What I’ve Been Up To, Part 1
During the last two weeks I’ve been privileged to spend quality time with two dear friends whom I don’t see often enough mostly due to geographic constraints.
Firstly, my sister-in-law, Karen (formerly of Boston, recently of San Jose), came to stay with us for about 24 hours.
Karen officially joined our family when she married Jeff’s oldest brother, Doug, in 2007. It has been a joy getting to know her these past few years, and wonderful to spend some extensive 1-on-1 and 2-on-1 time with her during this visit. During her time with us we took the dogs on a neighborhood walk, enjoyed eating Yagööt frozen yogurt, watched a video/slideshow of Karen’s recent trip to Australia, went thrift store shopping, enjoyed food and ambiance at Melt (my favorite restaurant), and talked lots and lots about food, family, dogs, life, and God’s plans. Thanks so much for making the special trip down to see us, Karen!
Secondly, I drove up to see a college friend, Kristin (primarily of Philadelphia, presently and semi-temporarily of Chicago), for two days at the beginning of this week.
Kristin and I met our freshman year of college when we lived in the same hall (and continued to be hall-mates during the following two years as well) and quickly discovered a shared love of The Lord of the Rings and all things Tolkien, among other things.
It was wonderful to catch up on life, talk extensively about all manner of things, and laugh and cry together. (We are both movie criers, so of course we had to watch bits and pieces of Return of the King and share the kleenex.) When I first arrived in Chicago, I ended up going straight to the home of some other college friends, Matt and Brandi, where I met up with Kristin and two more college friends, Josh and Cindy. We had a little mini-reunion while eating delicious French food in celebration of Matt and Brandi’s recent sojourn across France.
The next day we made our way downtown (and I finally got to ride the L!) to take advantage of a free day at the Museum of Science and Industry. While at the museum, we toured the U-505 Submarine, the only German U-boat in the U.S., captured during WWII. It was beyond cool!
Kri made us a wonderfully delicious red pepper risotto for dinner that night, and we fell asleep in the middle of Ponyo, partially due to the blissful, though sleep-inducing, risotto coma we were in. We finished the movie in the morning (ahh, the joys of vacation!) and eventually made our way over to the beach for a relaxing afternoon.
To get to the lake, we walked through a tunnel with gorgeous mosaics (the first one is my favorite):
Then we enjoyed the view for awhile:
Kristin explained to me how the ocean feels different from Lake Michigan, as I’ve always heard people from the coasts say it’s not the same, but have never understood how or why. Now I get it, but I still love the lake. We grabbed paninis and chai at a local coffee shop before I had to head back home.
I grew up in the shadow of Chicago, so to speak, and I always love visiting the city.
Thank you, dear friend, for inviting me up to stay with you and opening your heart to me. I am so thankful that our friendship has continued on from those first four years and now through these last five.