Monday, December 14, 2009

Fighting Illini Five

I'm sitting here, eating my salad, staring at the humongous mess that awaits me. We got back late last night from a little weekend road trip, and the evidence of our hurried departure and return is seemingly everywhere. (Probably won't blog again for a few days, as I prepare for Christmas With My Family this coming weekend.) But first, I must talk to you about my salad. It has been my favorite meal the past few weeks. I can't get enough of it. Romaine lettuce with Vegan Caesar Dressing from Post Punk Kitchen. Great recipe. Sissy keeps stealing pieces of lettuce from my bowl, saying, "I like it! I like it!"
So...we packed up Friday and drove about 6 hours, until Ryan found us a hotel around midnight. That was a hard night, as the kids popped up, so excited when we arrived. We hadn't told them where we were going, and they got their second wind...keeping us up until about 1:30 a.m. There were all kinds of awakenings after that, too, between the kids and the dogs. Fortunately, we weren't on a time schedule and could take our time getting ready the next morning.
Finished another 2-3 hours of our drive, ending up in Champaign/Urbana, Illinois. We were planning to meet many members of Ryan's immediate family (parents, brothers, sister-in-law, niece, and uncle) for Shootout at the Hall, several highschool basketball games at U of I. There were apparently several potential Illinois recruits playing, and the guys wanted to check them out.
First, we stopped to eat lunch at Strawberry Fields, a little health food store and cafe. I was happy to find a nice place for "supplies" anytime we are in town. I ordered a hummus and veggie sandwich. We also went overboard with the desserts, as we always do, but practically everything in the bakery case was vegan. We got key lime cheesecake with chocolate crumb crust, strawberry crumb tart (YUM!), a blueberry tart, and 2 huge cupcakes that lasted us - well, Sissy finished up one of hers this morning - 3 days.

Then we checked into our hotel. May I recommend the Comfort Suites next time you are in the area? It seemed new-ish, clean, had a pool (that we enjoyed the next morning), allowed our puppies, included a fridge and microwave, and was in close proximity to everywhere we needed to go.

We met his family at an Illini store on Green Street. I may or may not have went back the next day by myself to get a Christmas present for Ryan.
Oh, so ladylike with her skirt hiked up to her waist...this picture of the boys makes me think of a moment in the car, on the way home, when all three of the kids were laughing and singing together, playing off the words of a Brian Kinder song...they had been so bored and whiny and arguing and tattle-telling...then it that moment of happiness and harmony, Ryan and I looked at each other like, "...weird..."
Cousin K even rocked her Illini apparel.

my little family of Fighting Illini fans

I'm about 12 years late for embracing such an important interest of my husband's. For that, I am sorry. (Especially since my dear husband has enjoyed every episode of Guliana & Bill with me.) Before the past couple of months, all I could have told you is "Coach and orange...was there once a Dee Brown and a Deron Williams?...Champaign..." That's about it. Now I can name all of the players and a ridiculous amount of stuff about them. I surprised Ryan one day by reciting all of their names and what year they were. He's taught me a lot since then. And I've watched about 5 games in a row with him. Honestly, when you take the time to learn a little bit about it, the commentators, the noise isn't so annoying. (And I get lots of head rubs during the games. Consider it, ladies.)
And I am now the proud owner of ORANGE.


Cary said...

You need some parmesan "cheese" and croutons in that caesar salad.
You look cute in Illinois gear!

Jenny said...

I actually usually toast a piece of bread and break it apart for croutons, but we were out of bread today.

Lori at The Davidson Den said...

You look cute in orange! :)