Four days of updates! Including an overnight trip and a chateau in Illinois

Well, I sort of updated from the road on our snackings (we add “ings” to just about every noun to turn it into a verb.. however grammatically incorrect). So backing up to Friday…

I was super nervous about my oral exams. It’s not that I thought I wouldn’t pass, just that I was afraid I would either forget how to speak or lose any sense of articulation I once had. However, I was quite articulate I thought (and they thought) and all went well. It was 45 minutes of them asking questions and me talking, but I did okay except for a few little flubs and fact confusion. 🙂

My big-girl outfit for oral exams 🙂

After they were over, I went to choir (I sing in the University’s top choir and we rehearse 3 days a week for an hour and a half each… yikes!). We are touring to Chicago this week and doing 5 concerts in three days, so we better get ON it. As soon as choir was over, Tim and I hit the road to our potential new home-town… what is this secret location, you ask? I can’t tell you until after today 😉 Tim is negotiating his job offer today and hopefully we will be celebrating with champagne tonight.

However, we did stay in a fascinatingly ridiculous hotel called The Chateau. It is in the style of a French chateau but it is SO TACKY like you wouldn’t believe. It was the cheapest decent room we could find for a night, haha, and we thought it’d be an adventure – and it was!

The Chateau

Our room was the one with the light on right above the arch entrance thing.

There were lots of tchotchkes….

Our friend the soldier


Tim and a random Elephant (he must be a French elephant)

Anyway, in spite of all the tackiness, it was a decent, affordable hotel that is trying just a little too hard.

After checking into the hotel, we went to a great downtown restaurant called Reality Bites – super cute with exposed brick walls and piping, etc. It was a tapas restaurant and we chose two dishes:

Lobster and chipotle stuffed wonton shells

Beer cheese and baked tortilla chips

The pictures don’t really do these justice. They were quite tasty and enjoyable, but we ordered bananas foster for dessert and it really wasn’t great. Oh well. We would go back. There was some live acoustic music which was a nice evening cap.

The next morning we got up to explore town. We hit up a Starbucks for some coffee and designed our plan of action, which ended up being “the plan is to not have a plan” and so we just drove around. We found some great places in some really cute parts of town, particularly the historic tree-lined areas near the university Tim will hopefully be teaching at in the fall. Following some house-hunting, we went over to the university and were given a tour of the School of Music by the head of the department who was a lovely fellow and we really enjoyed the tour. We even got a snippet of a violin recital and the violinist sounded very good. We explored the library, a place I can never resist, and encountered this gentleman:

Why hello, sir!

After some more driving around, and an amazing Asian Chop salad at The Noodle Shop, we headed home. My thesis stared at me the whole way home, asking to be revised:

Stop staring at me!

As you can see, using it as a footrest didn’t exactly cover it up, but I didn’t touch it the whole way home as a last-ditch effort at relaxation on our insane weekend. However, I did get up early yesterday morning and spent four hours revising. BLAHHHHHH, WHEN IS THIS DEGREE GOING TO END??! (the answer, of course, is in 32 days, which is 768 hours. I can do it, I can do it.

I am having major allergy issues this morning 😦 But oh! I wanted to talk about some workout stuff. So I got really into that Pump class at school but I don’t think I was supplementing with enough cardio – in spite of feeling remarkably strong 😉 and seeing a noticeable difference in my stamina in strength training, I started to feel… flabby! This confused me to no end because I’d always heard that the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism. It was more an experiment than anything, and I’m going to go back to my nice balanced workout of about 60% cardio and 40% strength training which always works really nicely for me. It might not work for everyone though.

Tim and I were feeling kind of icky after that heavy dinner Friday night, so when we got home Saturday night we were ready for something light. We settled on green beans and a baked potato… it was a great, light dinner.

Garlic green beans


Yummy baked potato that took FOREVER to bake with some WW cheese and LF sour cream

Well, friendly friends, have the loveliest of Mondays. This is what our day looks like:

😦 Need I say more?


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