Thursday, January 1, 2015

Our Not So White Christmas in Indiana, Chicago, and Wisconsin

The weather here has been warm compared to the hell we experienced last year! It has snowed just a few times (twice? three times?) but the snow didn't stick around too long. I was actually hoping for a little bit of snow for Christmas. I just wanted a little bit. Just enough to cover up the dead grass and shedding trees. But nope! None AT ALL!

The Pipeline shut down for two weeks this year for Christmas so Josh and I were able to go up to Wisconsin to visit some of his family.

Sunday, December 21st:
We started off the Christmas Break buy having a little Christmas celebration at home in the Raptor.

We had pigs in a blanket (a Neilson Family tradition) and eggs for breakfast and then proceeded to open our presents.

[Presents and our humble Charlie Brown Christmas tree]

[Josh is excited for the presents]

[Josh was also excited for the Packers game]

[Preparing breakfast]


After we opened our presents we took pictures in front of the tree with our gifts (another Neilson tradition).

[Josh and his presents in front of the tree]

[Me and my presents in front of the tree] 

Monday, December 22nd:
Josh bought us tickets to go see the Chicago Symphony's Show: Welcome Yule! in Chicago. Monday morning we headed up to Chicago and checked into the Hilton on Michigan Ave. It is an older hotel but is only a few blocks away from the Symphony which made it easier for us.

[Road trippin' to the Windy City]

 About an hour before the show started we headed downstairs to the lobby to get our free Starbucks hot chocolate (the best!) and then we headed outside into the rain.

We arrived, found our seats, got settled in, and waited for the show to start.

Welcome Yule! was AMAZING! The orchestra was so talented, the adult choir was great, the kids choir was so cute, and the actors and ballet dancers were so much fun to watch. We had a great time and I would love to go back and see another show sometime soon! 

After the show we walked back to the hotel and hung around until it was time to go to dinner. We took a cab this time (since the rain was getting heavier) and we went to dinner at a local favorite, The Gage. We got the cheese plate appetizer to share but I ended up just devouring the blue cheese while Josh ate the lighter cheeses. For dinner Josh had the venison burger and I had the fish and chips. Everything was delicious!

We took a cab back to the hotel where we watched a football game and Josh got a big slice of Chicago deep dish pizza (when in Rome! ... or Chicago!).

Tuesday, December 23rd:
We got up late and walked down the street to another local favorite, Yolk, to get some breakfast before we headed out towards Wisconsin. The food at Yolk was delicious and very filling! We got just one more cup of hot chocolate before hitting the road!

[Beautiful Chicago morning!]

[Christmas at the Hilton] 

[Road trippin' to Wisconsin]

We drove all day to Superior and only hit rough weather once we were just a few miles from our destination. We met up with Josh's sister Jessi and her fiance Ally at Applebees for a late dinner, which was a lot of fun! We spent a few hours catching up and making plans for the rest of the week.

On Christmas Eve we went to dinner at Jessi and Ally's house where we were joined by Josh's cousin Kennedy. Ally made us a DELICIOUS pot roast dinner and we spent the rest of the night chatting.

We spent Christmas Day with Josh's dad George and his wife Julie at her mother's house. They prepared a tasty turkey lunch and Josh and I spent a lot of time catching up with his childhood friend (and cousin) Brandon and Brandon's girlfriend, Marlina. 

During the rest of the week we went and saw two movies (Unbroken and Into the Woods); went out to sushi dinner with Jessi and Ally; saw Josh's old friends Jon and Connie; watched the Packer game at the Cho Cho Bar with Jessi, Ally, Cassidy, Alex, Kennedy, George, Julie, Brandon, and Rachel; Skyped with Brodee; ate Ally's delicious chicken enchiladas (thanks for taking such good care of us!); and had a great time with Josh's family!

[Josh and I - Go Packers (and Lakers)!]

[Jessi and Josh]

[Me and Ally]

After a long week in Wisconsin we were ready to get back home and sleep in our own bed before work starts back up.

 [Road trippin' back to Indiana with baby Groot]

 Thanks to the Neilson Family, the Carlson Family, and the Woodhull Family for making this such a great Christmas!

And here are some pictures that Sara sent us of Brodee:

It looks like he had a great Christmas too!

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