Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Last Minute Trip Home

I just wanted an easy trip home for the weekend to spend some time with my mom, see the cats, and relax at home.  I have been feeling homesick recently (even though I was just home a few weeks ago, it was just too short) and when I noticed I had three days off from work I thought I would check what a flight home would be.  I checked Wednesday night and it was good deal so I bought them.  I packed my bags and made plans to leave right after work Thursday to fly home to Orlando.   
Unfortunately, a bit of snow storm hit the midwest and caused delays.  Initially the flight was delayed 15 minutes.  Then 30 more.  Then we were told our plane had been diverted to St. Louis and we would not depart until 11:35.... Ugh.  I found a spot on the floor and laid down, waiting for the flight.  It had been a long day.  I randomly woke up at 5:45am and couldn’t get back to sleep.  When the plane finally arrived it still took awhile to actually get off the ground, because of the storm, and we didn't end up leaving until 12:30am CST.   I tried to sleep on the flight, but think I only got in 15 minutes.  I was really tired when the plane landed at 4am EST.  My mom picked me up from the airport and as soon as I got home crawled into bed and  slept until about 10:30am the next day. 
I was glad to see these furry faces this weekend! (Callie, Daisy, and Marbles)
Friday we made a plan for the weekend and went to the grocery store.  After our stop at Whole Foods we made sure to grab some Jeremiah's Ice.  I only discovered the deliciousness of this place a few months before I left Orlando and was so glad my mom thought to stop there after the store.  I got the gelati with cookies and cream ice and swirl ice cream - oh so good!  
I was still pretty tired from the night before and ended up taking a nice nap on the couch for a couple hours.  Afterwards mom and I headed to the gym to get in a workout.  I haven't been to an actual gym for months, so it was a nice change of pace.   We spent about 35 minutes there.  I did the rowing machine, a mini circuit on the weight machines, and ended with the elliptical.  

We came home and enjoyed homemade Mexican pizza for dinner, which was very good.  Since I don't have a cable or a TV in my apartment I settled in bed and watched some TV before falling to sleep pretty soon there after.

Saturday morning mom and I got up to run through the neighborhood.  She left a little earlier to get in 8.25 miles.  (She has the Disneyland Tinkerbell Half Marathon coming up in two weeks!)  I went out for 4.25 miles.  The weather was perfectly sunny and cool.  The last mile or so I really sped things up, and ended up running a 10:30 mile!  I'm pretty sure that's the fastest I have every run before.  I ended feeling great!  

After a quick shower, mom, Andy (my step-dad), and I headed to Bananas for brunch.  Andy had purchased a Groupon so we decided to check it out.  I had heard good things and after our runs we were hungry for some good food.  Everything on the menu looked pretty good. Andy ordered the Chicken and Waffles, I got the Crab Cakes Benedict (with scrambled eggs) and mom got the Caprese sandwich.  Mine was OK, the hashbrowns were no good though.  Mom's sandwich wasn't that great either, honestly, we could have made something better at home.  The Chicken and Waffles was really the best.  We're glad we tried it, but probably won't go back (maybe we just got the wrong things). 

While in town I wanted to check out the Outlet Malls to shop so we headed there next.  We are having a Holiday Party at work for the whole hotel next week and I needed a dress.  I ended up finding something at Banana Republic.  We shopped around some more, but I didn't end up finding any shoes to go with it.  I did find some good shoes for commuting in the city though. 

For dinner that evening mom and Andy made these fabulous corn cakes with shrimp.  She has told me several times about how good these cakes were and she wasn't joking.  They were served with a tomato, avocado relish and homemade ranch dressing, so tasty!  

We ended the evening with another delicious homemade treat: triple coconut cheesecake (from this recipe), which was amazing.
Sorry, not the best picture, but it tasted great!  I drizzled some dark chocolate on it too.
Sunday morning we had waffles, hashbrowns, and eggs at home (a much better breakfast than the day before).  My plan was to just have a lazy Sunday at home and that's pretty much what we did.  We Skyped my brother Patrick and watched some TV.  I wanted to get some kind of exercise in that day, but was feeling kind of lazy.  After going back and forth we ended up taking a nice walk around the neighborhood, which I'm glad we did.  After enjoying some leftovers for lunch, mom and I sat down to watch the DVD of Adele Live at The Royal Albert Hall.  A few years ago one of her songs was the free download on iTunes and I have been hooked ever since.  It was really cool to watch her show.  She sounds exactly like she does on her records, which is the mark of a talented singer for sure.  

By the time we finished the DVD, it was time for me to catch my flight home.  Saying goodbye is always the hardest part about going back.  I really like my job and living in Chicago, but being away from family is tough.  I always enjoy spending time at home.  After a tearful goodbye I made my way through security and to the terminal to catch my flight.  

When I got back to Chicago it was cold and snow was all over the ground.   It was a bit of struggle to haul my luggage through, but the snow made everything look really pretty.

Hope everyone enjoyed the weekend and has a good week ahead!