Saturday, January 14, 2017

Pizzas, Puppies, and Portillos

We're basically eating our way through the suburbs while the kids are here. I managed to make a breakfast casserole for the family, but for the rest of the day, we enjoyed some of the culinary icons of Chicagoland, and I was relieved of kitchen duty. 

I love my family so much!

Once everyone had made an attempt to catch up on all of the missed sleep from taking a redeye flight to Chicago, we made our way to Giordano's for Chicago-style, deep dish pizza. Dylan had been waiting for this day for over four years. I'm glad he didn't give in to the urge to have a frozen one delivered overnight to Utah; the pizza is amazing, but I think we can all agree that even Giordano's frozen pie isn't quite worth the $80 price tag to have it shipped. 

You just never know what you'll find at American Science and Surplus. 

Our next stop was American Science Surplus. That little store houses more oddities than Ripley's Believe It or Not. Chuck and I laughed as the kids tried on different props and pointed out some of the absurd items with the hilarious commentary on the item descriptions, and carefully selected their purchases. It is a must-see stop when the kids are in town.

Our pizza was barely digesting, but we have a little princess who has such fond memories of her ice cream from Graham's Fine Chocolates and Ice Cream last summer, that she requested we head to Geneva, Illinois as soon as we finished shopping. Graham's never disappoints, and in case you're wondering about our eating ice cream on a 22 degree (F) winter's day; it is NEVER too cold for ice cream. Our delectable delights included a Butter Beer shake (think cream soda blended with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch), a Skalies sundae (chocolate ice cream with cashews, and chocolate and caramel sauce), raspberry ice cream in a waffle cone, a salted caramel sundae, and mint chocolate chip, the only ice cream of choice for my Chuck. Jamie and Dylan selected some chocolates to try: chocolate-covered bacon and chocolate-covered orange rind. Chuck wondered about coating a part of the fruit most everyone else tosses in the trash, but they said it was a candied orange peel, and it wasn't bad. 

Jamie needs a Goldendoodle puppy in her life.

As the sun was going down, it was getting colder, so we stopped at the Puppy store in town before heading home. Who doesn't love puppies? Sierra said it felt like her birthday, with pizza and puppies both in one day.

The Italian beef sandwiches, Chicago dogs, and cheese fries were a hit!

You would think we would be too full to even need dinner, but the kids are only here for a weekend, so we have to cram a lot of local fare into our schedule. Jamie and Dylan went with Chuck to Portillo's to pick up Italian beef sandwiches and Chicago-style dogs while I stayed home with Sierra, and listened to Bridger play the guitar. 

Waiting for Portillo's takeout with this guy. Bridger obliges my wish to hear him play when he's here.

We ended the evening sitting in the family room in front of a lovely fire Chuck made for us, just talking and laughing. 

Today is Saturday, and we are taking the train into the city this morning to walk around Chicago, and see some of the sights. 

Will there be food? Oh, you can count on it. We're taking the kids to the underground French Market at Ogilvie train station where they can have their choice of ethnic foods, and tonight, we will be joined by our Illinois kids at Portillo's. 

To have seven of our nine kids with us all in one place will feel like a glimpse of heaven. We'll be missing our Florida family members so much. One day I hope we have every single one of our nine kids under one roof. That will be a dream come true. 

Random moments from a very full day that ended with very full tummies:

Notice the turtleneck helps avoid any confusion for the Snapchat filters,
but Snapchat had trouble figuring out the skeleton.

Our pretty princess.

You just never know...

Dyl and Jamie liked Graham's, too. #nevertoocoldforicecream

Playful puppy at the pet store.

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