So, I’m still reeling from the past couple months. Did anyone else feel like this holiday season was more of a whirlwind than usual? In an epic “Monday travel memory” post, I’m going to share what we were up to in November & December. It did involve a fair amount of travel, albeit stateside travel. Here we go…
A quick rewind first: We were about to move to Stockholm and got very unexpected news (on moving day, no less), which changed our route to Portland. Due to the timing with the holidays and our planned visit to Chicago, Jaro began living and working in Portland to get the ball rolling while I stayed in Chicago to
stay out of his way, shop til I drop, visit with family & friends. While far from ideal (very, very far, like 2,000 miles far), it made the most practical sense. Besides, we’re used to living apart. Though we prefer not to, let’s be real.
What ended up being an extended vacation was filled with wonderful things. Yet we often forgot to pull out our camera or post on the blog because it mostly felt so… normal. There we were, back with our families, friends; heading to familiar homes, restaurants (Jerry’s! Old Oak Tap!) and stores (J.Crew! Sephora! Nordstrom!). It was the same and it wasn’t. But more on that later.
First, we were in Chicago for a million birthdays (five in four weeks) and holiday celebrations. We had some rather memorable moments…
…like celebrating Jaro’s birthday in Chicago with an oyster and martini dinner at GT Fish & Oyster followed by late night Lou Malnati’s at The James (our wedding hotel!):
…Sharing a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with Jaro’s family and eating so much food and drinking too much vodka. Oy.
…Celebrating my sister’s birthday by freezing our buns off at Lincoln Park Zoo Lights (below) followed by a family dinner tradition at RJ Grunts:
…And my dad’s birthday at the Chicago History Museum and new Italian hotspot, Ripasso, in Wicker Park where we consumed way too many gin & tonics:
…Then celebrating the actual birth day (as in, day of birth) of our darling little nephew, Stephan. If we had stuck to our original move, we would have missed the birth. Everything happens for a reason. Also, I’m convinced, there is no image more precious than that of my husband holding a fresh baby:
…Enjoying, a few days later, my brother’s birthday at Milwaukee’s Public Market for lunch and at Tamales Mexican Cafe in Highland Park for dinner.
…And just hanging around with our friends and enjoying delicious meals. Like this fancy rack of lamb with our city roommates, M&M (recipe here):
Then we headed to Florida to celebrate Christmas with my family.
…We spent a day swamp-buggy-ing through the Everglades National Park:
…Spent Christmas morning on the beach (below) and ate my grandma’s Mexican-style Christmas dinner outside:
…Jaro even spent an afternoon with the guys taking a plane ride around the SoFlo coastline piloted by my uncle:
…And we got tons of cuddle time with my baby cousins. This is Harper:
And finally, we road-tripped over to Detroit to celebrate my girl Stacy & her man Tim’s wedding and ring in the new year, which was awesome. Here’s pretty much my only shot of the happy couple:
You know what all these things have in common? Love. Fun. Celebration. Okay, and lots of food. It was wonderful. Wouldn’t have missed it for
the world Stockholm, that’s for sure.