Friday, May 16, 2014

Trip to Chicago for JB's Oral Boards

In early April we set-out for Chicago for JB's Oral Boards, the culmination of his long journey through med school and residency. Many thanks to Pop Pop and Grandmom who were able to watch J while we jetted off. The first night there, we were able to see our friend, Jonathan, who moved to TN for his first job and to be back near family. We miss the Koertens so much, especially now that they have TWO little kids, but we enjoyed the time we did spend together and now have an excuse to make the long drive to Tennessee sometime (who are we kidding...we will never drive that far...hopefully they will get a desire to visit Virginia again!). 

With a belly fully of steak, JB was all set for his Oral Boards on Sunday morning. I held down the fort in the lobby, catching up on a good book (Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver) while JB made his way through 7 cases with various attending physicians proctoring.  The test is very hush-hush, but as of this past Tuesday, we know that.....

JB (and Jonathan too!) are now officially board certified emergency medicine physicians. The long journey is over! Congrats hubby. 

While in Chicago, we ate good food (of course), such as steak and crab cakes at Gibsons, deep dish pizza at Gino's and classic soft pretzels at a great brewery off the main drag.  By the second afternoon, I was stuffed but somehow pushed through for some more delicious meals later in the weekend! 
The Byrne Baby Bean (15 weeks) at The Bean!
We walked around Chicago, starting at the John Hancock building where we enjoyed a drink (manhattan for JB and a $10 fancy juice for the pregnant lady) in the sky bar overlooking the whole city. What a way to start the vacation part of our vacation! The river was pretty but we opted to avoid the architecture tour by boat as it was slightly to very chilly on the water. Instead, Jonathan found this amazing, eclectic tour of the Pedway System led by a local Chicagoan. The Pedway is a little-known system of connections between buildings that allow people to walk inside over 5 miles of Chicago during the cold winter months. It takes you through the subway, the basement of Macy's, food courts, City Hall, lobbies of fancy office buildings and overpasses. The woman leading the tour did a phenomenal job and we felt like we had a great understanding and appreciation of the city when we finished.  

We even managed to get out for a 5 mile run around Chicago, to see Millennium Park, the Navy Pier and anything else we could stumble upon. Most of our vacations recently have involved sitting in lounge chairs on a cruise ship or at the beach so this was a great change of pace back to our usual active vacation routine! Another enjoyable vacation for the travel journal and best of all, a passing board score! 

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