Trip to Illinois & Wisconsin

Our last stops on our Midwest Tour were in Illinois and Wisconsin, ultimately to attend Alex’s good friend Kari’s wedding on October 5th. We arrived in Illinois early Wednesday morning after our superfast flight from Minneapolis. Since we had been bouncing all over Minnesota for almost a week Alex and I wanted to just plant our feet in one place for a few days, so instead of staying at his parents house for a night, we just stopped there to have brunch and see some renovations they did on the house and then we headed north to their lake home in Wisconsin.

The Allen's condo complex in the sunset.

The Allen’s condo complex in the sunset.

We knew that the weather was probably going to be the nicest on our first day, so we changed into our shorts and tee shirts and sat out on the deck and drank Donna’s newly famous {and delicious!} Sangria for most of the afternoon.

Boat Ride!

Boat Ride!

One of the best parts of being up at the lake is not having an agenda. We spent most of our days relaxing, catching up and just hanging out. There is always a new puzzle waiting to be put together whenever we go back to Illinois or Wisconsin so that kept us occupied for a bit too. It’s always a highlight to be able to take a boat ride around the lake – especially at sunset!

Me and my MIL

Me and my MIL

Boat cruise

Boat cruise

I had somehow never been to Lake Geneva before, which is right next to Lake Delavan, where the Allen’s lake home is. Lake Geneva is a pretty famous summer vacation spot in southern Wisconsin and is home to some local celebrities and really, really nice houses. We spent the better half of one afternoon popping into some of the shops and we enjoyed a nice lunch at Scuttlebutt’s.

 

The Allens in Wisconsin.

The Allens in Wisconsin.

On Friday Alex’s sister flew in from New York. It was so nice to see her! It had been since last Thanksgiving since we had the chance to see her. The day she arrived we went back to Lake Geneva for lunch to a really fun place called Pier 290. After lunch Donna, Alina and I split up and did a little wedding shopping – I got to see Alina’s wedding dress {!!!!} and Donna tried on a few mother-of-the-bride dresses. So fun!

Hanging out with Alina was so much fun.

Hanging out with Alina was so much fun.

We had a mini Iowa State reunion on Friday evening when Bryan, Alex’s cousin, drove up from Chicago to spend the evening with Alex and catch up. It was really nice for the two of them to spend some time together! We’re hoping that Bryan and his girlfriend will pay us a visit in Seattle this year {hint, hint!}.

Alex & Bryan

Alex & Bryan

Saturday morning we headed back to Illinois pretty early because Donna had booked hair appointments for the girls! Alina wanted to get her haircut, so Donna scheduled a blowout for herself and an up-do for me for the wedding on Saturday evening. I love that my mother in-law makes having nice hair such a priority!

Can't really see much of my hair, but it looked cool in back!

Can’t really see much of my hair, but it looked cool in back!

Alex and I left mid-afternoon for Kari and Mike’s wedding at the Morton Arboretum. It ended up pouring just a bit before their wedding, so their original plan of having an outdoor ceremony was out the window. Alex’s friend Nick, who lived next door to Kari growing up, was their officiant and did a fantastic job of making an extremely personal service for them. It was really fun! The wedding was beautiful and it was nice to catch up with some of Alex’s friends from high school. I ended up getting sick mid-way through dinner {no, not from drinking, I had a virus} so I went back to the hotel and then sent Alex back to the wedding so he didn’t miss any time with his friends. He reported the next morning that the rest of the wedding was great and that he enjoyed catching up with his friends who he seldom sees.

Alex all dressed up.

Alex all dressed up.

The next morning we decided to order room service in our hotel room, and conveniently the movie Bridesmaids was on TV at the same time, so that’s how we spent an hour or two Sunday morning before heading back to his parents house for a family brunch.

Family photo!

Family photo!

Once we got back to Batavia, where Alex’s parents live, we got a chance to see Alex’s nana, his aunt Chris and two uncles named Mike, along with Vince and Nora, two family friends of the Allens. It is always nice to get to visit with everyone.

Alina and I with Nana.

Alina and I with Nana.

Before we knew it it was time to head to O’Hare to fly back to Seattle!