It's wordy, and not very picture-y.
Mi familia came for a visit (I'm learning Spanish!).
My daddio and step-mama came out here and pulled a trailer full of childhood memories behind them, to explore Chicago with M and me.
I mean the trailer thing literally. They packed up my old bedroom and brought it to me.
They got in late, so when we got moving in the morning we grabbed a quick bite to eat, unloaded the trailer, and worked out some weekend plans.
Eventually we wandered off to the local winery.
Everyone gets 3 free sample tastes, and 4 more is only $5.
It was soooooo...oooo tasty.
We left with 3 bottles (and 0 pictures) - a port wine, a sweet wine, and a spice wine.
When M got off work, we had a home-cooked meal. It's something I had been looking forward to for a long, long time.
Between our crazy work schedules, not being settled in one house, and non-stop work on our new place, we really haven't had time to have anything but takeout or quick, easy meals here and there.
It had been so long since I had even gone grocery shopping, when went to the store, I handed over my loyalty card, and the cashier kind of smirked and said they stopped accepting those quite a while ago. Oops.
I stocked up on all the necessities - grape leaf-making supplies, more meat, and breakfast food.
One of my Dad's favorite foods is his Mom's grape leaf recipe. She was ill the last several years of her life and wasn't able to cook. I took over, but don't make them nearly as well as she did.
She would always say, "Oh, honey, that's too much for one leaf" or "take more of the stem off the leaf".
She always knew exactly when they were done, so that the rice was never crunchy or mushy.
I try to listen to the advice she used to give me, but I still haven't mastered the art that is grape leaf making.
The rolling is time consuming, the leaves are delicate, I never have the right meat-to-leaf ratio, and frankly, I'm usually disappointed that they're not just like my Grandma's used to be.
I rarely make them for myself anymore, but I try to make them for my Dad for get-togethers.
Anywho, Dad devoured some "ok" grape leaves, and the rest of us had delicious, juicy, marinated burgers.
We played one of my favorite games - Dicecapades. If you haven't played, I'm afraid you're missing out!
I hadn't laughed that hard in a while. I'm sure the bottle of wine my step-mom and I split didn't help the cause.
The next morning we got downtown bright and early.
Our first mission was to see the Skydeck at the 103rd floor of the
Those are my feet, with nothing but a sheet of glass keeping me from dropping 103 floors to the
I'll be honest, it was a little scary at first, but once my wobbly legs got it together, it seemed normal to walk around on the glass.
Next we hit up the iconic bean.
Then we took a leisurely (ok, slow for Chicagoans) stroll up Michigan Ave.
We stopped at Jake Melnick's for lunch and Hershey's Chocolate World for dessert.
I'm so glad my little tourists stepped out of farm country and let me give them a tour of the Windy City.
Here are the "scenic pictures" I promised I'd share with my gracious guests...
(ps- next time I'll take a different lens. sun + inexperience + new lens = not awesome pictures. Sorry about the people OR buildings shots :( I guess that means we'll have to do it all again)
I think the smiles in the above picture have something to do with the previous nights Dicecapades...