Jordan and I really didn’t do much to celebrate on NYE this year, in fact, I don’t even think we stayed up. Pathetic huh? We were tired, and the next day we drove to St. Louis to pick up Ron and Pat who were staying with us for the week. And what a week! I think we decided that the best parts of Champaign include the words food or candy, as we basically ate our way around town. Pat and Ron had a good time (I hope), and we LOVED having them!
For the uninformed, here’s how the week went down. Tuesday after picking P&R up from the airport, we drove to Great Aunt June’s house by way of missing our turn and taking a lovely stroll to O’Fallon. In typical fashion, June had a smorgasbord of food laying in wait to attack. Julie, Deanne, and Debbie were there as well, making for a Waring clan riot! It was nice to chat with everybody there, and I know P&R were super excited for the visit. We stuck around for about 2 hours before heading on to more food waiting at home. Before Jordan and I had left for STL, we put on a beef shoulder roast in the slow cooker. My only worry was whether or not I turned it on! Lucky for us, we were greeted by two stir-crazy cats and the wonderful aroma of pot roast. Yum. P&R sure did pick the right time to come up, as we were the coldest so far of the season. It was 8F when we walk into the apartment, and by morning it had fallen to 1.7F with wind chills around -25F. I’m sure P&R were reminded of why they choose San Antonio as their humble abode!
Wednesday it was a balmy 11F or so for the high, so we didn’t do too much. Pat got her chance to ponder the deeper meanings of yarn in the knit shop as Ron and I eagerly? looked on. Otherwise a mostly uneventful day. A bit of cold clothes shopping followed by picking Jordan to go to Dave’s BBQ was it. Dave’s BBQ is a national chain, but very good food. The cool thing is that the restaurant is in a renovated experimental round barn constructed by the university at the turn of the century. Fantastic woodworking make the place a joy to dine at, not to mention the food is quite good, not Texas BBQ good, but most certainly the best you could find up here this side of Kansas City.
Thursday was also cold, but beginning to approach tolerable. P&R and I went to go see some of the sites about, including the creek I have been working in. We watched 3 episodes of Planet Earth, the awesome Christmas gift from P&R, and now I am betting they will buy their own copy. It is a wonderful series and the cinematography is supreme! Dinner consisted of Juniors Burgers and custard that was out of this world. I was hoping to sway Pat away from the Steak and Shake dark side, but alas, much fear in her there is. I think she found a special place for Juniors, but Steak and Shake still rules supreme. Oh well. Jordan and Pat went off to shop for suits for Jordan. She is trying to up her image a bit in hopes of landing a management position in the near future.
Friday was a good day, we went to The Pancake House, an IHOP with class and taste, that has easily become my favorite restaurant in town. Jordan and I pretty much go there every Sunday, and it is about the most effective bribe I have found to get her out of bed in the morning ;). We took a walking tour of campus, starting with my office. P&R got to meet briefly with Jim and Bruce and then we were off for the rest of campus. We spent the rest of the day at home chillaxing and enjoying home-made spaghetti and meatballs marinara. Finishing with a nightcap of Pirates of the Caribbean 3 (another great Christmas gift from Jordan) made the day complete. And with great remorse,we took P&R back to STL for their return to warmth. Of course, on Sunday the high in Champaign was 55F, so apparently P&R just timed their trip wrong…
Jordan and I so enjoyed having them here. We already miss P&R, and hope they come back. Note to the rest of you, come and visit, I promise we’ll have a good time!