Labor Day Road Trip!

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 theΒ placeΒ to be! We stopped in for some delicious wings!

Brown Jug on Urbanspoon

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!
Casey's Carry Out Pizza on Urbanspoon

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.

Us in El Paso, Illinois!

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! πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚

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… πŸ˜‰

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! Their ice cream is great!
Oberweis Dairy on Urbanspoon

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. πŸ™‚ 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!

Portillo's on Urbanspoon
After lunch we hugged and snuggled little Paisley Faith then said goodbye to dear friends. We had SUCH a great time catching up with them! We are so blessed to have them as friends. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

After the zoo we went to Lou Manalti’sΒ at the recommendation of Allie. SO glad we went! Oh Β 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! πŸ™‚
Lou Malnati's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

After dinner we drove to Pontiac, Illinois to see FAMILY! πŸ™‚

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). πŸ™‚ It was so good to catch up with them and hear how all their kiddos (Christopher’s cousins) have been. πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚
Maggiano's Little Italy on Urbanspoon

It was a whirlwind trip, but SO great! Love seeing family and friends and eating great food! Good times for sure! πŸ™‚

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31 responses to “Labor Day Road Trip!

  1. That looks like an action packed, yet amazing, weekend! So many good things to eat, so many awesome people you got to see, AND meeting Batman?! What more could you ask for??!

  2. I love how you guys seize the day, Rach! And I love Mommo!

  3. what a fun weekend!! you guys are so cute. your hair looks gorgeous and i love that blue chevron top!

  4. I really want to take my boys to the zoo…I loved seeing these pictures.

    Glad you had so much fun on Labor Day weekend!

  5. It sounds fun to me. I hope you’re feeling better!

  6. Oh my goodness, I cannot believe ALL the things you did over one weekend! Ha, ha. That’s awesome and sounds like SUCH a fun time!! πŸ™‚

  7. Hahaha I love the conditional claim of the library πŸ˜‰ That’s cute!

  8. Looks like an awesome time…such fun photos, and love all the food pics!

    Annie
    The Other Side of Gray

  9. I want to come on trips with you guys! You have so much fun, and it looks like you always eat such amazing food. …jealous

  10. You look soo gorgeous in all of those pics! That looks like an amazing weekend, and all of that food looks sooo good!! Not to mention there’s nothing better than hugging a sweet tiny baby! Glad you guys had a good weekend πŸ™‚

  11. Mommo is so dang cute!! This looks like an amazing trip home…it’s always good to visit family. I’ll choose it over a “vacay” any day. PS. I LOVE Maggiano’s. It is AMAZING.

  12. My husband’s fam lives in the stl area and every time we go up there we go to Maggiano’s – LOVE their lasagna!

  13. Is there anyone in your life who isn’t adorable?! πŸ˜›

  14. what a great weekend!! you did so much saw so much and ate lots of yummy yummy food! my mouth was watering as i finished reading your post

  15. I hear ya with the gas station pizza – don’t under-estimate! haha. we have a fabulous gas station near us that sells THE BEST pizza in town. So glad you two enjoyed yourselves.

  16. where up north were you?? My family went to brookfield zoo this weekend! we are about an hour from there. It was SOOO hot and crowded but we loved it. Looks like a great weekend!

  17. you all really packed in the fun in a 3 day weekend!!! i am loving your chevron shirt too. so pretty!

    and now i am craving a big ole slice of pizza!! πŸ™‚

  18. What a fun road trip and SOOO many good eats! I want some Lou Malnatis right about now πŸ™‚

  19. Talk about a whirlwind trip! SO much fun! I love that you and Christopher aren’t afraid to stop at random places and take pictures. That’s so spontaneous & fun πŸ™‚

  20. Love the old guy who wanted to know what you thought of his field (and that you were brave enough to snap a picture of him)! So funny! I’ve never been anywhere in Illinois other than Chicago, but the Illinois countryside looks cute!

  21. Fun packed weekend. Mommo is so cute!! Love that you guys are all about the Casey’s pizza. Too cute.

  22. What a fun trip!! I’ve never been to Illinois before. I’ve always wanted to see Chicago. One day πŸ™‚

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  24. Checking out your blog via a comment you left on mine! Thanks for reading! So I’m originally from La Grange Pk, IL and this post makes me miss it so much!! The Brookfield Zoo, Portillos, Naperville (I have family there)..I love it all! πŸ™‚ Hope you had a great time!

  25. That is A LOT to pack in to a few days! I am impressed. Pretty sure I love Mommo without even meeting her. I hope I am still that active when I am in my 80s!

  26. What a fun trip! I actually didn’t know there was a city named El Paso in Illinois. (I always think of Texas when I think El Paso.) That is so cool though! πŸ™‚

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