…that includes too many things to name in the title!

Another weekend, another recap!  Also, as I mentioned in my no added sugar challenge post, I’m in Chicago for work this week.  I love this city in the summer.  There’s truly nothing like it!

FRIDAY

I only worked until lunch on Friday since Vishnu and I had our TSA pre-check appointments in the early afternoon.  The “interviews” themselves took about five minutes each.  Actually getting to the airport was the real pain because of an accident and onlooker delays.

Since we were already in Tampa, we went to the mall to see if we could find any good deals.  Guess what…no deals!  I did get a new-to-me BB cream at Sephora though (will share more once I’ve tested it out a bit).  We also stopped by Nordstrom Rack where I found a beautiful woven dress that can be dressed up or down and will transition from summer to fall quite nicely I think.

When we got home from the mall, Vishnu asked if I would be interested in going to see the new Mission Impossible movie.  Since Reshma gave it two thumbs up, I was not only down but kind of excited!  Mind you, Vishnu’s been anticipating this movie for quite some time now.  How do I know?  Because he showed me the online trailer five times in the last two months! 

If you’re looking for a fun action movie to end the summer with, this is it!  I may not be the biggest Tom Cruise fan, but boy can he act!  AND Vishnu told me that he did most of the stunts himself.  Crazy!  I also loved the humor that was mixed in with all the action, particularly any scene with Benji!

SATURDAY

On Saturday morning, I went to TJs per the usual except this time I didn’t come back with tons of stuff.  Since I’m gone through the end of the week, I picked up a few prepared/prepackaged foods for Vishnu.  Before most longer trips, I try to make him something to eat for the week before I head out (lasagna, chili, etc.), but I didn’t prepare the way I usually do so Trader Joe’s to the rescue.  Tamales, chicken lasagna, and pizza will have to do this week!

Other to dos on our Saturday agenda included cleaning, a work out, de cluttering my makeup stash (i.e. throwing away a few old products that I held on to “just in case”), and packing.

We also met up with one of Vishnu’s co-interns and his girlfriend for dinner at Stillwaters TavernApparently the restaurant just opened a month or so ago.  I can tell it’s going to be a go to place for a lot of people because the food and the beer selection were both on point. 

I stuck with water as my drink of choice and ordered a house made vegetarian burger and fries as my main.  For some reason, I was craving a veggie burger all day, and this one delivered.  The patty itself was full of flavor (I think the main ingredient was black beans), and the toppings included feta, tzatziki sauce and pickled onions.  I honestly could’ve ate a bowl of just those onions.  They were perfectly sweet and tangy!  And the ketchup that came with the fries was a little spicy and added the perfect kick.  Craving quenched!

Stillwaters Tavern

As an aside, the chicken dish Vishnu ordered came with jalapeno cheddar bread pudding.  Um, how good does that sound!?  Too bad it was wedged between two pieces of chicken. Sad smile  I really wanted to try it!  Next time I may get it as a side.

After dinner, Shaz, AJ’s girlfriend, asked if we wanted to stop by the gelato place next door.  No worries, I didn’t cheat on my challenge.  While every got a cup of gelato, I sipped on a no sugar added latte.  But you better believe we are going back to this place in 20 days!  Some of the flavors looked and sounded absolutely delicious. 

SUNDAY

Our Sunday started way earlier than we wanted at 4:15 am because of my crack of dawn flight.  I promised myself (and Vishnu) that I won’t book early morning flights anymore unless absolutely necessary. 

Anyway, we got to the airport with plenty of time for me to check my bag and get through security.  Or so we thought!  The security line was unbelievably long.  At one point when I looked back, it had started to wrap around the back of the airport!  I couldn’t help but wish that our pre-check appointment one week earlier!  It was so bad that they closed the regular lanes where you go through the normal TSA process and opened up three pre-check lanes where you keep your shoes on and don’t have to take out liquids or electronics.  That was the only way to get everyone through.  Luckily, I made it to my gate with a few minutes to spare!

Airplane view of Chicago

Once I arrived in Chicago, I quickly unpacked/settled in to my hotel room and got ready for the day.  Unfortunately, it was drizzling, so I couldn’t go very far.  Vishnu wanted me to check out potential neighborhoods since we’re going to start hunting for our next home soon!  I guess the rain followed me here.

At 1:00 pm, a group of us staying at the hotel headed over to my coworker Toni’s parent’s house for dinner.  Toni’s family is Italian, and her dad just so happens to have a wood burning brick oven in his backyard, so we had an Italian pizza party!  So much delicious fun!

Wood burning pizza oven

Pizza party 1

Pizza party 2

And finally, I ended the day by meeting up with a very good business school friend of mine!  Mariam and I hadn’t seen each other since my wedding, so this was a long overdue reunion.  I love it when one trip fits so many different purposes!

I’ll share more about this trip in Friday’s post – lots of delicious restaurants on the agenda along with a Cubs game, fireworks, and more!

Have a wonderful Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!

Have you ever been to Chicago before?  Favorite US city?

By Parita

6 thoughts on “Weekend Recap…”
  1. Oh wow your dinner on Sunday looks delicious- wood fired pizzas are definitely the best way to eat ’em! Unfortunately I haven’t been to too many cities in the US but LA is definitely high on the list as of now! I’m planning a trip to NYC next year and I won’t be surprised if that makes it way to the top of my list ;)! Have a blast in Chicago, P!
    Khushboo recently posted…Currently (August 2015)My Profile

  2. My sister lives in Chicago so I’ve been there more times than I can count! If you need any recommendations on neighborhoods and affordable ones near hospitals or the CTA, let me know and I’ll be happy to help!
    I LOVED MI:5! Especially that scene at the opera! So good. I’m convinced that as crazy as Tom Cruise is in his personal life, he is an ACE actor! One of my favorite movies last year was Edge of Tomorrow which also starred him!

  3. Oh! And it’s hard for me to pick a favorite US city. I do love love Chicago and I absolutely adore NYC 🙂

  4. I love Chicago in the summer too! We were there last 4th of July and it was fabulous. I may have to add a wood burning brick oven to my future dream home bucket list. That sounds absolutely fabulous! Hope you’re having a great trip!
    Kacy recently posted…[Food + Wine] Wins of the WeekMy Profile

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