Midwest Tour

Oofta! Alex and I just returned from a whirl wind trip back to the Midwest. The purpose of our trip was to attend two weddings, one in Minnesota on September 28th and the other in Illinois on October 5th. Because the weddings were so close in time and proximity we just decided to make a long trip and stay the week in between instead of coming back to Seattle in the middle. I’ll break our trip down into smaller posts, but here’s a good compilation of our trip. Boy did we make the most of our 11 days!

Enjoying the great outdoors in Wisconsin on our tour of the Midwest.

Enjoying the great outdoors in Wisconsin on our tour of the Midwest.

Our trip started on Thursday the 26th when we flew out of Seattle to arrive in Minnesota just in time to have dinner at my mom’s with John and my good friend from high school, Kelsey, and her boyfriend, Franc. We had ribs and Kelsey’s homegrown tomatoes for dinner, along with Kelsey’s first apple pie, which was a great success. After dinner we headed two blocks away to stay at my dad’s house for the evening.

Local fun at Zorbaz

Local fun at Zorbaz

Bright and early on Friday morning we made the 2 1/2 hour drive up to Brainerd, Minnesota to Grandview Lodge, the location of Sarah and Mike’s wedding. We arrived with just enough time to grab a quick lunch before I had a spa appointment with the bridal party and Alex was left to fend for himself until we met up again for the rehearsal dinner.

Getting our nails did :)

Getting our nails did :)

Saturday was Sarah’s wedding day! I got to spend the whole day with the beautiful bride. The weather in the morning and early afternoon was terrible – it was absolutely pouring until about 2 hours from the wedding time, then the sun started to peak out. Thankfully the rain held off for the wedding so we could hold the ceremony outside.

Sarah and me with our hairdos... all ready for the ceremony.

Sarah and me with our hairdos… all ready for the ceremony.

The wedding was beautiful, as was the reception! Sarah had a classy rustic theme for the decor and the bridesmaids all looked beautiful in navy and magenta. Everything went off without a hitch and the DJ kept a lot of us dancing until 1 a.m.!

Here comes the bride!

Here comes the bride!

Sunday Alex and I headed to my dad’s family’s cabin for the afternoon just to have some R & R and have a chance to spend some time with my dad. It was so relaxing and we loved taking a walk through the property. We ended the night with a wonderful bon fire and made s’mores.

The cabin.

The cabin.

Knowing we didn’t have much time to ourselves during the trip, Alex and I snuck away on Monday and Tuesday and went on a little road trip adventure. We headed east to Minnesota’s North Shore, along Lake Superior, and drove up just a bit past Two Harbors to admire the scenery, {barely} changing colors and stop to take in some sights.

Gooseberry Falls - our first stop on the North Shore.

Gooseberry Falls – our first stop on the North Shore.

Once we returned from our drive we squeezed in a meet-up with my longtime friend Esther. We met her and her two {and a half} kiddos for a little play date and got a chance to catch up. It had been over two years since I had last seen her – her youngest was just a few weeks old and now she’s a walking, talking two year old, soon-to-be big sister!

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After our shopping extravaganza we breezed through my grandma’s house and got a quick chance to catch up before meeting my mom and John at Rudy’s Rooftop for a nice dinner. We ended our evening and Minnesota stay back at my dad’s before taking off for Illinois on Wednesday morning.

The Allens in Wisconsin.

The Allens in Wisconsin.

Our first day in Illinois was the best weather of our whole trip there – it was sunny and warm. Once we got to Alex’s parents house we had brunch and then headed up to his family’s lake home in southern Wisconsin. Alex and I wanted to go up to the lake to have a few days in one place since we had been bouncing all over and living out of a suitcase. It was so nice to have a home base for three days!

Weather gorgeous enough to take the boat out one evening.

Weather gorgeous enough to take the boat out one evening.

Finally on Saturday it was time for our last big event, the main reason we were in Illinois in the first place. Kari and Mike’s wedding was at Morton Arboretum, which is about 20 minutes away from Alex’s parents home. The day of the wedding was kind of funky weather, and unfortunately, it did not hold out for their event. The wedding had to be held inside, but thankfully there was a beautiful backdrop overlooking the arboretum. Alex’s good friend Nick, who grew up next door to Kari, was the officiant of the wedding. Nick is quite the charmer and did a fantastic job of making the ceremony just perfect for Kari and Mike.

Alex sure cleans up well!

Alex sure cleans up well!

Mid-way through dinner at the wedding I ended up getting sick and went back to our hotel room. After a bit I started feeling a little better so I sent Alex back to the wedding. It was great that Alex got a chance to catch up with so many old friends, but I was disappointed not to have gotten a chance to chat with them on the rare occasion. Needless to say, I hardly have any photos from the wedding.

My wedding get up.

My wedding get up.

The last day of our trip was spent in Illinois at Alex’s parents house. Alex’s mom put on a little brunch for some family members so that we had a chance to see Alex’s grandma, aunt and two uncles, along with some family friends of the Allens.

Time with Nana.

Time with Nana.

We arrived back to Seattle safe and sound, and due to our crazy cab driver, we made it back home from the airport in record time. Henry and Jackson were very excited to see us, as we were them, and we’re working into a new routine this week.