Graduation Weekend Recap

Sorry for not posting yesterday but after weeks of spending 12+ hours/day on a computer, I took a much needed computer-free weekend. It was nice but it feels good to be back :)

My mom arrived in town early Friday afternoon, and before the graduation ceremony we grabbed lunch at Native Foods Cafe, a vegan restaurant in the Loop.

I wanted something fresh-tasting that was also going to be hearty enough to hold me until dinner and the above did the trick. It was packed with tempeh, kale, brown rice, and sauerkraut and was topped with a sesame ginger sauce. Delicious! I also loved the side cucumber and seaweed salad.

Then we headed to graduation. I had to be there an hour early so while I did “graduate things” my mom hung out and eventually met up with Ian. I was fortunate to have five people at the ceremony (my mom, Ian, my dad, my step-mom, and my step-grandmother) and I really appreciated all of the support :)

Graduation went without a hitch and afterwards all six of us went to Urban Union for dinner. I didn’t take any pictures because it would have been a huge hassle (I was carrying like a million bags) and because I wanted to soak up the night as much as possible. We did really like the restaurant though and due to the small plates style we were able to try quite a few things off of the menu. The table ordered to share: mussels, goat cheese stuffed squash blossoms, crispy artichoke chips, and marrow bones and then we all had an entrée. I ordered the pacific reef fish and it was pretty good :).

To be honest though, dessert was the best part of the meal. We all shared a sticky date pudding and a goat cheese and blueberry cheesecake. Yum!

After dinner, my dad, my step-mom, and my step-grandmother went back to their hotel and Ian, my mom, and I went back to the apartment where we watched an X-Files and promptly crashed. Party animals :P

Ian had to get up nice and early on Saturday but my mom and I were lucky enough to enjoy a lazy morning. I had planned on going to the gym and swimming but lounging on the couch and relaxing with my mom just sounded so much better. I haven’t had one of those mornings in forever!

We eventually got up and decided to walk to Starbucks and Target. While I sipped on an iced caramel macchiato, I picked up the start of my triathlon gear.

By the time we were done shopping, Ian was back and we all went to Bar Louie for a quick lunch.

We split an appetizer to start.

And then I had the garbage salad.

I love when a salad is tasty, filling, and relatively inexpensive. I believe this salad was only $6. Woohoo!

My mom left shortly after lunch and Ian and I spent the rest of the afternoon/evening lounging. Around 7 we managed to scrounge together some dinner and then headed out to meet a friend of ours who was in town for the night.

We grabbed drinks at dmk and caught up with our friend until late in the night. We didn’t arrive back at our apartment until almost 2 a.m. I’m so not used to nights like that!

On Sunday, despite getting only 4.5 hours of sleep, I managed to pull myself out of bed and throw on some running clothes. After skipping a workout on Saturday, I had 6 miles on my schedule for Sunday- my longest run in a while. I took it nice and easy and made sure to stretch regularly and overall my body held up. My hamstring tightened around mile 4 but I had no pain. I’m wondering if a sports massage might do me some good and I’m planning on looking into it this week.

When I got back from my run I started to work on my bike (that I haven’t rode in nearly a year). I pulled it out of the storage unit and into the kitchen to pump the tires and make sure everything looked okay. Someone else decided to make an inspection as well.

My tires were so flat that Ian and I couldn’t use the hand pump to reach the necessary psi so we walked my bike to the nearest gas station to use their air pump. Unfortunately the first gas station’s pump was broken so we had to walk almost a mile in the opposite direction to fill my tires. Luckily, the second gas station had free air and within 2 minutes my tires were filled and my bike was ready to go.

I planned on going for a quick ride but after the tire fiasco I only had time to ride a few blocks.

After “brunch” Ian and I went to a BBQ that some of his friends were having. While it rained off and on during the day, the company was great and the food was good so we enjoyed ourselves. We hung around for the majority of the afternoon before we ran a few errands, ordered pizza, and headed home.

Lou Malnati’s is known for their deep dish but the secret is that their thin crust is 1,000x better ;). Ian and I ordered a medium pizza (all with green onion and mushroom & half with sausage & half with black olives) for dinner. While their pizza is delicious, we always joke about the way they cut their slices, their pieces are so small!

The rest of my Sunday night was spent relaxing and mentally preparing myself for going back to work on Monday.

What did you do this weekend? Please share!