This past weekend my daughter and I whisked away for a quick trip to Chicago to see my cousin’s daughter get married. Such a lovely occassion to share with family. It was so nice to bring Kenzie with me to meet family she doesn’t already know. We come from a big, greek family that my kids never really got to experience since I moved away from Chicago when I was 22.
Upon our arrival, we grabbed lunch at Portillo’s…famous for their Chicago dogs–Kenzie enjoyed the “best ribs ever” and from there we checked in to the hotel and off to explore where I grew up. We stopped in at my high school alma matar and then took the roads that led back to my childhood home(s). She even got to stop in the Jewel grocery store, which hasn’t changed a bit in 40 years, and I’m not sure that’s a great thing! Ha.
Thursday night we enjoyed dinner with my cousin at her home, before all the busy of the wedding weekend began. That was nice and I was thankful for the time we had to catch up.
The next morning we headed out to pick up my sister, Cathy. Cathy is 17 years my senior, and mentally challenged — not that that’s the important part of the story, it’s just living a bit more stress-free than the rest of us, Cathy gets mistaken for my younger sister all the time. Makes me a bit crazy, or self-conscious, but whatever, I’m not bitter…sort of.
Cathy wanted a burger so we ate lunch and then went to Woodfield mall — one of the largest indoor malls — the only mall bigger that I’ve been to is Mall of America. Seriously, this mall is huge and I didn’t even remember how big it was. Kenzie was amazed. We did a little shopping and a lot of walking around and then headed back to Cathy’s home to bring her back as we needed to check in to the wedding hotel and get situated there.
Friday night, I got to spend a little more time in the lobby bar with Cindy and her husband and their sons (who are two of the nicest guys)…after their return from the rehearsal. I’m not the girl of my youth and I only lasted till about 11p.
The next morning, we enjoyed some leisure time, Kenzie and I. The wedding wasn’t until 2:30p. It was nice to have some down time just she and I.
Arriving at the church we were taken in by how lovely the building was. The inside had a very high, wooden ceiling with lovely stained glass windows. I had just enough time to take it all in and then it was time to stand for the bride’s entrance. Ashley was stunning. And her dad, Chuck, was so proud to escort her in.
The ceremony was traditional, but the pastor did a great job of personalizing it and inviting everyone to participate. It was fun for Kenzie to see this wedding from a different religious tradition (Lutheran), the one of my childhood.
We had a few hours in between church and the receiption so we headed back to the hotel to rest. We headed to the hotel for the cocktail hour around 6p and once dinner was finished let the dancing begin…I was shocked that these old knees still held up o the dance floor — not for long, but long enough to enjoy some cousin time.
The highlight of the night was that I got to introduce Kenzie to her great aunt, Aunt Corkie. Aunt Corkie is my father’s sister and the last girl from the big greek brood. It was precious — my aunt is one of the warmest, sweetest woman I know and she just lit up when she made the connection that this was Sam’s granddaughter. My father passed long before Kenzie was even a thought and so to have this moment meant the world to me.
Sunday came and we were both super happy to have shared such a fun weekend but we were ready to get home. And maybe enjoy a vegetable or two. LOL…After a weekend of indulging I am back on the wagon — I’ve committed to a Whole30 for at least the next two weeks just to detox. Today is day two and so far, so good.
I’m back to work and back to reality today. Wish me luck!