Weekend in Chicago

This past weekend we hopped on a plane and headed to Chicago for a few days with Alex’s family. Alex’s cousin Josh was getting married, which prompted the trip, but we took an extra day to spend with Alex’s sister and her husband in the city.

{quick selfie at Josh & Janessa's wedding}

{quick selfie at Josh & Janessa’s wedding}

We flew in late Thursday night by way of Alaska Airlines, our new favorite airline. Alaska is nothing short of amazing – we had such a great flying experience. Alina and Alberto picked us up and whisked us off to their apartment in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago. They just bought a new apartment a few blocks away but don’t close for a week so we weren’t able to see it quite yet.

{Alex and Alberto had a good time smoking hookah together}

{Alex and Alberto had a good time smoking hookah together out on the porch}

Our time in Chicago was quick and the weather was horrible. The predicted high on Friday, our only day in the city, was 86 degrees and it was supposed to rain. In reality it might have gotten to 55 or 60 degrees with a nice, consistent drizzle. Alex and I were not prepared for the chilly, rainy weather {go figure}, so after Alina and I went to yoga the four of us headed to a nearby neighborhood for lunch and a stroll.

{the neighborhood we stopped at was very Swedish so we popped into a Swedish bakery and got some treats}

{the neighborhood we stopped at was very Swedish so we popped into a Swedish bakery and got some treats}

That night we had an awesome dinner at Gather, a restaurant in the Lincoln Square neighborhood, which is close to Alina and Alberto’s place. The restaurant specializes in sharable plates, so we got a bunch of stuff to share. Everything was delicious! We had a really nice evening together.

{great evening out in Chicago!}

{great evening out in Chicago!}

Saturday morning we drove west to Batavia where Alex’s parents live. I had a brunch to attend in the nearby town of Geneva which was planned to honor my college friend Julie, who is getting married in October. It was really nice to spend some time with Julie and two of the other bridesmaids, plus it was a really nice morning.

{bridesmaids brunch!}

{bridesmaids brunch!}

That evening we were joined by Alex’s cousin Bryan, and his wife, Sarah, and some friends of Alina’s, Atalie and Ben, as we went to Josh and Janessa’s wedding. By mid-afternoon it was hot. Hot and huuuumid. And there were looming storms on the horizon. Perfect weather for a barn/outdoor wedding!

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The wedding was held at Heritage Prairie Farms in Elburn, Illinois. The property was beautiful – lush, rolling grass and gardens, along with a few barns, a cute little house and a huge party tent. Josh, the groom, is Alex’s cousin, but they also graduated in the same class from the same high school, so while this was a family wedding, it was also a “friend” wedding where Alex got to see a lot of his old high school classmates.

{all dressed up and ready to go!}

{all dressed up and ready to go!}

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{the lovely property}

{the lovely property}

{inside the barn where the ceremony took place}

{inside the barn where the ceremony took place}

{the reception tent - thank goodness we had a covered spot because it POURED later on in the evening}

{the reception tent – thank goodness we had a covered spot because it POURED later on in the evening}

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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{Bryan and Sarah :)}

{Bryan and Sarah :)}

{The cake cutting!}

{The cake cutting!}

{Alex and me with Stacy, Alex's cousin, and Alberto}

{Alex and me with Stacy, Alex’s cousin, and Alberto}

The evening was really nice. We had a great time seeing Alex’s family, dancing and catching up with Alex’s old friends from high school.

{Alina and Josh}

{Alina and Josh}

Our last day in Illinois was fairly low-key. We spent the morning just lounging around, chatting and hanging out. Bryan, Sarah, Atalie and Ben stayed over at Alex’s parents house, so it was nice for everyone to have more time together. I had one more bridal party affair to attend – I had my friend Julie’s bridal shower on Sunday afternoon, followed by a quick stop at the Bailey’s {family friends of Alex’s parents} new house.

{the bridesmaids with the blushing bride (Julie is in the middle)}

{the bridesmaids with the blushing bride (Julie is in the middle)}

We had a really nice trip. It’s always great to catch up with Alex’s family – plus it had been quite some time since I had been back in Batavia and Chicago. But, it won’t be long before we’ll be back again…