First I have to say I LOVE the city of Chicago!!!! My cousin Jamie and his wife live in Old Town, or maybe it's the edge of Old Town, I'm not sure I just remember when we were walking back from Treasure Island on Saturday I saw the Old Town signs.
We arrived Friday morning at 10:30ish, Cheryl had warned us ahead of time to expect to wait at least 45 minutes for our bags, I don't know if it took a long time for us to get to baggage claim with a potty break and such or if we were just lucky but I don't think we even waited 5 minues... and even luckier Jamie was right there waiting for us.
From the very beginning Jamie was WONDERFUL he has always been such a sweetheart and he sure proved it again and again over the weekend.
We headed to his Apt. first and then over to "Stella's" for breakfast/lunch. I had pancakes with strawberries very yummy!!!!!
After breakfast we headed to the Expo... wow all I can say is WOW that was cool, although almost too big, there were a lot of times I felt like I was walking around in circles. LOL
I made a few purchases.. the biggies was the official marathon jacket, it was the same price as online, but no shipping costs.
The expo was fun, we ran into friends Michele and James so happy to see them!! the ladies from the Little Rock Marathon had a booth set up, and Brenda knows them so we stopped for a minute to talk to them, well one of them anyway ;) we also ran into Kim Howard who we see at all of the local 5k's... he is also the president of our state RRCA or whatever the intitials are. I asked Jamie several times if he was ok... can you imagine if you are a guy going shopping with three girls... and then add to that it was the expo for the Chicago Marathon!!!
Jamie said he was loving every minute of it. He was just happy to have us there :)
After spending close to 3 hours at the expo we headed back to the apartment to relax until time for dinner. Jamie and Jen took us to an Italian restaurant I'm sure I'll spell it wrong but here goes... Francisca Forno?? It was delicious we even had dessert, Jamie and Jen insisted we had to have dessert so they ordered two and Brenda and I each had a couple of bites of the second one. It was so good, but we were too full and a little afraid to eat too much of it.
By the time we got home it was late so we pretty much got ready to go to bed. We slept in Saturday morning until about 7:30 and then we headed out for our 2 mile easy run along the Lakeshore trail we were running towards downtown and I was so mad I didn't take my cell phone with me because it was just an awesome view!!
I forgot to mention at the expo Brenda, and I got these cool new Gel belts... they look tiny but they expand to hold 5 or 6 gels, I use honey stingers and hammer gels and the packaging is bigger than Gu's..anyway I was able to fit six of them in there... we know, your not supposed to try anything new for the marathon, but neither one of us were happy with the belts we had brought along... so anyway we loaded them up for the 2 mile run so that we could give them a test run. With all the gels there was no room for my cell phone :(
The 2 miles were not easy... it was around 10:30 and already pretty hot, I was ready to cry, I just kept thinking if this is so hard how am I going to run 26.2 miles tomorrow.
I will say that Toby was a trooper and did great, kept up with us the whole time, but when we were done he was pooped!!
When we got back to the apt after the run Jen had breakfast almost ready for us... French toast, "Egg Bake", bacon, fresh fruit... oh my it was WONDERFUL!!!!!!!! She is an exellent cook and host, she took great care of us the whole trip.
Afer breakfast Jame & Jen needed to run some errands so the girls and i decided to do a little exploring around their neighborhood. We went to Fleet Feet and got a few goodies, and a really cool technical shirt I'l post pictures later. After Fleet Feet we headed to Star Bucks and sat and people watched for a long time.
When we were at the expo on Friday I forgot to look for a shirt for Arland so when we went to Fleet Feet on Saturday I asked if they had any running shirts that refrenced Chicago but without the 26.2 or marathon. No they said try the expo so I had to explain that I was a selfish and bad wife because I was selfish and only bought stuff for myself at the expo :( They just shook their heads and walked away from me as quickly as they could!!
Later on Saturday Jamie wanted to go to his FAVORITE running store Universal Sole, so I tagged along but still no luck with finding a shirt for Arland... sorry baby!!!
The rest of the day we spent relaxing, and drinking as much water with "Nuun" as we could hold... Jen made us a fabulous dinner that night and then we got all of our running stuff prepared and tried to go to bed at a decent time.