So, our girls' week has ended, but the memories live on. On Sunday, my mom and sister drove to my house and got here around 4:30 (I think.) They had just driven 12 hours the day before from Hilton Head to my sister's home (well, they rode in the car since my brother in law did the driving.) So, we loaded their stuff into my car and we took off for the Chicago suburbs. There were a few times I was driving that my sister was using her pretend brake, and I told her that the traffic we were in was nothing compared to what it could be, so just relax and enjoy the ride, sistah!
We got to the hotel around 6ish, checked in, got our conference information, and then decided to head straight for dinner since we were starving. Luckily there was a HUGE mall with many restaurants just across the street, so we piled back into my car and went to the....CHEESECAKE FACTORY. mmmmmm. I did get a piece to take back to the room and my mom and sister both declined. Seriously, who goes to the Cheesecake Factory and doesn't order cheesecake? Well, now I know. ;) They did enjoy their dinners, though.
After the conference on Monday night, we went to California Pizza Kitchen and enjoyed the yummyness that they had to offer. Tuesday night was immersion night for the language classes, but we had already made plans to meet Melisa in her town, which was about 1/2 hour in traffic away (ish). We parked and she met us somewhere in downtown Naperville and we walked over to Jimmy's Grill. I wanted to eat here again because some other friends of mine and I ate there for lunch last summer and it was delicious. We asked for a table on the patio since the weather was beautiful. I had this awesome salad called Raspberry Chicken salad that had field greens, grilled chicken, raspberries, sliced brie, walnuts with a raspberry vinaigrette. drooling yet? I am. My sister had a pasta dish and my mom and Melisa each had a sandwich of some sort.
Melisa? I'm coming back up to Naperville today to go to Jimmy's Grill for that salad. OK? OK. ;)
So, after dinner we decided to walk over the the Riverwalk to take pictures and look around. Melisa loves her hometown and it shows with the enthusiasm in which she talks about it. You can read about her town here in a new blog that she writes for Chicago Now. She's famous, my friend, but she's still that girl that I met when I was 19, she 17, and we were both newly engaged to guys in the Navy, who introduced us through mail because they wanted their girlfriends to have someone for support. (how's THAT for a run-on sentence?) And I love her! (If you're an English teacher reading this, I'm so sorry for my grammar, punctuation, etc. I do know better, I just don't feel like following the rules, sometimes!)
Melisa and me
So, any, back to my story. We got to Riverwalk and looked around and she was a wonderful tour guide.
Me, Mom, and Margie (one of the many covered bridges in the background)
A sculpture that I liked
Part of the 911 Memorial, which was very moving...
covered bridge entrance
Dick Tracy sculpture
Cat in the Hat outside the library
After our trip around the Riverwalk, we walked up past the library and then back to our cars. Then she took us on a trip around Naperville where the houses were just gorgeous. There were brand new houses in old neighborhoods, but they did a fantastic job to make some of those houses look like they 'belonged' there.
We had a lovely evening and it ended way too soon, as most good things do. Thanks, Melisa, for the hospitality! I heart your city AND YOU! xoxo