Daily Archives: October 14, 2010

Chicago: Architectural Boat Tour

I wanted to share with the blog world some other parts of my trip to Chicago from this past weekend that I didn’t already post.

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One of the things everyone in our group was interested in doing during our time in Chi-Town was an Architecture Boat Tour.

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There were some different options for the tour, but we went with Shoreline Sightseeing Tours. I had heard good things about this tour from some blogger friends who went on it back in August so I was excited to check it out for myself.  

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The tour set sail from Navy Pier, which I was excited to check out because I had never been there before.

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While our group waited in line to get on our boat, my brother and I went exploring to take some fun pictures.

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The best part about this picture is the fact that a sprinkler system went off right as he was sitting there! Ha!

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Hello giant piece of macaroni.

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We must sit on you.

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Meeks, you make me laugh! Ha!

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After we finished playing on the macaroni, it was time to set sail on the Architectural Boat Tour of Chicago!

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Here is a little photo collage of our trip:

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Did you know that once someone used to live under the Lake Shore Drive bridge? Apparently he hotwired power from the bridge and had himself a TV, microwave and lots of other goodies inside! He literally LIVED there! He was living the dream for free until he was ratted out by a friend to the cops and had to evacuate! Crazy story, right?

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Our boat tour took us through all the three different branches of the Chicago River.    

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I loved the reflections of buildings across the water.

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This was my favorite building – they are locally called the Corn Cobs. I want to live here.   

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The bottom layer of the Corn Cobs are parking garages! So cool!

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All the buildings were SO different and they each had a different story to go along with it! Our tour guide did an excellent job entertaining us with some history mixed with folklore along our cruise.

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As you can see, there wasn’t much room in between the top of the boat and the bridge! Tight squeeze!

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What I loved most about this tour was the different perspective of the city you couldn’t get from walking the streets of Chicago. To get these amazing views, you must see the city by boat!

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Did I mention I love the building reflections??

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The Merchandise Mart was the biggest building in the world until the completion of the Pentagon. 4 million sq. ft. of floor space!

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We also saw the Sears Tower throughout our tour in the skyline.

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I believe everyone very much enjoyed the tour!

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Fiancé was listening to the guide while double checking the facts online. You gotta love technology!

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Horray for Architectural Boat Tours!

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Fiancé’s Dad (aka Future Father in Law) is a camera lover too! He and I were snapping away pictures the entire visit to Chicago!

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Aren’t all these buildings so neat? I loved taking pictures of them all!

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More reflection love.

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I really can’t say enough good things about Chicago from our trip this past week. It was a fabulous city and we enjoyed it in gorgeous weather. This tour made me only love it more!

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Our whole group – From L – R: Future Father in Law, Future Mother in Law, Mom, Yours Truly, Fiancé, Dad and Brother

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Family Love.

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What’s your favorite way to tour a city?

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What I Learned From My First Marathon

As many of you know, I have spent the entire Summer and first months of Fall training for my first marathon. When I ran my first half marathon last year I posted What I Learned From My First Half Marathon.  I wanted to do a similar post on what I learned from my first marathon!

It’s so funny to compare the differences from what I learned from my first half marathon and my first full marathon. I honestly learn something new about myself, about racing, about being prepared and trying new things every race. 

1) Hydration is Key – Staying hydrated throughout training, especially the week of the race, and throughout race day is super important. During the race specifically you want to drink before you are thirsty – because when you start getting thirsty, then its too late!

September 2009 1069

Depending on race day temperature this can change drastically but I always run with water. That’s how I roll.

April 161

2)Fuel, Fuel, Fuel! – Running a marathon is an entirely different beast from any other race and it takes the importance of fueling and hydrating to a whole new level. Just like staying hydrated before you are thirsty, I made a conscious effort to keep fueling throughout the race and take in calories before I was hungry. chi 563

Shot blocks and Gu didn’t really cut it for me towards the end of the race so I had to take in some solid food. I had a banana and some pretzels and I would have had a few pieces of chocolate had I met up with my family around mile 20 (they were holding some for me).

It’s important to try out different food combinations before you race to know what works for you and what doesn’t! That’s what long training runs are for :)

pics 096 

3) The week of the race is just as important as the day of the race! The entire week before my first marathon I made a serious effort to eat right and fuel my body with what will help me out the most come race day. Lots of fruits, veggies and grains for me – and no alcohol!

[wicked 338[3].jpg]

4) Put your feet up! This was the hardest thing for me to do the days leading up to the race because I was in a new city with my family and I wanted to see the sights.

I got to do a lot of fun things during my trip to Chicago but always in the back of my mind I was weary to walk around too much or do too much because I wanted to rest up for the big race!

Next time I race in a new place and plan a trip around my travels there I might think about staying for a few days after the race to see the sights without worrying about it affecting my race day performance.

5) Put your name on your race shirt!

chi 589

Making this shirt was the best decision I made before the race. Like I said in my marathon recap, having people cheer my name and congratulate me for running my first marathon made the experience even more awesome than it already was!

chi 596

6) Bring a solid support system! I know my first marathon experience would not have been as awesome as it was without my Superfans in their super shirts! Knowing that I was going to be able to see them a few times throughout the race made every mile a little easier for me and it gave me something to look forward too!

Thanks so much for coming family! :)

IMG_1934

7) Treat Yourself – After any big accomplishment (and a marathon is a BIG accomplishment in my book!) I really believe in treating myself. Cupcakes pretty much make everything better for me – and the fact that it was Spa Week in Philadelphia the day I got back from Chicago, so a half price massage helped ease my post running 26.2 miles pain.

September 2009 1117

8) RICE – After running 26.2 miles, I was definitely a little sore, but nowhere near as bad as I thought I was going to be. I am a massive fan of the RICE method – Rest Ice Compression Elevation – which I use after most of my long runs and races.

I am a big fan of a good ice bath after my runs and it really helps in speeding my recovery. This was no different for after my marathon – I was still sore after it the next day, but the ice bath made a HUGE difference in how I felt and my walking abilities on Monday.

Snow 608

Compression and Elevation are something I like to pair together. I wear my compression socks and put my feet up to increase circulation.

mas pics 845

These are just a few of the many things I learned while running my first marathon this past weekend. It was an amazing experience, one I won’t forget anytime soon!

******************************************************

What are some important things that you have learned from any races you have run?

8 Comments

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What I Learned From My First Marathon

As many of you know, I have spent the entire Summer and first months of Fall training for my first marathon. When I ran my first half marathon last year I posted What I Learned From My First Half Marathon.  I wanted to do a similar post on what I learned from my first marathon!

It’s so funny to compare the differences from what I learned from my first half marathon and my first full marathon. I honestly learn something new about myself, about racing, about being prepared and trying new things every race. 

1) Hydration is Key – Staying hydrated throughout training, especially the week of the race, and throughout race day is super important. During the race specifically you want to drink before you are thirsty – because when you start getting thirsty, then its too late!

September 2009 1069

Depending on race day temperature this can change drastically but I always run with water. That’s how I roll.

April 161

2)Fuel, Fuel, Fuel! – Running a marathon is an entirely different beast from any other race and it takes the importance of fueling and hydrating to a whole new level. Just like staying hydrated before you are thirsty, I made a conscious effort to keep fueling throughout the race and take in calories before I was hungry. chi 563

Shot blocks and Gu didn’t really cut it for me towards the end of the race so I had to take in some solid food. I had a banana and some pretzels and I would have had a few pieces of chocolate had I met up with my family around mile 20 (they were holding some for me).

It’s important to try out different food combinations before you race to know what works for you and what doesn’t! That’s what long training runs are for :)

pics 096 

3) The week of the race is just as important as the day of the race! The entire week before my first marathon I made a serious effort to eat right and fuel my body with what will help me out the most come race day. Lots of fruits, veggies and grains for me – and no alcohol!

[wicked 338[3].jpg]

4) Put your feet up! This was the hardest thing for me to do the days leading up to the race because I was in a new city with my family and I wanted to see the sights.

I got to do a lot of fun things during my trip to Chicago but always in the back of my mind I was weary to walk around too much or do too much because I wanted to rest up for the big race!

Next time I race in a new place and plan a trip around my travels there I might think about staying for a few days after the race to see the sights without worrying about it affecting my race day performance.

5) Put your name on your race shirt!

chi 589

Making this shirt was the best decision I made before the race. Like I said in my marathon recap, having people cheer my name and congratulate me for running my first marathon made the experience even more awesome than it already was!

chi 596

6) Bring a solid support system! I know my first marathon experience would not have been as awesome as it was without my Superfans in their super shirts! Knowing that I was going to be able to see them a few times throughout the race made every mile a little easier for me and it gave me something to look forward too!

Thanks so much for coming family! :)

IMG_1934

7) Treat Yourself – After any big accomplishment (and a marathon is a BIG accomplishment in my book!) I really believe in treating myself. Cupcakes pretty much make everything better for me – and the fact that it was Spa Week in Philadelphia the day I got back from Chicago, so a half price massage helped ease my post running 26.2 miles pain.

September 2009 1117

8) RICE – After running 26.2 miles, I was definitely a little sore, but nowhere near as bad as I thought I was going to be. I am a massive fan of the RICE method – Rest Ice Compression Elevation – which I use after most of my long runs and races.

I am a big fan of a good ice bath after my runs and it really helps in speeding my recovery. This was no different for after my marathon – I was still sore after it the next day, but the ice bath made a HUGE difference in how I felt and my walking abilities on Monday.

Snow 608

Compression and Elevation are something I like to pair together. I wear my compression socks and put my feet up to increase circulation.

mas pics 845

These are just a few of the many things I learned while running my first marathon this past weekend. It was an amazing experience, one I won’t forget anytime soon!

******************************************************

What are some important things that you have learned from any races you have run?

7 Comments

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Butternut Squash Soup

This has been the season of squash for me! I have already made two amazing squash dishes this Fall season:

Cheesy Squash Casserole and Stuffed Acorn Squash

Now lets add another squash recipe to the mix!

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I have always been a fan of butternut squash soup. I will order it whenever it is on the menu, but I always thought it took way more effort to make it than it actually does!

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I did a little reading up on the makings of butternut squash soup and it sounded easy enough, so I figured I would just go for it.

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Step 1 – Peel, seed and cut one butternut squash into cubes. 

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Also clean & chop up 1 onion, 1 medium carrot , 3 garlic cloves and 1/2 a cauliflower 

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Melt 1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons of oil over medium high heat and then add the onion and the carrot.

Cook for 5 minutes until the onion is soft then add the garlic. This will make your kitchen smell AWESOME! :)

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Add the squash, cauliflower and 6 cups of vegetable (or chicken) broth.  

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Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to boil until the vegetables are tender.

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When the veggies were tender I decided to throw the rest of the mixture into my new vita mix to make the soup smooth and thick.

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It turned out perfect! You could also use an immersion blender to puree the mixture as well.

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The butternut squash soup turned out amazing.   

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It was the perfect butternut squash yellow color. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

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Perfect texture too!

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I paired the soup with some Rudi’s bread toasted with a little cheese melted on top.

(Do you like my seasonal table mat’s? Yay for Halloween!)

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Cheesy toast is the perfect pairing with soup.

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I also think that butternut squash and cauliflower are the perfect pair as well! I seriously love this combination!

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My inspiration for this meal was provided by the lovely Giada. Love her, love her meals. I changed a bit of her recipe to make it work for me, like adding the cauliflower.

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This book is extra special to me because its autographed! The lovely Sabrina gave it to me as an engagement gift last year! I heart cookbooks!

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What’s your favorite meal to make with squash?

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