we do when we stay next summer, as well as Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum of Natural History, The Museum of Science and Industry, and The Art Institute of Chicago. Looks like we'll have to stay for a week!

So instead of going to the zoo, we settled for coffee and reading at Borders, followed by a painful excursion into a parking lot . . .see, we forgot it was "Black Friday" (shuddering) and decided to go out for lunch at a Cajun place. So we turned into a mall parking lot at 12:50 PM, realizing instantly it was a mistake. They had traffic cones blocking off the turn we needed to take, because they wanted all traffic to move in a gigantic circle around the mall. There were very frustrated traffic cops at every intersection, and people literally (for real!) crashing their cars into each other, all trying to get the BEST DEAL! The circle was 2 lanes wide on each side. Well, we travelled all the way around, could not get over to the turning lane to get to the restaurant we wanted, passed the point where we needed to turn to get out of the lot because no one would let us over STILL, continued in another half-circle before FINALLY we caught a break and were able to get over . . .and turned out of the parking lot at 1:20 p.m. THIRTY minutes and several near-crashes later, we finally were free. I'm not even going to get started on how I feel about the way most people behave on "Black Friday" because this blog would never end. We ended up stopping about 20 miles further on our route at a place called Johnny Rockets, which was like an old-fashioned diner. We arrived home at dusk to pick up our whiny little Beagle from the kennel. And I say whiny only because it's very cute the way she whines when we get her . . .like, "How COULD you??" All the way home, we ask her about various favorite pursuits of hers, such as, "You want to see Sammy???" (our cat) and she howls hysterically.

All in all, we had a wonderful time and a little trip away from home was just what the doctor ordered. Now, back to reality. *sigh*

I had to post this, just so Jim's family could see what a dork he still is! hahaha


Anonymous said...

sounds awesome :)

glad you had fun!

-lisa l

Carry Out said...

I went to Chicago at Christmas time last year...beautiful! I'm jealous:)

Becky said...

Lol at the parking lot! That's the way I feel about black friday! Haha!

I'm so glad to hear that you had a wonderful time. You deserve it!!

I'm also glad to hear that your doctors appointment went well. Keep up the good work! I know this is the miracle you've been waiting for!