Wednesday Weekend Wind-Up: Aunt Jean

I'm originally from northwest Indiana, and most of my family still lives up there, right around the Chicago area.  Last weekend, we took off from work a few hours early and headed up to Chicago to visit my Aunt Jean. She was recently diagnosed with lung cancer, and from what I've heard, the prognosis isn't very good.  I stopped to pick up my parents and my Gram'ma along the way so we could all have a family visit. It ended up being a fairly sizable gathering - my cousin and her boyfriend were already there, and my other cousin and his girlfriend joined us for a little while as well.
Aunt Jean, Gram'ma, Zsa Zsa, and me
We left Cincy around 2:00 PM, and I think we pulled up to Aunt Jean's close to 6:00, so it was a long day in the car - we gain an hour driving up there, so that was actually 5 hours on the road. I'm glad we made the trip - it was very nice to see family that I haven't seen in years. I always wish we were able to get together more, considering we're just a few hours outside of Chicago, but for one reason or another, our family has just grown very fragmented over the years.

After a few hours, we were all feeling tired, so we took everyone home and went to stay at the Hampton in Munster. We usually end up staying at one of the many hotels out by Southlake Mall, and we had kind of forgotten this hotel was closer. It was a pretty nice place, except the pillows were a little too hard and lumpy. We watched a couple episodes of Full House while we were there, which was making me uber excited to watch Fuller House as soon as we got home!  We filled up at the substantial breakfast buffet in the morning, which was kind of a mistake, considering we were planning on going to our favorite restaurant in Chicago for lunch.

We stopped at my parents' house for a while and then headed up to the Chicago Diner with my brother. He treated us to lunch, and we all shared an order of the poutine, and I had a delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter shake. I was basically full at this point, but we still had our entrees coming, LOL. Me: Gyro with a side of Mac and Teese, Francisco: Cuban Sandwich, Brother: Radical Reuben. We definitely had enough leftovers for lunch on Sunday! We were going to stop for ice cream at Jeni's on the drive back, but I had a moment of strength and realized that was not a good idea.
Back at my parents' house, we had time for a game of Farkle before we hit the road back to Cincy around 3:00. The time change works against us going back, so we wouldn't be home until after 8:00. We listened to the majority of the first season of Serial over the drive. I've been trying to get Francisco to listen to Season 2 of this podcast with no luck, but I think I got him hooked on the first season.
I felt a little homesick after we got back - I genuinely want to spend more time with our families, both immediate and extended. Sadly, when I offer suggestions for getting together, I'm always shot down. It's very disheartening.  


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