We had a very nice, relaxing weekend.
We left Saturday morning around 10:30, dropped the dog off at the vet's office, where they also board, and headed north to Peoria, IL. Bruce used to take a boy's weekend trip there just about every winter, so he knows his way around the town pretty well. On the way, we contacted my cousin, who we made plans with to go to dinner that night. Once we got into town, we checked in at our hotel (Sleep Inn, which was actually very nice, except their internet wasn't working) and then headed to my cousin's house for a short visit. We all then ate dinner at Alexander's Steakhouse, which is one of Bruce's favorite places in Peoria. The steak was awesome and catching up with Dan and Mary Ann even better.
Then Bruce drove himself to the Civic Center, where the Peoria Rivermen play hockey. He dropped himself off and the girls and I headed to Northwoods Mall. We really only went to 3 stores there, but we were there for about 1.5 hours. First, we went to Build-A-Bear workshop, where B2 used a Christmas gift card and some Christmas cash and built herself a dog. It is a husky and she chose to name her "Winter." Whoever came up with the Build-A-Bear idea must be a rich person these days! After that, we headed to Aeropostale, B1's new favorite store. She too had a gift card and cash to use from Christmas. They had a lot of things on sale and she got some good buys. Last stop was JC Penney's, where we needed to return a few things and get B2 a couple pairs of jeans. Then we headed back downtown to pick up Bruce. He and I took turns going to the Par-A-Dice casino for an hour each (while I was there, he and the girls returned something to Wal-Mart and shopped there a little; while he was there, the girls and I went to Culver's for some dessert!). I won $5.40 and he lost $8.00 so all in all, that isn't too bad!
Yesterday, we slept until about 9:30am and then went to get a little breakfast in the hotel lobby. The girls wanted to swim, so I swam with them for awhile and then Bruce did while I got cleaned up. Once we were all ready to go, we headed out to do some shopping. We went to an area with some shops different than what is in the mall. We also ate a mid-afternoon meal at Red Lobster, for which we had gift cards to cover the entire cost. We headed to the Civic Center for another hockey game, this time for all 4 of us. We left with about 3 minutes to go in the game. The Rivermen were winning 3-0. As it turned out, they LOST the game in overtime, 4-3. Yeah, apparantly, the opposing team scored 3 goals in the final 3 minutes (one with .2 seconds remaining) and then won in a shoot out. Wow, did we miss some stuff!
Anyway, today we again slept until about 9:30am (the beds at the hotel were great!), got up, got ready, and headed to one of Dan and Mary Ann's favorite breakfast spots. When we arrived there, we were greeted by Dan, which we were not expecting! We had a great breakfast before getting on the road and heading home.
It was a very nice weekend. It is nice to just get away from home once in awhile. It seems like when I am here, I am always looking around for something that "I should be doing" but when I am away, that is not an option. Last night, for example, I laid in bed and read a book about Disney World that I had purchased yesterday afternoon. It was awesome! I also love staying in a hotel because I love when all 4 of us are sleeping in the same room.