March 27, 2011

Adventure weekend with BF: Starved Rock

This past weekend, I had another incredible time with great friends, and amazing adventures with my wonderful BF! Friday after work I made my way into the city for a wonderful evening with BF and a good college friend. BF is Catholic, and with it being Lent he made fish tacos (as he can't have beef/chicken).
We ended up at the Fireplace Inn in Old town watching the two late night March Madness games. PS my bracket is so busted! UGH! I totally had OSU winning... I really REALLY don't like Ohio State, but 1.) it's Big Ten, 2.) I have money on it... It's the only wagering I do...

Saturday, we enjoyed a lazy morning before making our way out towards Naperville. Dan's cousins threw a surprise 60th Birthday party for their dad at one of their BEAUTIFUL homes. They got a phenomenal rock-a-billy/ Buddy Holly band, catered by Portillo's, with wonderful, wonderful people. It was fabulous! We got up early this morning with the intention of making our way to Starved Rock State Park; about 2 hours outside the city. Although the sun was shinning beautifully, it was freezing... so we wanted a good, hardy breakfast to stick to our ribs throughout the day. There are several phenomenal breakfast places that I've experienced, however when I want to experience great southern nostalgia... I head to Wishbone. This was a bit out of the way, but totally worth it. They have great service and AMAZING Shrimp & Grits!

 BF taught me about Mississippi mudslides... of which he promptly ordered. (Sweetened milk and espresso). As he pointed out, he spent summers in Arkansas and although that's not Atlanta, he is well versed in most things 'Southern' or some version of the sense.

He got the crawfish cakes with a bell pepper sauce (not healthy, which we now know for a fact as he asked for the recipe). I got the Shrimp and Grits (DUH).

You can watch a 'Chicago's Best' episode about the other location here. Same menu, just closer to the loop:

Long story short, and roughly 2 hours later, we made it to Starved Rock. The story behind the name is this: The Illinois Indians were fighting another group of Indians because they had killed their leader. The other tribe chased the Illinois tribe to the top of this mountain and surrounded them. They starved there as they were unable to properly defend themselves or successfully defeat the other tribe. Depressing, I know... great way to start our adventure.
 It really is a BEAUTIFUL park. It was a sunny day, not a cloud in the sky, but it was roughly 34 degrees.... very chilly. There were some beautiful cliff structures and waterfalls. The paths were fairly gradual, and we made it 3 1/2 hours (6 or so miles) before I just couldn't go any further... haha Lots of stairs... I know I'm going to hurt tomorrow. I really want to go back and try to do these more regularly. We were ducking in and out of caverns and exploring. It was all pretty neat and reminded me of stuff I used to do when I was little, back in the creek behind the house. Did ya'll do that too? I think I ruined every new pair of shoes I owned! Check out some of our great pictures below:
BF below the LaSalle Waterfall
BF thought it was hilarious that the B was scratched off...
Just another beautiful waterfall
Do you have any adventures that you've gone on lately? Do you have anything you recommend in and around Chicago? Let me know!

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