There are some weekends that take you like four days to recover from. Usually that's because you had too much to drink (which is sort of true for me in this case).
More so than that, it's because I feel like every second of this weekend I was trying to be a sponge and just soak up all of the people around me. I wanted to absorb all of their smiles and their laughter and the joy and the fun. I couldn't get enough. I just wanted to stay there forever. But I had to leave.
I had every intention of posting while we were there or getting up early for the sunrise. Of course, I barely had my phone unless I was taking photos, and I slept in until 10 every day. Plans are futile when your family stays up until 2 am playing blow pong and you allllmost win twice.
There's that saying "all good things must come to an end”. I hate that phrase. It’s true but it’s terrible. I seriously had to mourn the ending of this weekend and the time with my family.
It was irreplaceable, honestly. We were in my brother's favorite place at the lake in Wisconsin. I was with these people who have loved him and me since we were born. People who know everything about him, who knew him like I did – maybe even better than I did. They asked me how I was doing, they hugged me and let me cry. We talked about him and it was just so good for my soul. Of course I didn't want to leave.
I wish that I could be in a place like that forever – where you play laser tag when you're 24 or even 31 and it's just pure and good. Sometimes in the world you're not sure of things but I was with those 25 people who share my blood and I knew I belonged there. I don't know how I got so lucky.
My family loves food, drinking alcohol, laughing together, and playing ridiculous games that get very competitive. Also games. And wine. Did I mention we like games? And winning. We are loud and we all want to win 😂.
The lake weekend is an annual tradition to celebrate my grandfather’s birthday. It has been going on since I was born and it’s the weekend in the summer as many people as possible are together. Of course there’s Christmas and Thanksgiving where everyone tries to be together too, but there’s always been something special about this summer weekend at the lake.
We love being together. But three days is definitely not long enough – so we stay up till two or three in the morning on both nights, barely sleep, drink too much. But if you asked any one of us, we’d never complain about lack of sleep. It's so good for hearts and our relationships and I just want more. It makes me sad that I live so far away. I just want to be around these people all the time.
These are the kind of weekends I want to put in a jar on a shelf and take it down to relive every once in a while. Or have a pensieve for. I really want a pensieve.
We flew into Chicago on Friday and my aunt picked us up. She drove us an hour north to Lake Bluff.
The town of Lake Bluff is one of my favorites on the planet. It's tiny, but has so much character. And there's a beach! It blows my mind a little that there's this beach in the middle of Illinois, but I love it. I grew up coming here to see my cousins and played on this beach a whole lot. It's so fun to take Nick places like this where I have so many good memories.
Also on Friday, we made it up to the lake for dinner at the Country Club. Ugh, this place. I'm going to sound like a broken record here, but SO MANY MEMS.
Boats actually stopped on the lake to watch us 😂 greatest thing ever.
Words do not adequately explain the intensity of my family. These pictures are sufficient.
After the Olympics, it was already time to start making dinner, which takes a while for 26 people. If you're not signed up to help with dinner, you're basically kicked out of the kitchen. So we all ended up on the dock (which may or may not have been sloping and sinking 🙈).
Just a few of my favorite people.
My aunt Carol is a fabulous photographer. I'm obsessed with this shot.
I love this house, the dock, the lake. I used to fish here and kayak with my dad. So many memories. The few days we have end way too soon.
Everyone leaves sporadically on Sunday after breakfast and we headed out to meet my dad & step mom in the city!
We took the train from Lake Bluff to Chicago which was about an hour but not terrible for $15.
We ate dinner at The Little Goat diner and then crashed HARD.
Monday morning we woke up early, rented bikes and rode 7 miles up Lake Shore Drive for brunch. It was insane by so cool. I highly recommend! Lake Shore Trail is awesome.
I never take naps but I definitely needed one that afternoon. We dropped he bikes off and went shopping on Michigan Avenue for an hour.
Around 5 we left for dinner at NoMi in the Park Hyatt Hotel. Holy crap, people. If you have some $ to spend on a meal and you want an incredible experience – go to NoMi, sit in the bar area and order the BLT with fries. I want to eat that sandwich for the rest of my life.
Then we left for Wrigley because the Cubs were playing the Reds & we had THE BEST TIME.
I love the history of Wrigley with this old scoreboard. So cool.
I mean 15-5 though?! We could not have been at a better game.
Breakfast, a walk around the city and then off to our separate airports. It was so hard to say goodbye.
We were staying a block from my grandfather's honorary street, so we had to walk by & snag a pic. I love seeing this and remembering the incredible man I so admired. It was his birthday too 💛 pretty perfect ending to an amazing weekend.
I can't wait to go back to Chicago! It's one of my favorite places ever. Hit me up with your food recommendations! I'm already planning our next trip…. 🙈