So THAT’S why people take vacations.

The last time we spoke, I was telling you to go make some ridiculously awesome bread pudding. Did you do it? I did.

breadpudding

That, in addition to some kick-ass duck and a fantastic bottle of wine, was the start of John & Stacy Stay The F$@% Home 2012, otherwise known as our 5th anniversary celebration/staycation (I really, really hate that word). We were off for 5 blissful days together. There was a lot of walking (almost 20 miles in 4 days), a lot of eating, and a lot of relaxing. I think we did it right. We planned on one active thing to do every day, which justified us drinking copious amounts of alcohol and eating massive amounts of food and generally sitting on our asses for the rest of the day. Oh, and I didn’t set my alarm ONCE the entire time. It was glorious.

THE FOOD

We ate at home Friday and Saturday,  but on Sunday we went out for a meal at Emilio’s Tapas. This was our “fancy” dinner out. We typically go for a nice dinner a few times a year, and our anniversary is one of those times. I used to think Emilio’s was some of the best tapas around, but this time it was just sort of …. meh. Of course, the sangria was still flowing and we still had a great time, but we probably won’t come back here for awhile.

Monday we ate at one of our favorite places ever, Hot Doug’s. If you are ever in Chicago and you have even a passing liking for hot dogs, you NEED to go here. It has to be said, there are many fine hot dog places in Chicago, but this is not just a hot dog stand. Hot Doug’s takes encased meats to a different level entirely. If you ever wondered if there was such a thing as a gourmet hot dog, this is the answer you’ve been looking for. Prepare to wait in line, though, because Monday’s line was one of the shortest I’ve seen and I still waited half an hour for our food.

Tuesday we wrapped up our feeding frenzy with a trip to Evanston and a visit to Edzo’s. As is the case with hot dogs, the Chicago area is not lacking in excellent burger joints.  Edzo’s is a really excellent example. They have a rockin’ turkey burger, TRUFFLE FRIES (that’s right, it needs to be in all caps), and one of the best Oreo shakes I have ever had (I actually didn’t have the shake. The Boy did. But he shared).

THE EXERCISE

We decided that we would bike to Oak Park to get frozen yogurt (thinking that the ride would justify the calories), but before we did that we wanted to take The Puppy on a long walk since, well, we could. We did 4 miles in just over an hour. Then we set off for Oak Park. We were moving along at a decent clip (maybe 15 mph). The Boy was on my right and we were chatting. Then all of a sudden he decided to turn left. He didn’t tell me and he didn’t signal. I hit his rear wheel and went flying. after a good bit of drama we determined that I wasn’t seriously hurt, just bruised and battered. We knew, however, that there would be no froyo for us that day. On the plus side, we still got a good workout in and The Boy made dinner for me.

Saturday I woke up sore as hell but mostly okay. We took The Puppy on a 3.5 mile walk and then I needed to chill the hell out for the rest of the day. Lots of icing, lots of water, lots of rest.

Sunday was rainy, so boo.

Monday we took The Puppy to Belmont Harbor Dog Beach. Last year we took him to the Montrose Dog Beach and he LOVED it. This year we wanted to try the other beach (I’d heard it was safer because it was more of an enclosed space) but it wasn’t as big or clean. The Puppy still had a great time though, and we got to experience a different part of the lakefront.

beach3

beach4

beach1

Afterwards we walked up and down the harbor for awhile. We had completely gorgeous weather. It was perfect.

my guys

nemo stacy1

(You can kind of see my elbow injury this this picture.)

Tuesday was the last day of our vacation, and we decided to go to Evanston and visit the point on the lakeshore where we got married. We walked about 5.5 miles that day, exploring Evanston and walking around the Northwestern University campus. So much fun!

We took a family portrait at the spot where we got hitched.

ourspot3

What a great way to end the summer, and what a great way to celebrate 5 wonderful years of marriage.

I went back to work on Wednesday refreshed and ready to take on anything.

Except maybe for my bike. That one might take awhile.

Happy Labor Day, everyone!

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