So Proud

My boyfriend (the BOY) is an impressive guy!

Three years ago, he took the risk of quitting his stable job to pursue his law school degree.

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First Day of Law School

He spent countless hours commuting by train, reading rules and torts, writing papers, taking notes, reviewing his notes, and inserting law jargon into every day conversation.  He has succeeded in building relationships with his fellow students and professors and excelled academically.  I couldn’t be more proud of all of his accomplishments up to and including his graduation!

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Law School Graduation

I can’t decide if the past three years have gone by slowly or flown by in a heart beat, but somehow we made it from then until now.  And now (today and tomorrow), the BOY sits for the Bar.  He has studied intensely over these past few months and is prepared for these two days (even if he doesn’t feel it yet).  I am proud of his effort.  I am proud of his dedication. I am proud of his drive.  I am proud of him every day.  No matter what the outcome of this test, I will forever be proud of the BOY for following his dreams and finding his passion.  I look forward to celebrating all of this Wednesday night at dinner downtown!

My Day Began Like This…

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The BOY pacing…

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Cooper pacing…

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And me having a side of Bar prep with my morning tea.

All of this before 9:30am : )

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At 10, I met my trainer who I hadn’t seen in a few weeks due to schedules and sickness.  It felt good to get back into the gym and lift some weights.  It was obvious that I’m still not back to 100%, but I faked it the best I could.

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Lunch was leftover Thai…yum!

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Before

And then I went and got a serious haircut.

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After

She did a great job styling my hair and I’m not so sure that I can do it as cute.  But I’ve already ordered a new curling iron on Amazon and I’m up for the challenge.  This afternoon, I drove the BOY to the train station.  He is staying in the city for two nights during the Bar.  After 3 years of school and a summer of fun, I can’t believe it’s finally here!

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Coop and I are having a rare night by ourselves.  I made Crockpot Butter Chicken for dinner and it was fantastic!  I had some paper work to get through before work tomorrow and since I finished Reconstructing Amelia last night (add it to your MUST READ list), I’m watching a little Major Crimes tonight.

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And the night ended like that…

I Wasn’t Sore Until Warrior II

I woke up feeling surprisingly good this morning (considering yesterday’s 3 and a half hour workout) and not that sore at all.  I give credit to the fact that we didn’t go too fast and that I was well rested.  Early this morning, I drove into the city to meet a friend for coffee before going to yoga with my mom and our friends. 

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It is always a treat to attend one of these special classes with this exceptional teacher.  This morning’s class might have been my favorite.  Partially this is due to the company.  I love doing yoga with my mom and our friends!  Another part has to do with the unique and challenging class.  Today we worked to open our tightest areas and flowed countless times through chaturanga.  I discovered that my arms AND legs were tired the first time I entered Warrior II, but they held out for the entire class.  I ROCKED my handstand and dancer pose (if I do say so myself).  I felt flexible, strong, and confident.  It was a beautiful way to start the day.

Followed by an impromptu lunch attended by everyone including the newlyweds freshly back from their honeymoon.  Everyone except the BOY who was studying for the bar.  With T minus 2 days to go, this was totally understandable!  Together we watched the exciting sprint finale to the tour.  After 21 days, I’m not sure what I’m going to watch any more.  Oh yea…So You Think You Can Dance!  After lunch, the ladies headed off to do some shopping.  Athleta is having a HUGE sale with everything on sale ON SALE!  I had some saved up gift cards and walked out with a new gym bag, bathing suit top for my trip, and an awesome gift for my trainer.

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My mom did well too!  I made one more stop at the Starbucks with my treat receipt for a 2$ green tea latte before driving back to the suburbs to do dinner with the BOY.  I’m working on my meal plan for the week ahead and pulling together some of my new dresses and cute summer clothes for our trip to San Fran which is now only one week away!  I’ll leave you with today’s as seen on Instagram photo…

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Good Night!

I’m Still Addicted to the Tour!

After not getting to watch much of the tour this week, I arrived home from work last night with Chipotle for dinner declaring that I would be watching hours of the tour to catch up before today’s time trials.  The BOY was too exhausted to fight and knew that not only was he outnumbered (Cooper is now a fan) that he really should be studying!

My triathlon friend had a last minute change of plans and invited me to join her on her longest BRICK this morning.  I confessed that I was nowhere near 100% and with my company may come a few snot rockets.  She didn’t seemed phased and we agreed to meet at the River path near my house.

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As I fell asleep last night, it occurred to me that I didn’t have anything to eat for breakfast and was lacking the usual fuel I would bring along for a training ride.  When I woke up, I decided to go to one of my favorite training breakfasts, the Dough Boy Smoothie.  Typically, I would set everything up the night before, but instead, I threw the ingredients (using a peach and some blueberries instead of banana) into the blender first thing this morning.  Then, got about feeding Cooper breakfast and pulling together my gear for the BRICK, before blending it all together.

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Breakfast was lacking some protein, but super delicious and exactly what I knew my stomach would need on a day like today.  And, I found a few Kind Bars in the pantry to nosh on during the ride.

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I met my friend at the Dairy Queen and we took a quick pre ride selfie before riding north.  This is the same path I rode a few weeks ago at the start of the tour.  I made it farther north today than last time, but still didn’t find the mountains : )  We had a time goal instead of a mileage goal, but after 3 hours, we had almost 33 miles behind us.  We rode a pretty slow pace, which was perfect for my body, but I had more energy than I expected.  Finally, some benefit of sitting on the couch for a few days!

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It was quick switch out of helmets before making our way back to the trail for a 30 minute run jog during which we talked books.  I raved about Reconstructing Amelia and she told me how funny Bossy Pants was.  I need to pick that up before our trip to California!  I was definitely tired when we strode back into the Dairy Queen parking lot, but not nearly as wrecked as I expected.

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Post Brick Selfie

I stopped at my favorite sandwich shop (Which Wich?) on the way home to grab a warm chicken pesto on wheat that I devoured during the start to today’s tour on the DVR.

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After lunch and a shower, I wanted nothing more than to sit back and watch time trials.  But I had a first birthday party to attend!  I was able to watch Tony Martin and saved the rest for tonight, which I knew might take some convincing when the BOY returned from the library.

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The First Birthday Fiesta was super fun!  It is always wonderful to catch up with my high school friends and clown around a bit. 

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On a fun note, the uncle of the birthday boy is a chef in Napa Valley.  He and his girlfriend cooked up the most incredible fiesta meal complete with homemade churros.  Of course, I introduced myself and they had a few suggestions for our mostly unplanned upcoming trip.  The BOY returned from the library with food on his mind.  I’m sure you guessed it, but he called in an order for Thai food, which I happily scooped up on my way home.  Even though I ate at the party, I always have room for a few bites of Thai.

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We ate dinner in while watching the nail biting finale of today’s time trial, and I’m sure I won’t make it up late tonight after this morning’s LONG workout.  I am looking forward to a revitalizing morning yoga class.  On a totally different note, thanks to everyone for the pep talk after my running woes. I have no expectations for this upcoming half marathon, but appreciate you letting me vent about my lack of training and cheering me right along!

 

Have you been following the tour?

What was your workout today?

Running Woes

It’s been way too long since I’ve been out for a run!

The worst part is that I am running a half marathon in less than 8 weeks.

Race

Actually, that is the exciting part!  It’s my second race of the year and I was looking forward to packing on some miles when this sinus infection hit hard.  After almost 33 years together, I know that this bug is my bodies way of asking for a break.  And after all of this time, my body knows that I’m not good at breaks.  In all fairness, I spent all last weekend cuddled on the couch with Cooper resting and recovering.

However, I decided that I would do something (walk or run) the best I could with wherever my stomach and sinuses were at on Thursday morning.  The weather here has been gorgeous and I was starting to feel a bit lazy.

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I laced up  my sneakers and jogged towards the path.  My running schedule dictated that I should run 5 miles, my mind told me that I would be safer trying 4 miles and my body determined that it would be happy to finish 3 miles.  I’m not sure if it was the stuffed sinuses impacting my ability to breath or general fatigue, but I struggled to complete my 30 minute run.  Yet, I was still thrilled to have been out in the fresh air and happy to say that I got in at least one workout this week.   That was until I saw my bed and realized that I was so exhausted I wish I had time to take a nap.  I didn’t!  Just enough time to shower and eat breakfast before heading off to work.

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I needed to save some energy for my last day of yoga for the high school girl’s group. I  decided to ‘wing’ it, and I have to admit that it went really well. I have loved guiding the kids and teens through their yoga journey over the past 6 weeks and am beyond thrilled that the program was so successful. 

And now it’s Friday…Hooray!!!

Somehow, I have survived the work week and although I am not feeling as strong as I want to, I have active weekend plans ahead.  I’m hoping that some of them will include running : )

Dinner Tonight: Baked Mustard Chicken with Rosemary

I made it through my work day and although the antibiotics are wreaking havoc on my stomach (as expected), I think I might finally be on the mend.  Never mind that I was in bed before the sun AND our 1 year old next door neighbor last night.  This was partially due to the meds but also due to the new book I started this weekend.

I have heard awesome things about Reconstructing Amelia and was eager to dive right in.  This book has not disappointed, and I reluctantly closed it as my eyelids became heavy with Nighttime cough medicine last night.  Has anyone else read it?  I will keep ya’ll posted!

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This is just a cute picture of Cooper from our weekend together on the couch.  He was sad to see me leave today and I can understand why after 4 straight days of cuddling and love.  I had a an easy day at work, which was much appreciated, so I was home early enough to make dinner.  The BOY opted not to wait on chicken and eagerly dug into leftover meatballs (as I predicted).

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I was optimistic that this chicken recipe could become a quick, easy week night staple.  Unfortunately, my oven seemed to disagree about the quick part.  Even with the BOY preheating the oven, it didn’t get nearly as hot as it was supposed to and the chicken took much longer than expected.  I think I’ll wait until winter to worry about fixing it!

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In the end, I remembered that although I eat a little honey mustard, I’m still not a huge mustard fan and perhaps this chicken won’t be the recipe for me.  Plus, it looked nothing like the photos on the blog.  On top of that, I still don’t have much of an appetite.  But once I got the chicken plated and sprinkled with rosemary, it was an entirely different story.

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This light and juicy chicken was extremely tasty and the perfect week night meal.  Despite a successful day as an adult, I am starting to crash and I’m not even half way through today’s recording of the Tour de France!  Is it too early to say good night?!

What book are you reading?

What is your easy go to week night recipe?

 

Baked Mustard Chicken with Rosemary

From Inspired Dreamer

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Pepper

Rosemary (I used dried, not fresh)

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix together mustard, syrup, and vinegar.

Place chicken breasts into 9×13 greased baking dish. Season with lots of pepper. Pour mustard mixture over chicken. Make sure each breast is coated.

Bake for about 30-40 minutes.

Season with chopped rosemary.

Watch What You Wish For

By Saturday morning, I thought I was on the mend.  So much so that I even took my bike out for a short ride around the path.  By Saturday night, I knew it was just a medicine induced false sense of wellness.  The BOY and I ended up canceling our sushi date night and instead brought sushi take out home.  We were both in bed early although neither of us slept well.  The BOY having some pre Bar panic attacks and me having just plain old trouble breathing.  By Sunday morning, it was clear that I would need some antibiotic help to get through the week ahead.

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#greenjuice

This weekend was filled with couch time, movies, cleaning, the Tour de France, and Cooper.  Actually, not a terrible way to spend 3 days and something I have been saying that I need.  The 4 day sinus infection, sore throat, and headache on the other hand.  I definitely didn’t need!  Heading into the weekend, our house was a mess, I was a mess, and Cooper was a bit of a mess…with the BOY not too far behind on that scale.

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Now I can say that I am a little more organized and a little less of a mess.  I would have loved to have gotten myself to a yoga class this weekend but my sinuses were not quite ready for downward facing dog.  I’m hoping that the antibiotics will help with that!  After the doctor’s office, I went straight to Whole Foods for probiotics.

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I should note that I made my meal plan with an optimistic mind before I hit rock bottom last night.  Tonight’s dinner was really easy so that I got made in between catching up on trashy TV shows, but we’ll have to see how exhausted I am after going back to work tomorrow.  I may be living on leftover meatballs all week.

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Speaking of meatballs…for this recipe I kind of combined and adapted the meatball from Skinny  Taste with the delicious sauce that I am still talking about from these Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches.  What made this sauce so great was the accidental purchase of chopped tomatoes with olive oil, which I couldn’t find at the grocery store this week.  It kind of makes me wonder if I made them up…hmmm!

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With my foggy medicine head, I did the best adaption that I could.  And then took my sick self back to the couch to drink tea.

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The BOY is on his own for dinner this week (by choice he has officially moved into the library) but I know he’s wishing he had a delicious meatball sandwich tonight.

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For dessert…one of my favorite summer snacks! Almond butter and dark chocolate stuffed fresh figs!

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When it comes to sinus infections, some times you have to feel worse before you get better.  Unfortunately, that was today.  My stomach, my head, a harsh cough…nothing was feeling happy.  I am hopeful that 24 hours of antibiotics will have me feeling strong and ready for work tomorrow morning.

 

Meal Planning 7/20/14

Sunday: Burgers and Mushrooms

Monday: Crockpot Italian Turkey Meatballs

Tuesday: The World’s Best Chicken (we shall see)

Wednesday: Salmon and Veggies

Thursday: Work Meeting

 

Italian Turkey Meatballs

Adapted from SkinnyTaste

 

Ingredients

1 lb ground turkey breast, 93% lean

1/4 cup panko

1/4 cup grated Reggiano Parmigiano cheese

Oregano and Basil

1 egg

1 large clove garlic, crushed

Salt and Pepper to Taste

2 14oz cans tomato sauce, low sodium

1 can crushed tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano

6 oz tomato paste

1 tbsp olive oil

Garlic, Basil, Oregano

Directions

Stir together tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, olive oil, and seasonings in the bottom of large slow cooker, sprayed with cooking spray.

In a separate bowl, mix turkey, panko, cheese, egg, and seasonings.  Mix well with your hands.  Roll turkey mixture into small meatballs and place in slow cooker. 

Cook on low for 6 hours until meat is cooked through.

Serve on sandwiches, over pasta, or with your favorite veggie/squash substitute.

Five for Friday XXIV

1. I barely slept all night because I had the worst sore throat I have ever had in my life.  I was in so much pain that I called in sick to work for the first time in over a year.  The only happy part of my morning was waking up with love from this guy.  The second happiest moment was having my dad’s famous soup for lunch. 

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2. The BOY just walked in the door with the Lego Movie.   I’m so excited to see what the hype is about (and by hype I mean amongst the 3-5 year old crowd I hang with during my work day).  Everything is awesome!

 

3. I spent my day on the couch alternating between cold and hot beverages watching hours upon hours of the Tour de France. 

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4. I finally organized my itunes library!  My inspiration…putting together play lists for my weekly yoga classes.

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5. It seems that I may be on the verge of a full blown cold. I have big plans to go to yoga, meet a friend for lunch and shopping, and perhaps a bike ride this weekend.  Fingers crossed that I’m not stuck on the couch again.  However, if I am…I have plenty more on the DVR.

 

Have you seen the Lego Movie?

What are you up to tonight?

More Stories (and Pics) from Wedding Weekend

Not surprisingly, I took tons of pictures throughout the entire whirlwind wedding weekend!  However, I made a conscious effort to also put my camera down and just experience all of the fun and excitement.

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Huh? What is that all about???  I’ll get there, I promise!

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Friday night began with a quick practice ceremony followed by a beautiful rehearsal dinner where families intermingled with friends and everyone dug into an amazing meal while listening to funny and sweet stories about the bride and group.

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The party went so late that not everyone was able to keep their eyes open.  I was up pretty early Saturday morning to do a quick strength session with a friend in the gym.  Then I was all dressed up and ready to go for Best Man speech filming.

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The best man made a hilarious How I Met Your Mother style video with the bride’s brother playing their future daughter and myself their future son.  We were so convincing that some people didn’t even know it was me : )  It must have been my awesome Justin Bieber wig!

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The hardest part was keeping this picture a secret until Saturday night when everyone would see the video.   I followed the smell of hairspray to the bridal suite where all of the ladies were getting ready.  It was a fun morning of gossip, mimosas, pearls, hair, smiles, and fake eyelashes.

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Then it was time to change into our dresses for pictures and the first reveal!

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We also bumped into the crew of groomsman and ushers, who brought along with them a handle and a cooler.

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I also found the BOY!  And all of the littlest attendants!

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Family photos went quickly and then it was on to the ceremony, cocktail hour, and the grand entrance of the bride and groom!  Followed by dinner, speeches, the photo booth, and TONS AND TONS of dancing!

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I had a wonderful time catching up with our out of town family and friends and dancing in my flip flops with my super long dress knotted at my knees.

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After the wedding, there was a wild after party…

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And after a few bites of pizza, it was finally time for me to find my way up stairs and crash in my bed (bobby pins and all)!

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Sunday morning, my parents hosted a lovely brunch and BBQ in their backyard.

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It was fun to share stories of the previous night and spend some quality time with my cousins before they headed back to NY.

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There was also time for a much needed afternoon nap!

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I don’t think that things could have gone more smoothly!  My brother and sister in law have a strong support system of family and friends who were more than thrilled to celebrate this special weekend with them!   And while the rest of us headed back to work and the real world this week, they are luckily enough to be recovering from this past year of planning in the Caribbean!

The Most Marvelous Monday

Look at me all turned about…

A Marvelous Monday Post on Throwback Thursday?!  What can you do?

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My suggestion…just sit back and enjoy the ride!  And maybe pack a poncho : )

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Day 4 of the whirlwind wedding weekend (no I don’t appear to be going in order) found me and 6 family members braving the wet Chicago weather on a city adventure.  First stop…Millennium Park!

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Although we drove down in a thunderstorm, the skies were clear and dry when we emerged from underground parking.   We doffed our rain gear and headed straight for the huge, silver bean.  Most of my relatives are east coasters and have never seen the bean, but we all oohed and ahhed like tourists while taking selfies of our reflections.

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And trying to get the perfect view of the Chicago skyline!

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Since the rain seemed to be subsiding, we decided to walk up to Navy Pier in hopes of doing an Architecture Boat Tour.  We were sidelined on one occasion due to a quick storm where we all huddled under the trees.  Then proceeded on to the pier.

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When we arrived, the sun looked like it was trying to peak through the clouds, so we took our chances with a boat tour.  The selling points…we all got the senior discount (including me) and if it rained, we were promised FREE PONCHOS!

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Which we needed immediately upon boarding the boat.  With huge rain drops pouring down, our boat tour began…and ended.  We seriously rode in a 360 degree circle before returning to the pier due to mechanical issues.  The issues were quickly sorted out and the sun really did emerge just as we pulled away for the second time.  With foresight, I brought my waterproof camera, so I was able to capture the entire ordeal on film.

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In all my years living in Chicago, I have never done the architectural tour, so I was really excited (and willing to brave the rain) to give it a go.

The tour definitely lived up to my expectations.  The history of Chicago is so interesting and to view the historic buildings from the river is incredible!

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It’s like a whole another world down there!  Chicago is working hard to build up and recapture the river front, and I can see why!  If you ever find yourself in Chicago, make sure to add this to your list of things you must see and do!

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To me, the most interesting part was learning about the different eras of architecture and how that shaped the look and feel of the city.

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By the end of the tour, we’d see the last of the rain.  We found a place on the pier to eat lunch and walked down to the end before making our way back to Millennium Park.

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By the end of the day, we had walked over 6 miles and created plenty of new memories and stories to share!