Weekend ReCUP special edition: long Illinois weekend

Good morning and happy Wednesday!

I am really really looking forward to the Fun Run tonight at Fit2Run, but first I’ve got a ReCUP to share with you…



My parents and I had an early flight out to Chicago. After a nice 2.5 hour flight, we had arrived. The much cooler temps told me so! 😉

Before making our way to Sterling/Rock Falls (about 2 hours away), we stopped in Aurora to see my Grandma (mom’s mom).

Little backstory on my family…my parents are high school sweethearts from Sterling. After high school they moved out of IL (because my dad joined the Army), asides from one of my mom’s siblings living in Texas, almost all of my extended family lives in Illinois.

Once in Sterling, we caught up with Grandma (dad’s mom), ran a couple quick errands, and stopped by Angelo’s to pick up dinner.

Photo Dec 04, 6 47 26 PM

Angelo’s is one of two must-visit-at-least-once stops in Sterling/Rock Falls; it is NOT uncommon for us to eat Angelo’s three times (if not more) in one weekend trip.

For dessert, we had some goodies from the other must-visit-at-least-once stops- Aurelio’s Bakery*.

Photo Dec 04, 5 25 16 PM

My grandma (mom’s mom) told me I had to try the cinnamon roll at Aurelio’s.

Photo Dec 04, 6 45 27 PM

She warned me that it was dangerous; being the champ that I am, I threw (her) caution to the wind. I gave out a few bites to family, but attacked that thing. It was SOOO good, but immediately after finishing the room started spinning and I had to go lay down…for almost two hours. Beware! 😉

After I recovered from my sugar coma, my mom and I went over to my aunt’s house where a bunch of family from my mom’s side was hanging out. It was nice catching up and just laughing at all the craziness.


I was so looking forward to a run! I quickly got dressed and headed out. The feels-like temp was in the mid-20’s. I wore shorts. I’m stubborn and I just like my shorts. But, in my defense I had three layers up top and gloves on.

The plan was to run from grandma’s house over to my great-grandma’s house (just under 3 miles away), say hi, and then meet my parents and grandma for breakfast (3.5 miles away).

My great-grandma June is adorable! She was given a heads-up that I was coming over, so when I got there she had hot cocoa and cookies ready for me. As a runner, I was really just hoping for water.

We sat there for a little catching up and sipping on our hot cocoa, and then I was off.

I thought the weather was perfect. Yes, it was cold, but it didn’t feel like anything I couldn’t handle. The beautiful scenery probably was enough to distract me…

Photo Dec 05, 10 58 11 AM

We met up for breakfast at the Red Apple.

Photo Dec 05, 11 50 00 AM

Ever since I can remember, this has been my favorite breakfast spot while in town, but I wasn’t that crazy about it this visit. Maybe I just wasn’t feeling what I ordered.

After some running around, we had a wedding to get ready for.

Photo Dec 05, 5 46 57 PM

My cousin Dominique and her new groom Josh had a very lovely ceremony followed by some good eats and some even better dancing. I love to dance! I’m not very good at it, but I don’t care.

Photo Dec 05, 6 36 13 PMPhoto Dec 05, 7 56 01 PM

For those of you that do not know, I am half-Mexican. I have a very large family on my mom’s side.

Photo Dec 06, 1 40 45 AM

My mom is one of six.

Photo Dec 05, 8 24 12 PM

I love my big crazy family!


We went over to my Uncle Mike’s house where a bunch of family was gathered to hang out.

Around lunchtime, Uncle Barry and Kristy made it into town. They drove up from their home outside of Chicago. We took them over to see Grandma June- who was not on her best behavior- and then went to Angelo’s for lunch. Yes!

After lunch, mom went back over to Uncle Mike’s house, and we did some “sightseeing”. Poor Kristy had never been to Sterling, so we had to show off all there is to see.

The walking bridge over Rock River.

Photo Dec 06, 5 07 01 PM

It connects Sterling and Rock Falls, thus allowing us to be in two cities at one time.

Photo Dec 06, 5 11 40 PM

And, of course we had to make a trip out to Imagination Station. I have so many fond memories of this park and it made me feel like a kid again to be out there running around jumping from one thing to the next.

Photo Dec 06, 5 50 09 PM

The tire swing was nice…until Uncle Barry came and spun me around reminiscent of my last (and FINAL) little teacups ride.

Back at grandma’s, we played some board games before Uncle Barry and Kristy had to head back home.


Monday was our travel day. And the heavy fog we woke up to made it feel like it was going to be a long one.

We left just after 9:00, and after stopping by Grandma June’s to say bye, we were on our way back to Chicago. We weren’t sure how long the construction-traffic, and rental car return were going to take; everything was actually pretty smooth, so we ended up at the airport with quite a bit of time to spare.

This allowed us to relax and grab a bite to eat. Chicago Dog. When in rome… 😉

Photo Dec 07, 2 45 27 PM

It appears I even made a new friend on the flight. I can honestly say, I had never before seen a bird on a plane. He was very well-behaved though.

Photo Dec 07, 3 29 07 PM

Overall, it was a quick trip to Illinois, but it was fun and very nice to see everyone. And, before i knew it, we were home.


Question of the day

Tell me one exciting thing going on in your life.

*There is a bit of a bakery-war going on in Sterling/Rock Falls. One bakery started it all, then they closed up show due to retirement, and now there are two offering very similar products. At this point, I don’t care which one I go to, as long as I get my iced cookies.

4 thoughts on “Weekend ReCUP special edition: long Illinois weekend

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