St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago and my last day in the world of coffee

Brian and I had an awesome weekend together šŸ™‚
We headed down to Chicago on Friday afternoon. Two weekends in a row with a long drive…

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We made a quick pit stop in Johnson Creek at the Coach store to get a fix for my broken zipper pull on my fave handbag. Once we finally made it to Chicago (after crazy traffic in both in Milwaukee and coming into IL), we dropped off our luggage at my aunt Maureen’s house and headed over to Tank. Sushi= one more reason to love Fridays in Lent!

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Once we were nice and full, we walked over to the closest L stop. We went on a little excursion downtown. I love taking the train- the more I take it, the better I get at navigating the city. We stopped at Ghirardelli and picked up enough chocolate to last us a year. On the way back to the L, I saw a frozen yogurt shop. You know the kind- the flavors are in soft serve machines and come with tons of toppings šŸ™‚ I picked plain and berry yogurt with lots of fruit on top!

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When we got back to Maureen’s house, we got to catch up with the whole family. šŸ™‚ Late to bed, early to rise? I got up extra early on Saturday to go for a quick run. I love running in Chicago. šŸ™‚
After a quick shower and getting dressed, I headed to Maureen’s salon to watch her get her hair done. Her stylist, Erik, at Salon Buzz is such a riot. A very funny guy and incredibly nice. I sipped on some of their cucumber lime water while waiting, and enjoyed people watching! šŸ˜€
Next stop? Picking up the rest of the family and heading over to the Hibernian float in the St. Patrick’s day parade. We had a great time…

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Look at our view from the parade route! How cool. It was SO unusually hot out there- the daffodils were all blooming, and it was a beach party on the lake… complete with bikinis and beach volleyball. How bizarre! (thank you, OMC.)
After the parade, we walked back to the car and headed over to the Hibernian party. It was nice to see my family, including my dad, Tom, Tommy, Mickey, Eileen, Killeen, Steph, and of course, my uncles and cousin who “star” in the McGowans.

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They were so great! The played a bunch of traditional Irish tunes, some great danceable classics, and even a cover of Mumford and Sons’ “Little Lion Man.” Love it!

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Isn’t my cousin Tommy adorable? We made a date to go to Six Flags this summer.
We left the Hibernian party and hopped on a trolley with our family and friends.

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Ashley, Max, Brian, Rex and I all squeezed in the back row of the trolley. šŸ™‚ We went to a bunch of places, including Burke’s, an awesome bar owned by my cousins Brendan and Kevin. If you are over in Edgewater, check them out! Of course, we enjoyed a few Irish car bombs…

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After our trolley ride was over, the 20-somethings headed over to Wrigleyville. It was like one giant street party- the roads were closed and people were everywhere! It was over an hour wait to get into any place, so my cousins took me to get my favorite Chicago food…

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A Chicago dog has never tasted so good. I finished it just in time to watch the guy at the table next to us blow chunks all over. Awesome. :-/ I got to hail a cab, which was quite exciting. All that practicing in Central Wisconsin paid off, haha. Brian helped me out with his ridiculously loud whistle. That whistle is handy if I ever get lost in a crowd, that’s for sure. šŸ™‚
We slept nice and late on Sunday, but were on the road at 11. After a quick stop at Whole Foods (oh my gosh, I forgot my bag. Get a manager!), we were on the road. The traffic was fine until we got to Milwaukee. There were two crazy accidents… One was an 8 car pileup with a semi, and the second one involved a driver getting shot while driving and crashing on the highway. All three lanes were closed. We were stuck there for a while while ten emergency vehicles flew past me on the shoulder. Eventually, the police ended up having us all back up and turn around. Have you ever driven the wrong way on the highway? We have!

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I made it home just in time to rush to teach dance lessons. I love the huge group we have for West Coast swing. Our beginner foxtrot students are doing well, too!
This morning was my last shift at Starbucks. So many of my regulars were there to say goodbye. Ken, a dog-loving West-coast regular gave me a sweet card! I didn’t even cry when I left. So proud of myself! Of course, I headed right to the nail salon after my shift to have my nails done. I missed that- when working at Starbucks, the employees aren’t allowed to have their nails painted. Then again, we also aren’t allowed to have artificial hair colors or visible tattoos. Bring on the hot pink streaks and arm sleeves! I’m thinking tribal, haha.
I came home, worked on my updated business plan for a while, and took a glorious nap. Brian woke me up with a kiss, a bouquet of flowers, and a delicious, healthy dinner. He’s so amazing… I’m in love.
I’m looking forward to a great run in beautiful weather tomorrow, a photo shoot over at Adventure 212, and checking out Sam’s Club with Brian. We’re looking into getting a membership. Any thoughts?

Miles this year: 113.5

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