Monday, July 28, 2008


Sean turned 28 on July 18th. Whew!! I tease him about getting old all the time, but I tried to be nice on his actual birthday. He had the day off as it turned out, so we were able to celebrate a little. We went to see The Dark Knight (which was awesome) and then got dressed up and went out for dinner downtown at Nick's Fishmarket. I tried oysters for the first time in an appetizer we ordered, and we both indulged with delicious fish dishes. Sean had to work overnight the next day, so after we walked around a little in the area near the restaurant, we went home and watched movies to help him stay up late so he could try to sleep in. It was fun.

Our First Anniversary

As most of you know, Sean and I celebrated our first anniversary on July 13th. A whole year already!! In some ways, I feel like it has been longer than a year because of all the events and changes that have occurred over the last year, but I also remember our wedding like it was yesterday. Our celebration of this momentous event consisted of spending a day on Navy Pier. I found a good deal for a "day pass" type thing online that included tickets to a Cirque du Soleil show on the Pier, one ride on the ferris wheel (the second largest in the world next to London's), a 30-minute shoreline boat tour on Lake Michigan, and 20% off at a fancy, romantic restaurant overlooking the lake. We had talked about seeing the show, Cirque Shanghai, prior to this, so we were both kind of excited. It turned out to be very impressive. We had a thoroughly enjoyable day.

We splurged a little and also went on an hour and a half long boat tour explaining about the architecture along the Chicago River. We were slightly disappointed with this excursion. The tour guide that we got was an obnoxious early-20-something kid named Dan who would not shut up for a second. He told stupid stories during the lulls from building to building and gave his opinion on everything to do with the entire tour process, including the history he was supposed to be relating to us. Sean was really annoyed. I felt his judgement of Dan from beside me. There was one point as we passed by a stock-exchange, financial-type building that Dan declared through his loudspeaker that all of the people above, mingling on the patio of the restaurant connected to the building, had sold their souls for money and were forever damned. I watched a few faces peer down at us, wondering if he had really just said that or if they were merely imagining what they heard. I tell Sean that we will remember the experience even more because of Dan, but he does not seem convinced. 

I have many cool pictures of the whole day, but Blogger is not downloading them. I tried to get them to download and the site just kept saying that it was working for like 15 minutes until I got sick of it and tried again. After an hour of trying, I have decided to give up. Only the first one that I tried actually worked. 

I guess this one is appropriate to commemorate our first anniversary...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

4th of July Weekend

Sean actually had the entire Fourth of July weekend off. A whole three days in a row!! This called for celebration and exploration of our new surroundings, even if there were a million people out for the festivities over the course of the weekend. On the 4th, we met our friends, Joey and Rachel (if you don't remember, Joey is in residency with Sean--they graduated from medical school together and matched at the same place), at the beach for a relaxing afternoon. We packed lunches and visited for a few hours, while trying to keep the sunscreen layered effectively. 

In the evening, Sean and I braved the crowds and went to the Taste of Chicago for about twenty minutes. That was enough. We tried some fresh potato chips with hot sauce and each had a hard chocolate chip cookie. The people were so packed in that you wanted to run screaming down the street. I don’t think we will be attending that fiasco again next year. We were able to stick around and see the fireworks from Grant Park downtown though. The really big ones had been on the evening of the 3rd, but these were still pretty cool. Plus there were far fewer people (we heard that 1 million crowded in like sardines the night before for the "fireworks spectacular").

We were a little more low-key on Saturday, but we did get all dressed up to go to the original Green Mill jazz club in Uptown in the evening. Apparently Frank Sinatra and Al Capone frequented it back in the day and celebrities still check it out every once in a while now. It was kind of disappointing and, once again, extremely crowded, so we didn’t stay for very long. I think we are getting less tolerant of other people in our old age.

On Sunday afternoon, we hopped in our car and headed downtown to visit the Shedd Aquarium. After we parked for a horrible sum of money, we walked by Soldier Field on our way to the aquarium. I got all touristy and forced us to snap a few pictures. As we continued on our way, I stopped at a hotdog vendor and got myself a genuine "Chicago Dog" with all the fixin's (except onions, of course...Dad, I feel your disappointment). 

The aquarium is located on Lake Michigan at the beginning of a little manmade peninsula jutting out into the water. On the far end of the peninsula is the Adler Planetarium. The view of the city from the planetarium is gorgeous, so we strolled out to get some pictures.

The only picture that I snapped in the aquarium was of the Komodo Dragon in all it's splendor and creepiness. Once again, there were a bigillion people there, so we hurried through the exhibits faster than we normally would have. We got a membership so we can go back whenever we want for a year and enjoy it a little more. 

Here is another awesome view of where we now live!! 

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Back in Minnesota

Last weekend (June 27th-29th) Sean and I hopped in our car and embarked on the seven hour trek back to Minnesota. Sean's cousin, Laura, had a graduation party and many of his relatives from his mom's side of the family were going to be there. We had not been able to spend any time with them prior to moving to Chicago, so he really wanted to go. We arrived at Sean's parents' house at 12:30 am on Friday night, went to the graduation party (another 2 hours of driving) from 1 pm to around 7 pm on Saturday, stayed at my parents' house on Saturday night, and drove home on Sunday afternoon. It was a whirlwind of visiting, but we are really glad we were able to make it back to see everyone. 

Sean's cousin lives on a farm, so here are some pictures of our adventures while we were there. My brother-in-law Jamie brought his girls who were very excited to visit the cows and play with Brigita. Sean's mom is one of ten children who are not able to get together all in one place very often, so the final picture is of the whole crew and their spouses. 

We had pancakes with my parents and brother on Sunday prior to heading back home and were also able to make a dinner stop at our new "traditional" place in Rockford before arriving back in Chicago. Needless to say, we crashed at the end of the day on Sunday.