Illinois in April

I am now back in New York after spending a lovely week in my home (and favorite) state of Illinois! I spent the weekend in Chicago, where some of my law school friends gathered from near and far (Chicago, New York, Colorado, Virginia) for our annual bash. A core group of us started the weekend off with a traditional and raucous dinner at pingpong on Friday night.

Four of us crashed with our gracious friend Laurie, and it was the most amazing slumber party all weekend long. We gathered a few more old friends for the main event on Saturday night. It was quite the affair: there were matching t-shirts, a seating chart, and a number of items of whimsy.

A number of us stayed all day on Sunday, too, so we closed out the weekend with a bottomless mimosa brunch at Deleece, $1 drinks at Cocktail, and a dance party at Hector’s.

I hopped on the Amtrak early Monday morning to visit my folks downstate. It was, as always, lovely to be home. It’s nice to visit with parents, sleep in my old bed (even though my old bed is now located in my brother’s old room), and torment my dog.

Abby is not amused.

While I was at home, I learned the very exciting news that I passed the New York bar! Hooray! My parents and I celebrated with champagne and dinner at my favorite restaurant at home.

I had another small triumph while at home: I learned that I can still drive a car! I drove up to Moline one day (to visit the zoo, which we learned was closed when we got there) and to Monticello another day.

The trip to Monticello was to visit one of my all-time favorite places, Allerton Park. The park, which is owned by the University of Illinois, is a vast expanse of land that includes trails, prairie, floodplains, and forests, but my favorite part has always been the formal gardens. As a child, the statues in the gardens always inspired my imagination. My favorites are the twenty-two shiny blue fu dogs standing at attention.

click through to see more pictures of the park!

Friends, family, and fun … it was a great week at home.


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