We decided to take advantage of the 3 day weekend and make a quick trip north to see family and friends! Friday night we stayed with friends in St Louis and they made a FEAST for us Saturday morning (biscuits, gravy, bacon and eggs!). I completely forgot to take pictures (was still recovering from dry socket and not thinking clearly quite yet), but just believe me that it was amazing! We enjoyed visiting with them for a bit before heading further north to my husband’s hometown of Chenoa, Illinois…
One of Christopher’s favorite places in Chenoa is The Brown Jug! When he and his brother worked as lifeguards this was the place to be! We stopped in for some delicious wings!
So Casey’s is actually a general store/gas station, but Christopher loves their pizza (and so do I!). Their family actually used to order whole pizzas from this place when he was growing up. This Casey’s is literally right next door to The Brown Jug so after we split an order of wings, we each grabbed a piece of pizza. I know it’s a gas station, but believe me… the pizza is delicious!
After lunch in Chenoa we went to see Christopher’s grandmother! We originally planned to meet her at work, but then when we arrived at her work we discovered that she had actually gone home early to see us! Ha! Just down the street from her work there was a pretty field so we decided to stop and take a picture on our way to her house.
So right after we got back in our car after taking the previous photo this guy pulls up beside us and begins chatting. It was hilarious! He was the farmer who owned the field we had just taken a picture of and he wanted to know what we thought of it. Christopher talked to him for a good 10 minutes about farming. Good times!
Then we went to see Mommo! We sat on the porch and caught up on life. Mommo is hilarious. She’s (obviously) super tiny and in her 80s, but she doesn’t let that stop her from living life! She still works full time (at an “old folks home” as she says) and walks at least a couple of miles a day. She is one of the main reasons we took this trip. We don’t get to see her often (about once a year) so we try to make the time count!
After leaving Mommo’s we headed up to Naperville to see some of our old college buddies and meet their daughter for the first time! We hung out in downtown Naperville and had a great time! We even ate at the local Five Guys… yum!
Getting to know Paisley! And hanging out with Ian and Christina! AAAAND!!!! Meeting Batman! Weirdest thing ever… there we are in Barnes and Noble and all the sudden Batman walks by us. Of course we had to take a photo! I never realized I was actually taller than Batman…
We visited the Nichols Library in Naperville because it is America’s #1 Public Library!! Please note the asterisk and small print at the bottom of the banner… “Ranked #1 Public Library per capita…” Ha! Love it!
We hit up Oberweis for a late night sweet snack with Ian and Christina!
That night we drove to New Lenox, Illinois to spend the night with one of Christopher’s friends from when he lived in Illinois. It was fun to hear about teenage-Christopher and for him to catch up with old friends. Again, totally failed on the photo-taking front. Sorry about that!
The next morning we went to church with Ian and Christina and their families then we all went out to Portillo’s for lunch! I know that chili hot dog looks gross, but believe me – it was delicious! And Christopher loved their Italian beef!
Ian’s parents had free tickets to the zoo and they gave them to us! So we went to the Brookfield Zoo and had a GREAT time! It was such fun to see all the animals.
After the zoo we went to Lou Manalti’s at the recommendation of Allie. SO glad we went! Oh my gracious, that pizza was completely amazing! We got the Classic which is extra cheesy, sausage, and a butter crust. DEE-LISH! Christopher says it is hands down his favorite pizza ever!
After dinner we drove to Pontiac, Illinois to see FAMILY!
Breakfast with the fam before we headed out of town. Christopher’s aunt and uncle and his grandmother (remember Mommo from the beginning of this post). It was so good to catch up with them and hear how all their kiddos (Christopher’s cousins) have been.
We stopped at Maggiano’s in St Louis on our way home. By far our favorite Italian chain. Their spaghetti is my absolute favorite! I love it! The great thing about Maggiano’s is that you pay $12.95 for your meal, but then they send an entire SECOND meal home with you for later! Oh goodness, I love this place!