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Thanksgiving in Chicago

I feel obligated to acknowledge it’s been so long since my last blog post. What can I say??? Life is a roller coaster ride BUT I’m so thankful I have this platform to connect with others. We have plenty of time to catch up, but today I want share some Thanksgiving gratitude for making this trip to spend time with family!

View of Downtown Chicago from Lake Shore Drive on our way to the Shedd Aquarium 11/23/2021

Saturday morning, my husband, Bryan, children and I embarked on our much anticipated road trip to Chicago from Buda, Texas.

Outside of the famous Buc-ees near Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas (2 of 2 on this road trip) 11/20/2021. This store is the ULTIMATE gas station. I mostly APPRECIATE the restrooms.
Inside Buc-ees in Temple, Texas (1 of 2 on the road trip) 11/20/2021. This store was so busy & crowded. We stopped for the restroom & gas. Bryan grabbed this photo before we dashed out.

Our trip was smooth “sailing”, relaxing, and peaceful…until we stayed at a Motel 6 in West Memphis, Arkansas. We wanted to break up the 16 hour drive into 2 days. We’ve never stayed at a Motel 6 before but all the decent hotels in the area were booked. We didn’t think about the other families traveling to see their loved ones this Thanksgiving. Bryan and I needed to rest to finish the drive the next morning. With the exception of Bryan, the rest of us got very little sleep.

Though I’m very thankful we took a short reprieve because there was a lot of traffic, we hope to never stay at a dingy little hotel like this one again. The room was icky and cold, the surroundings were loud, and nothing about it was comfortable. I was so miserable and cold that I thought about waking up my family so we could leave in the middle of the night several times. At about 2:00 am, after seeing shadows of people walking by which had been the case since we got there, I felt the need to monitor our car. I observed how packed the parking lot was and I thought to myself “we’re not alone in this discomfort and we’re doing what we’ve got to do like everybody else”. 

We layed down fully clothed on top of the bed and were on the road again by 5:00 am. By 2:00pm, we were at my oldest sister’s house in the south suburbs of Chicago. For the return trip, we’ve already reserved a hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas, which is about our mid travel point.

I’m so grateful for being able to be with my family this Thanksgiving. I didn’t realize how much I missed them until I flew to Chicago at the beginning of November to attend my Uncle’s funeral. I have the double blessing of spending time with my family twice this year. The time with our families always reminds me of how precious life is and what’s truly important.

To see Bryan and our children with our family and friends has warmed my heart so much.

And even though I am not in my own kitchen, you know I’m going to be cooking the vegan/plant based Thanksgiving sides for everyone else to enjoy right??? Yes, I’m impressed with myself for maintaining this way of eating since June!

If Thanksgiving is celebrated in your part of the world, my hope is that it is abundant in love, food, and whatever else pleases your soul, restful, splendid, and blessed!

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