Friday, December 2, 2011

A Simpler Life... and Adventures in Chicago

This past Tuesday, Andy, Jordan and I left for the windy city of Chicago, Illinois for the 2011 Radiological Society of North America Annual Scientific Meeting.  Okay, more like Andy came for the conference to present some research while we came along for the ride (one of the many reasons I love my other part-time job which goes where I go!), to meet up with friends, eat and shop.  After just three days in the heart of downtown, there doesn't seem to be much else to do (besides what we've been doing) and we'll be off to Ohio tomorrow to accompany Andy on another interview Monday.

The irony is our departure for the windy city coincided with the wind greeting our hometown as the Santa Ana winds raged up to 85 mph Wednesday night, assaulting our hometown and leaving fallen trees too old and fragile to survive, and the entire area of Pasadena it in a state of emergency with no electricity for days.  My own parents, who are nestled in the comfort of Arcasia, have been lucky to have gas and water, but electricity is still pending after two days.

As I called my mom yesterday to give her an update on our happenings here in Chi-Town (more on that later), I asked her how everything was back home.  She told me they'd returned to a simpler life.  No internet for my pops.  No television for my mom.  They ate dinner by candlelight, my mom worked out at home, they conversed and then they got ready for bed, thinking it must be 10 PM.  When she realized it was only 8 PM, she told me this must be how people used to have a ton of kids.  Yes, she knows I want 5 kids and is entirely supportive, but sometimes I think she doubts we will get there after 1... 2... or 3.  Truth be told, I have no idea what the future will bring either, but we're open to the idea (shoot for the sun right?)  It was a funny observation but also very keen.  Having a ton of kids is not really that insane as long as you keep it simple which is quite hard to do, but hey - maybe they'll create an app for that.

Chicago has been SO. MUCH. FUN.  Having been here more times than I can count or keep straight for trainings in the past with the Firm, I wasn't horrifically excited at first.  What I failed to overlook was that I'd be coming with my family, making it an entirely new, exciting and fun-filled experience.

Given my past hoity toity spoiled rotten days of free luxurious hotels sponsored by the Firm, I didn't expect much from our Best Western, so I was surprisingly shocked when I realized our hotel was nicely tucked in downtown, near a ton of great restaurants, within walking distance to a bunch of shopping and that the inside of our room is actually beautifully decorated and quite nice with a California King and a flat screen television.

Our first day - Jordan playing  after he ate while I work and Andy was checking out the conference.

Justin, Andy's college roommate and one of his partners in crime during their single dating days (and stalking random girls in person or on facebook) and his wife, Jessica and their 2 month old son, Jaxson, were on their way through Chicago to southern Illinois for an interview (he's also a fourth year in medical school), so they came to visit and stayed with us one night - it was so much fun to see them and we got photos for free with Santa, ate at Portillo's, grabbed hot chocolate at 7-Eleven, popcorn at Garrett's and then a snack at Chic-Filet (that's how we roll).  

Jaxson  and Jordan - best buddies and so happy!  Jessica got them these cute matching outfits (thanks Jessica!) and they actually came with a penguin hat too but both boys weren't fans.
on a more serious note....they kind of look like the penguins.. one taller than the other... lol
Contrary to popular belief, not all Asian babies look the same, and this is actually Jaxson, not Jordan.  Jordan had the same outfit when he was smaller which reminded us of his tiny baby days...... we loved holding Jaxson and him cuddling with us especially since Jordan won't have it anymore but we'll have another baby soon enough.

The bean at night.  The mirror underneath the bean is way trippy.  I was on the right in real life.. but on the left on the bean... woah!!!
Last night, we thought we'd go see the Zoo lights, but then we realized it started tonight... so instead we walked all around downtown in a big loop, ate at Giordano's (I still am not a fan of deep dish but Andy loved it) and Jordan got to meet Marcy, one of my best friends from college.

Today for lunch, we went to Xoco for lunch, a place with 4 stars on Yelp! (of course I"m a yelper, I'm Asian and I love to eat) and we got seated in 5 minutes because we had a baby in a stroller (the line was out the door long and the wait was estimated at 30 minutes), but then they forgot our food... and after 45 minutes, they realized (guess they thought we were just chilling?) and apologized profusely, gave us another thing of guacamole and comped our meal.  Win win!

Reason number 101 why I love my husband.  We finally got him a pair of sunglasses (his old ones broke and I just haven't gotten around to fixing them yet... oh and they were a gift from an ex, but I swear that's not why...) from Niketown and he loved 'em so much, he couldn't stop doing this when we got back.  
 Too bad he also kindly reminded me to fix his other pair so he could have a variety of sunglasses.  It's on my list hubs.

Having grown up in California my entire life, I really did not know how to dress my son for the cold.  Luckily, my mom saved the day with this ridiculous but super cute and very warm blanket cover-up.  He has two!  

 And I think he loves it so far. And even more exciting - Jordan just got his first two teeth (we saw one before but then the gums grew over it.. these are the real deal - sharp and everything!)... which is why he's still "crying it out" right now.  *sigh.  

1 comment:

Gena Hopper said...

Comments on the pictures:
1.Jaxson and Jordan are cute! People will love that picture when they grow up.
2. Marcy's haircut is fabulous
3. I want to eat all the food you had
4. Andy is a dork. Man, the two of you combined must make some entertainment.
5. I don't know how to dress Hannah for the winter. I just bought her a lot of tights. They can be for men too- Robin Hood?