A Family Affair

by Jenn (eating bender) on July 13, 2011

It’s always a treat when my family visits us in Chicago. Last Wednesday, the Benders started arriving for a fun-filled weekend, kicked off by a trip to Cirque du Soleil, one of my favorite shows.

This time around we were under the big top at the United Center to see Ovo. It was quite the treat and although I would argue that it was not my favorite of the Cirque shows, it is definitely still worth going to if it’s ever in your city.

The next day, Papa Bender came to town, which was followed by a lovely breakfast at Yolk. I started out with a strawberry-orange juice that was absolutely wonderful.

For my entree, I went with the Tuscan frittata, which was out-of-this-world good. Eggs baked with chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, and red diced potatoes, then topped with goat cheese. I could not get enough.

I also enjoyed a side of whole wheat toast.

After breakfast, my dad and brother headed to Milwaukee to spend time with our family up there, while my mom and I got ready for our girl’s weekend with Jill and her mom, who also came to town!

Our first task was to get ready for a big Friday night barbecue with the boys in our lives. :)

We put together quite the feast, starting with an appetizer of barbecue and salt + pepper popchips.

Our Take Two Burgers were grilled, while watermelon was balled…

…and wine, of course, was served. :)

Bobby marinated some red pepper with mushrooms to top the burgers. They turned out fantastic!

My mom also made her prized asparagus, grilled in aluminum foil with butter and Parmesan cheese.

Everybody agreed that the meal was a hit — and saved just enough room for some frozen yogurt for desert. I can’t believe I haven’t had Stonyfield After Dark Chocolate since July of 2008. It was just as good as I remembered!

The rest of the night was spent chatting amidst games of Scattergories. We had a blast!

The girl’s weekend continued into Saturday, when we saw Midnight in Paris — definitely an interesting movie if you love literature and art — and went to Grand Lux Cafe for dinner. On Sunday, we ended things on a boat note.

The moms and daughters took a Shoreline Architecture River Cruise, which was awesome!

We navigated all parts of the downtown Chicago river area, more than any other architecture cruise I’ve ever been on. It was great to see more of the city and hang out with Mama Bender.

Of course, no Chicago sightseeing tour would be complete without an overly expensive photo. Yes, I am that person who doles out for the semi-professional photograph with the cheesy foreground. I did it when Bobby and I went to Alcatraz, too!

Ah, memories. :) Cheers to a fantastic mother-daughter weekend!

My dad and brother came back into town Monday afternoon for one more night of hanging out. It was sad to send them off to the airport yesterday, but I’m glad that Chicago Family Weekend 2011 was made into a reality! Hoping for a repeat next summer.

What’s one tourist adventure that you absolutely love in your city?


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Onion in My Hair July 13, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Great Chicago pics!

I’ve always wanted to do one of those architectural tours downtown…but it always seems to fall behind. Maybe next summer!? 😉


2 Jenn (eating bender) July 13, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Yes, definitely! I highly recommend doing it once – preferably on a not-so-humid day so you can avoid the situation that our tour guide called, “the frying pan.” We felt a bit like scrambled eggs. :) But even with the heat, it was worth it!


3 Erica July 13, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Love both of the dresses you wore this weekend! Very cute. Sounds like you had a lot of fun with the fam! And the food- delicious. I want that frittata. So awesome that they topped it with goat cheese- droooool. Ummmm I love walking around the battery in downtown Charleston :)


4 Megan (Braise The Roof) July 13, 2011 at 4:54 pm

What a fun weekend! I never think about doing those boat tours anymore, but they really are nice on a sunny afternoon! And you know I love Yolk. Their frittatas are awesome.


5 Lauren July 13, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Wow, what a great weekend! Yolk sounds incredible. That frittata is something I will be making soon! :)


6 BroccoliHut July 13, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Love the red pepper/mushroom topper! Bobby is a smart man:)


7 Melissa @ TryingToHeal July 13, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Ahhhhh…what a fun time with your family!!! It looks like such a great time with all of them! I’m excited to see you went back to Yolk! That fritatta looks AMAZING!!!


8 Alyse July 14, 2011 at 1:58 am

Reading this made me all nostalgic for Chicago (moved away two years ago!). I love the architecture cruise, though I never did it when I actually lived there! It’s so true that we forget to be tourists where we live. For my part, I’ll never get tired of the Golden Gate Bridge, no matter how clogged with tourists and shrouded by fog!


9 withasideofhope July 14, 2011 at 6:46 am

What a great weekend spending time with your family! :) That fritatta looks really good! Oh and the meal you and your family cooked looked wonderful! :)


10 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) July 14, 2011 at 9:31 am

What a fun weekend! Love your dress in that first picture! So pretty! The burgers look really good! Love the last photo! So cute!


11 shannon July 15, 2011 at 11:59 am

sounds like a fabulous weekend :) and i love scattegories!! hehe


12 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions July 16, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Ohhh my word I love Yolk and Grand Lux so much. I had thee most amazing scrambler at Yolk a few months ago…love. Nothing but love. And of course the desserts at Grand Lux are to die for. Sounds like an awesome weekend!


13 Cait's Plate July 18, 2011 at 10:14 am

Aw this looks like so much fun!! I love doing food tours in my city – NYC has so many awesome eateries that it’s nice to try tastes of all of them!

PS – just saw the pics of your nieces and they are SO adorable!


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