Todd Family Blog

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

June and July!

I've had this post ready for about two weeks. Unfortunately, things kept getting in the way of finishing it. First, I became extremely ill with some random flu. (I'm going to blame a voice student for passing it on to me.) I was out for about a week and even had to go to the ER! I recovered just in time for my mom to come into town, begin rehearsals for a concert in Indy, and perform two concerts with the group Full Circle Music on August 1 and 2. (More on those on the next post. I'll have some pictures and maybe even some video!) Now I am sitting in Vermont after driving up here with mom. Finally, I have some time to devote to the blog.

So,below is an update covering mostly July. Like last month, short on words and long on pictures. There are some things that I was not able to capture. What you won't see are pictures of Brad going to Symphony on the Prairie (the music of Billy Joel!) with family and friends while I was sick, pictures from the Brickyard 400 (which Brad attended with our good friend, Mike Allen,and LOVED!), some fun girls' nights with Jen, Ellen and Miriam where we did tapas-style dinners and hung out at the Five Seasons pool, and fellow Zville classmate Alli (Weber) and Kyle Yancey coming over for a cookout last month. We're excited to hear about the arrival of Alli and Kyle's second baby any second!

I also have discovered that the lighting in Birdy's bar is not conducive to picture-taking, but I have to give props to Ryan and Monique Metzing. They had a recent Birdy's performance and I requested a song for them to prepare: an acoustic version of "Single Ladies". That's right. Beyonce. And they did it! I felt very honored. It was awesome, guys. I think it needs to be part of the regular set.

One big event we had planned this summer was a weekend in Chicago with a large group of friends in late June. As you will see, it was quite the extravaganza. Friends from all parts of our life in one big, happy group. (I would think that everyone reading this blog knows at least one or two people in these pictures!) Thank you guys for one of the best weekends we've had in a long time!!!

Drinks at our hotel, the beautiful Palmer House Hilton:
Me, Katherine, Miriam

Miriam and Katherine

The Palmer House Hilton Lobby. SO beautiful!

Brad and Tyler chatting in the lobby the next day.

Our second night in the city (our first was spent getting some quality one on one time with Katherine in her apt, drinking good wine and ordering yummy pizza), we went to a Vietnamese/French restaurant Miriam and I had always wanted to try, Le Coloniale. Wonderful! And Brad's good Purdue friends, Steve and Jeff, were able to join us.

After dinner we all went to Richard's where Meghan Boots joined us, having just flown in from San Fran.
Katherine, Boots, Miriam, Me

Jeff, Steve and Brad guarding the jukebox

Brad and I took a few hours to visit the Taste of Chicago, which we had always wanted to try. We highy recommend it: lots of restaurants featuring some of their most interesting dishes. One of our favorites was an African restuarant (see pic below) and a Vegetarian BBQ place! There are also great views of the city as you eat and even some good bands providing music.

One thing that a lot of us wanted to do was take the river boat architecture tour given by the architecture society. It was truly incredible. I always hear that Chicago has arguably the best city architecture in the country. Learning about it over an hour and a half and seeing it up close made us really appreciate it. Our exceptionally trained guide was a wealth of knowledge, no notecards in sight! Below are some of my personal favorites.

Ready for the tour, Keith, Elizabeth, Tyler, Adrienne, Brad and Miriam (in the awesome hat!)

We loved the name of this boat. Other Seinfeld fans will no doubt agree.

No Chicago trip can be complete for Miriam, myself or Katherine without a visit to Halstead and Armitage for boutiques and Lori's shoes.

On our third night we went to a fabulous Italian tapas-style restaurant, Quartino. There were 10 of us and we enjoyed an amazing variety of Itlian dishes starting with the beautiful cheese, olive and salumi platter Brad chose.

Elizabeth and Keith

Our beautiful salumi platter

Blue Steel

Adrienne and Tyler

Me, Katherine, Miriam and Nina

Tyler Smith, a good friend from Zville, and his fiance, Adrienne, invited us over to Adrienne's beautiful apartment right on Lake Shore drive. There we had a great time laughing and watching fireworks from Navy Pier on the rooftop.

Stopping in the 7-Eleven for provisions:

I love these next three of us laughing. I laughed SO much and SO hard that night. Our friends are funny!!!

A beautiful blond couple

Boots serenading us with "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid in the elevator:

Fireworks on the Roof
I stole Brad's shirt since it was drizzling a bit. No one wants to see Meagan's straightened hair get rained on, trust me.

A gorgeous couple

Most of our Chicago nights out end up at Richard's, a hole-in-the wall spot with a well-stocked jukebox. Something ridiculous always happens there. And afterwards there is a great late-night bar down the street that serves appetizers and pizza. Makes for a perfect night.

More Blue Steel

I don't know... This is just how Richard's is....

One to July....
Most of us in Indiana got foiled on the 4th by a rainy night. We were planning on meeting Kyle and Alli Yancey and Ryan and Monique Metzing at the Symphony on the Prairie performance. Instead we went out to dinner and bowling with the Metzings. We discovered that Wii bowling does not translate to real life, but had a great time anyway.

Lucy Metzing and me at Granite City for dinner

Love this picture - Ryan helping Lucy during her first bowling experience.

Monique and Lucy-Lu at dinner

One the 5th we met our new friends, the Bells and the Ponslers, for fun at a nearby waterpark. We love seeing their sons Hudson and Tegnen growing right in front of us! We're excited that this beautiful park is only 5 minutes down the road for our own little one next year! I see more park dates in our future.

Tegegn having fun with the giant sprinklers

The girls: Becky B., Me, Sarah P.

The boys: Chris P., Brad, Chris B.

Hudson in a zen moment

The swings were a big hit

Zionsville has a fun tradition of free music downtown in Lincoln Park on Wednesdays during the summer. One recent concert featured the brother of one of our Zville classmates, Matt Krejci.
Be sure to check out Mike Krejci's website:
He did a great job and writes his own country/folk style music. It was wonderful to see old Zville friends, including Matt and Adam Wright(below). We also met Matt's sweet wife, Trisha, for the first time! Wish you guys lived closer; be sure to let us know next time you're in town!

I'm sure you all are wondering how the garden is going! As you will see, I let a few squash get way too big while we were out of town. The tomatoes are coming in now and are the most wonderful tomatoes I've eaten in years. Indiana tomatoes are truly amazing. About to dig into that amazing Indiana sweet corn next!

Blanching and freezing my first picking of beans

The squash and cucumbers never end!

Monster squash that had to be recycled in the composte

Elizabeth invited me up to Crown Point to attend her sister and brother-in-law's annual summer party. I thought I was going to a friendly cookout. What I found was a BBQ grill the size of a van (seriously), a band, more food than even the 200 (?) attendees could possibly eat, a beautiful pool and outdoor fireplace and the amazing generosity of our hosts,Tena, Philip and their neighbor. Thank you guys for a great time! Can't wait for next year.

The beautiful pool and porch area

The corn hole area and food tent across the neighbor's lawn

Markie, one of Elizabeth's old voice students, and Elizabeth

By the way, there have been some really great skies lately. Definitely one of my favorite things about living in the midwest again. I have a thing for skies apparently.