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Halloween Traditions

October 22nd, 2014

This weekend included a few of our Halloween traditions, just the two of us, because E decided that he would rather stay home so that he could go on a date with his new girlfriend. I was rather bummed because this was the first year since we started our Halloween traditions with the kids that we had no kids with us. I contemplated canceling everything but decided that would only make me feel worse.

Saturday morning we decided to head over to DeKalb to attend Northwestern University’s STEMfest. It wasn’t quite what I was anticipating, because it was geared mostly towards children, but it was still something different to do, and best of all it was free.

We scoured Yelp looking for somewhere to eat lunch in Dekalb but nothing seemed appealing so we headed towards home. We ended up stopping in St. Charles at a place I had bookmarked called Beef Shack. I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive because the only beef sandwiches I’ve ever liked are at Portillo’s. Luckily this place alleviated my fears – their beef sandwich was, dare I say it, better than Portillo’s! Not only was the French bread less chewy, the beef wasn’t fatty at all, and the amount of melted mozzarella cheese was perfect. I couldn’t finish my sandwich and it was even better cold the next day.

After lunch we headed over to Sonny Acres to grab some apple cider donuts. The weather was overcast and cold so we made a quick walk around the grounds just to see what they were offering this season and then we got a dozen donuts and left. We ended up eating the donuts when we got home and let me tell you, they were the best apple cider donuts I’ve ever had – incredibly moist and very flavorful. It’s a good thing they don’t sell them year round or I’d gain a ton of weight. Between the two of us we polished off the entire dozen before Tuesday!

Saturday evening we decided to take the Gallery of Ghoulish Homes tour in St. Charles. There were 13 total houses participating in the contest, but based on previous years’ notes we skipped a handful of them because they are/were lame.

Our first stop was this house on a dead-end street. They turn their lawn into a graveyard and have live actors walking about. There’s this one young girl who creeps me out. This year they had fenced in the graveyard and turned their lawn into a mini haunted house. I was a chicken and didn’t go and now I wish I had. Oh well, maybe next year!

The second house we visited is one where they carve a shit ton of pumpkins and put them all around their lawn. They always come out so nice!

Carved Pumpkin

Carved Pumpkin

At this one house we visit every year they have live actors that follow you around the house, and beyond, to try and creep you out. This one guy always follows me! I even tried to get a selfie with him one year. This year he followed me when we first got there and when we went back to the car to leave. He loves me for some reason, LOL!

Where my “stalker” lives:

Vitale Family

I was disappointed to learn that one of our favorite homes didn’t participate this year. I hadn’t even thought about checking if they were on the list; I just automatically assumed they were and was shocked when we arrived at the house and it wasn’t decorated at all. I guess they got tired of all the effort.

On our way to the tour we decided to stop at Dunkin’ Donuts to grab some hot chocolate. I had scoured their menu online beforehand to see if they were still offering the dark hot chocolate that I had tried about two years ago that I really liked. Unfortunately they only offer regular hot chocolate, salted caramel and mint flavors. I decided to opt for the latter, but when we went through the drive-through the woman working it claimed they only had the regular flavor. Joe and I decided to get to regular small hot chocolates, but were bummed that they didn’t have the other flavors. And based on the way the woman answered us when we asked her what flavors were available, I’m still not sure if she was mistaken or if that particular location just doesn’t offer the same menu. Either way I will probably not stop at that one again.

Meadow Lake

Sunday morning we headed over to Morton Arboretum to take a look at their glass pumpkin patch. I love all the different colors of glass pumpkins that they offer, and if I had the money and space I’d probably buy a few, but the least expensive one I saw was $45. Plus I don’t know what I would really do with them when they weren’t on display since I’d be afraid to store them in the garage. But feel free to take a look at all the cool pictures I took!

Glass Pumpkin

After the Arboretum we headed to Walmart so that I could return two rugs and get different sizes. Then we went across the street to Target for groceries, but nothing on my list was on sale so all we ended up buying was unhealthy snacks (Doritos and Fritos).

We got home just in time for Joe to watch the Bears game and he made us both a plate of nachos since we were starving. The rest of the day was a lazy one and I had to bust butt on Monday to catch up on cleaning before my work week began.

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  1. October 22nd, 2014 at 23:23 | #1

    This post made me miss chicago! Thanks a lot! lol j/k I absolutely love portillo’s though and I am in love with those glass pumpkins. I recently took a glass blowing glass and made a candy dish. It was a lot of fun :-)

  2. October 24th, 2014 at 09:39 | #2

    Portillo’s is awesome. I love their burgers too. And Barnelli’s chopped salad is a big fave as well.

    Glass blowing sounds awesome! How did the dish come out?

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