Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Happy 20th anniversary to us!
Our 20th anniversary date passed with a quiet dinner at home with the family. Our table was adorned with a beautiful fall bouquet of flowers and an exchange of cards. We were treated to special cards from our girls and an awesome Powerpoint that our oldest put together on the fly, celebrating our big anniversary. It was very sweet and very quiet.

We had bigger things up our sleeves.

The following weekend we flew to Chicago in time for dinner reservations at Benny's Chop House, one of Chicago's fantastic steakhouses, walking distance from our hotel. We dressed up, I in a new autumn-orange dress, Wayne in a shirt and sports coat. Yes, he finally recently purchased his first sports coat since burgundy fabric was in style.

Our dinner was absolutely divine. We had a nice little table to ourselves; it felt like we were the only people in the place. I had a scallop with my steak which was one of the best I've ever had. We shared a side of brussel sprouts and baked potato and sipped at a bottle of cabernet.

We ended the evening with a nightcap in the bar while a songstress played the piano and crooned tunes familiar to us both.

It was so relaxing, so wonderful to go back to a hotel room that we had all to ourselves.

An absolutely stunning autumn day in Chicago.
The next day we walked down to Millennium Park to check out the Bean -- I mean, Cloud Gate -- and some other art. There was also a little set up going on for a little event that was taking place Sunday morning.

Does that sign say "Start?"
We had a nice dinner at the restaurant at our hotel called Joe Fish which, ironically, was an Italian restaurant. We had their famous meatballs and some wine, then went to bed early.

Ah yes, that little event they were setting up for...the Chicago marathon.

Seriously, what couple do you know celebrate their anniversary by going to another city for one to run and the other to cheer a marathon? Just us.

Wayne left before the sun was up to get to his starting corral. There were 45,000 runners in this marathon and Wayne was concerned that he was going to be stuck in a pack of runners. Luckily, he got an ideal assignment of Corral A, just behind the elite runners, thanks to a previous marathon finish of 3:09. He had no problems breaking out of the crowd to run his own pace.

I, on the other hand, had problems seeing him. I had underestimated how big the race was. Unlike the Twin Cities marathon, where you could always count on a little break in the runners to jaunt across the course, there was no space to cross the course. The only way to get around it to see a runner at a different mile marker was to use subway tunnels or literally run along with the runners until you crossed the street, both of which I did.

Runners filled the street from curb to curb.
I kept missing him at every mile marker. Finally I was at mile 12 well before he should have gone by. I watched the fastest runners go by, then some more, and more. I cheered, all the time scanning the crowd for him or for his familiar pace.

Suddenly my phone buzzed -- I got a text message that he had just crossed the half marathon mark, a mile down the way from me. He must've run past and I didn't see him in the crowd.

After that I gave up trying to see him and instead went to a Dunkin Donuts for some breakfast and hot coffee. I wandered back down to Millennium Park where the finish was and waited in the sunshine for the text message that would tell me he crossed the finish line. (Isn't technology wonderful?)

The walking wounded after the fnish line, some with beers in hands.
Wayne finished with a time of 3:38:01, another Boston qualifying time, and under his goal of 3:40. We were able to meet up at the finish and walked back to the hotel together, giving his cramping legs the stretch needed to loosen up.

He cleaned up and we had a celebratory lunch of fish n'chips and beer, then off to the airport to catch our plane.

Short but sweet. A unique and fun way to celebrate 20 years together.

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