This past weekend was my long overdue trip to Chicago to visit some family. My entire mother's side lives in the midwest and while we used to get out there much more often, its been a few years since I've been out to visit. I've always identified with the midwest, maybe it runs in my blood a little bit, but it was really great to get out there and to see all my extended fam.
Left work early on Thursday to get to LGA to catch a flight to Chicago.
Have you flown out of LGA? Did you feel like you were in a holding cell in the waiting area? I guess maybe I'm used to big airports but this tiny little terminal had almost no one in it. It took me 25 seconds to get through security and then I sat alone for a long time wondering if I was even in the right spot. Where are the crying babies and the men in suits rushing to catch a flight? It was just me and a couple of teenagers who were keeping busy with their iphones. I was armed with the necessarily supplies for the flight, luckily I packed them, cause there was nothing to be found at the airport!
My Uncle picked me up and the airport and we headed to his lovely home in Naperville. I had just missed a big St. Patty's day party but I managed to snap a picture of a left over decoration. It made me wish I celebrated my irish heritage with a little more than a scone!
We did tons of walking through a gorgeous prairie reserve on Friday and soaked in the sun a bit. It made me totally hate living in this slimy NYC and really wanted to just move into one of the farm houses we passed and drink an iced tea on the porch. Sadly, this isn't my life but maybe one day! I dreamed of horses my whole time there and it was lovely.
I got to visit with a whole group of aunts and uncles and cousins and second cousins! I brought presents for all the babies I had yet to meet (and even a little something for a little one on the way!) Fish fry on Fridays (a little reminder of my catholic school lent following the rules days) but did celebrate the season with my beers.
Woke up Saturday to--SNOW! How did this happen? I have no idea. But NYC was soaking up the vitamin D and I was bundled up with this cute dog and some home made pizza. I got a little NCAA crazy while I was there; quite a bit of basketball. I root for the underdogs most of the time but it was fun to cheer on some midwestern favs.
Sunday snuck up on me and after some shopping (see my four new pairs of shoes! I live in NYC and never buy shoes but travel and buy four pairs? Luckily they fit in my suitcase!) ... and some breakfast (see pancakes, of which I didn't have, but managed to eat almost every other breakfast item available) I was headed back to the big apple.
My trip was great. Not only do I have some amazing family members out in Chicago but its as if I visited all the time. I was instantly part of the family which goes to show you that it doesn't matter how many miles are between people--connections can last.
This trip really reinforced for me the importance of keeping in touch. I gave out my blog address to the family with the hopes that although we aren't neighbors, we can stay more connected.