Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Chicago, I don't even know where to start...

I had the most amazing trip this past weekend. I absolutely fell in love with Chicago! I'm going to spare you a huge drawn out post about the whole weekend, but I did want to share a few things.

When we got there on Thursday, Tony and I immediately got settled into our hotel so we could head out to see the area.

We started out with a walk...

to see a great lake! Dang this thing blew me away! It's HUGE!

We walked for hours. We had only eaten breakfast that day and were starving by 3pm!

After walking through a few areas, we decided to ask the concierge for a suggestion on something reasonably priced and filling. She suggested a Thai Sushi place not too far away. We were sold and headed over. I was lucky that they had an incredible build your own stir fry! That way, no sauce (can't have soy). Tony was impressed with my vegetable stacking skills on that little plate (the plate you see is  a quarter of the size of the one I stacked my veggies on). If there's one thing I'm good at, it's stacking vegetables so I can eat more! This meal was amazingly delicious and filling! The vegetables were crisp and I loaded this thing with rooster sauce. YUM!

The next day was all business for Tony and I. We both went out separate ways. I got in my rental car and headed to the other side of town for Nourished! This was such an incredible event ( I plan to write more on this later). I was extremely impressed with everyone there too! I made some great connections and spread the word about how great Bob's Red Mill is! Most of them already knew though, of course!

The next day, Tony and I were on a mission! First came fuel! I know, no one wants to see oatmeal and this is not the sexiest bowl you will ever see, but let me tell you. When all you get to eat on a trip is lettuce and apples (expensive at that), a $3.75 bowl of organic old fashioned oats with raisins and cinnamon is like a gift sent down from heaven. This was exactly what I needed since we were heading out for some amazing home tours...

Tony and I are HUGE fans of Frank Lloyd Wright homes. Walking through a 100 + year old house that had so much history and so much artistry was inspiring and humbling. There were many homes he designed throughout the neighborhood, so we spent the entire day walking in the most amazing neighborhood with the most breathtaking gardens. It was such an incredible day. One I will remember forever!

The next day, I got the opportunity to meet up with one of my favorite bloggers! Amy from Second City Randomness was nice enough to hop on a train and come visit me at a little place (the oatmeal place) to have some girly gossip time. I was so excited to get to meet her face to face. I already felt like I knew her, but the nerves definitely set in when I knew I was meeting her for real. The nerves turned out to be for nothing. We talked like we were a bunch of old friends catching up...because really we are. She is such a sweetheart and I had such a great time chatting it up with her. Thanks for braving the wind and sleep deprivation to come hang out with me lady! It was much appreciated and I can't wait until next time!

The time went way too fast too! Tony and I were heading out of Chicago that day and had one more home we wanted to see...

We took a self guided tour to Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House. This house is what I've always wanted. To say it's amazing would be a HUGE understatement! This was the first time I've ever done a self guided tour like this with head phones. It was definitely a fun adventure!

We finally arrived home on Monday late in the day. While I already miss Chicago, I am really glad to be home. Now I'm inspired to do things around the house, as well as around my site, work and well, life. I have a few changes I need to make, but nothing big. I feel like work and studying has changed things so much for me. I need to find my groove again and start moving. I feel renewed and inspired! That's how you get back from a trip!

Thank you for all of the support you all have given me. Those that emailed me, texted me, commented and called me to wish me luck, that meant the world to me! Thank you all for thinking of me!

Now, it's Wednesday and I need to get a move on! Have you ever been to a city that you fell in love with? Where would you live if you could live anywhere? I'm definitely thinking Chicago now in a Frank Lloyd Wright home. A girl can dream right?

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:00 AM  
  • At April 18, 2012 at 8:08 AM, Blogger Cotter Crunch said…

    how fun! you are sooo cute. love it. and guess what i am eating right now? Mighty HOT cereal!

    Frank lyod wright was crazy talented

  • At April 18, 2012 at 8:21 AM, Blogger Heather Iacobacci-Miller said…

    So so glad you guys got to go and enjoy. I love Chicago too. And the lake is just unbelievable isn't it? More like the ocean than any lake I'm used to.

  • At April 18, 2012 at 9:02 AM, Anonymous Amy B @ Second City Randomness said…

    ha ha- it really was like a first date! SO fun- and I really do hope you guys come back soon!

    One of these days I'm going to have to check out a few of his houses, too. It's alway fun to hear what everyone else comes to do because it gives me ideas for the next time I have visitors come in...

  • At April 18, 2012 at 10:23 AM, Blogger Christina said…

    I'm quite jealous that you went to Chicago. I've been wanting to go so badly! And you met Amy!

  • At April 18, 2012 at 10:43 AM, Anonymous Melanie said…

    Great recap of Chicago, Serena! Your pics are beautiful, even the oatmeal! It was great chatting with you at Nourished, I sent you an email :) Hope to hear from you soon!

  • At April 18, 2012 at 11:35 AM, Anonymous Cait said…

    Ah that looks like such a fun trip!! I'm glad you enjoyed yourself :)

  • At April 18, 2012 at 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anna @ On Anna's Plate said…

    Ohhh, how I love Chicago! I went to grad school about 1.5 hours away, and going to Chicago was always such a great time. Looks like you had a blast!!

  • At April 18, 2012 at 12:37 PM, Anonymous Pure2raw twins said…

    so glad you had such a great time. we love Chicago too!!! such a fun city!
    love meeting up with blogging friends, which we still need to soon :) HUGS

  • At April 18, 2012 at 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Love the FLW homes! They are truly amazing pieces of art.

    Lived in Chicago my entire life. If you can accept the weird weather .... Chicago is a great place to make a living. Also, lots to see and do all year long.

    Hope you were able to enjoy all the wonderful restaurants! There are so many.

    Glad you had a fun weekend! Please return soon. Haha!

  • At April 18, 2012 at 2:40 PM, Blogger HEAB said…

    So happy you enjoyed your trip and that you were able to spread the Bob Bob!!!

    I toured the Frank Lloyd Wright home on a trip to Chicago while in high-school and vowed I would live in Oak Park someday. Don't live there and don't think I ever will now (too cold), but it's still an amazing place to visit! Thankfully CD grew up in the Chicago area, and so we always have a good excuse to go back.

  • At April 18, 2012 at 3:40 PM, Blogger Bodhipuff said…

    YAY! good times! I've never been to Chicago so this inspired me. I will tell you that if I could live anywhere I would like to live in Burlington Vermont again. I miss it. :) But yes, I know how it is to visit some place and fall in love. I also REALLY like Baltimore and BOSTON. It's weird to think that a southern girl like me is such a New England freak. :) can't wait to read about your conference, NOURISHED!

  • At April 18, 2012 at 3:40 PM, Blogger Bodhipuff said…

    YAY! good times! I've never been to Chicago so this inspired me. I will tell you that if I could live anywhere I would like to live in Burlington Vermont again. I miss it. :) But yes, I know how it is to visit some place and fall in love. I also REALLY like Baltimore and BOSTON. It's weird to think that a southern girl like me is such a New England freak. :) can't wait to read about your conference, NOURISHED!

  • At April 18, 2012 at 4:59 PM, Blogger Lisa said…

    I'm so glad you had such a great time! I've never been to Chicago, but I'm going in October, so now I'm even more excited!

    The cities I fell in love with are Boston, Charleston, and Santa Monica.... ahhhh.....

  • At April 18, 2012 at 6:14 PM, Anonymous Jane said…

    Awesome! I am so jealous you were at Nourished, I so wanted to go! Chicago is a great town! Can't wait to hear more about the conference!

  • At April 18, 2012 at 6:58 PM, Blogger STUFT mama said…

    Oh.... looks like such a fun trip! Love the thai sushi place with build your own stir fry. Gotta love that. :)Can I just say that you are so dang cute? Is it weird that I totally want to vacation with you and Tony? :)

  • At April 19, 2012 at 1:40 AM, Anonymous Kristina said…

    Jason has spent a lot of time in Chicago (his bands in college would play there), and he always says he needs to take me - I have never been (besides the airport!) :)

    glad you had a great time, awesome that you met Amy! XO

  • At April 19, 2012 at 5:59 PM, Anonymous MelissaNibbles said…

    I want to go to Chicago! The self guided tour sounds like something I'd really enjoy. I've done a few around Boston and they're always fun. So glad you had a good time and I love Amy, so cool that you got to meet her!

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Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen
Home: Atlanta, GA, United States
About Me: Lactose Challenged
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