Sunday, January 8, 2017

Christmas Season 2016

To start the Christmas Season off Josh and I went and saw Rogue One! EEK! It was amazing! I cried!

We then decorated our Charlie Brown Tree and prepared gifts for our family!

Look! It's Brodee! We got a few of Brodee's Kindergarden pictures from Sara just before Christmas. We framed a few of them and sent them out to the grandparents. Look how cute he is!

On Tuesday, December 20th, Josh and I had our own little Christmas in Marseilles. We opened presents, ate pigs in a blanket (Neilson family tradition), and watched The Muppet Christmas Carol (my tradition).

[And I ordered us stockings! Appropriate, right?!]

[Josh got me these LAA Jedi and Stormtrooper rally monkey's! Love them!]

The next morning, December 21st, we drove to Joilet so Josh could get one of his teeth pulled! He broke a tooth a few years ago and to prevent further damage (and infection) he had to get it pulled. What a trooper! While he was at the dentist I went to Target :-)

We then headed to the StubHub pickup in Chicago so we could pick up our HAMILTON tickets! EEK!

We then drove to our beautiful hotel on Michigan Ave where we unpacked, put on more clothes, and headed out into the city! We walked up the road and got a snack at Garrett Popcorn (best in the world!) before coming back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.

[View from our hotel]

We then took an Uber to Au Cheval where we split a huge burger and cheese fries (complete with fried egg).

After dinner we took another Uber to Sprinkles Cupcakes! We "split" a red velvet cupcake, a chocolate and vanilla cupcake and a dark chocolate cupcake.

We then walked all the way down Michigan Ave (through the Magnificent) to the Private Bank Theatre!



We waited outside for a few minutes before being let inside to find our seats. 

[So excited!] 

I've been wanting to see Hamilton for a while but I wasn't sure if Josh would like it. He's not really into musicals or history, but since he liked all of the historic sites we went to during our Epic East Coast Road Trip AND this wasn't a traditional musical, I figured we could give it a shot! AND he loved it! Seriously! I've seen a few Broadways in my time and this has got to be one of my favorites!

The next morning, December 22nd, we decided to go on a walk to Luke's Lobster to get some lobster rolls! We fell in love with lobster rolls while we were in New England and I heard these were the best around. And I'm happy to report that they lived up to our expectations!

After lunch we walked down the street to the Christkindlmarket. This outdoor, German-style market had EVERYTHING! Clocks, cheese, pretzels, hot cider, etc! The place was crazy busy so we grabbed a couple of hot ciders and some baked cheese before continuing our walk.

At 3:00 PM we walked to the Chicago Symphony Center to watch the Chicago Symphony Orchestra perform their Christmas show! Along with the Orchestra there was a children's choir and Ashley Brown performed! She is best known for playing Marry Poppins on Broadway! 

At the end of the show Santa came out along with the Cubs 2016 World Series Trophy! Everyone went crazy! We then all sang "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" before closing the show.

That night for dinner we jumped on the underground and headed north to Boka! YUM!

We started with the cold roasted carrots (with pistachio, vadouvan, dates, and smoked feta cheese),

then got the hot apple soup, 

and finished off the appetizers with this amazing truffle dish (pasta, white truffles, and parmesan)! HOLY CRAP! Mouth watering!

For our entrees I got the roasted lamb and Josh got the roasted chicken. Both meals were delicious!

We then ended our glorious meal by getting the hazelnut and coffee dessert and the black sesame and bittersweet chocolate dessert! YUM!

The next morning (December 23rd), we checked out of our hotel and went to Do-Rite Donuts to get some highly rated doughnuts.

We then left Chicago and made the long trek to Superior, Wisconsin. We got in late, checked into the hotel, and hit the hay!

On Christmas Eve we went to spend the day with Josh's dad, George, and his step-mom, Julie, who live in Minnesota. Julie and her mother made us a delicious turkey dinner (all the scratch) and then we all gathered around the TV to watch the Packers play :-)

On Christmas Day we called my family before heading over to Jessi and Ally's house to help them prepare the Christmas Day feast! While we were cooking I got a call from Luke and Andie who told me they are having a BOY! Eek! Another nephew!

While Ally cooked the rest of us decorated cookies!

[Our beautiful chef, Ally]

["Christmas tree" (cheese, tomatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower) and "Holiday Wreath" (grapes, blueberries, and strawberries)]

[Kennedy, Jessi, Shorty, and Josh decorating cookies!]

[Josh got REALLY into it]

[Uncle Shorty brought his VR and we all had a good laugh watching everyone take a turn]

[Cassidy, Alex, Grandpa, and Grandma]

After an amazing dinner (thanks Ally for doing all the work!) we had dessert and then drove home on two inches of ICE (gotta love those Christmas Day Ice Storms!)!

We spent the rest of the week hanging out with the family! 

I didn't see my family for Christmas this year but here is the gift we got my dad:

Aren't they perfect?!

Before closing this post I wanted to acknowledge that my favorite Disney Princess passed away on December 27th. Carrie Fisher was such an amazing woman and she will be missed.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I have a feeling 2017 will be a great year for us! First Trip: Orlando!