Chicago + Corn + Flowers + Bikes = Fun!

Chicago was fun, the exam was boring, and I’m very glad to be back home.

Really, though – Chicago was great. I love that city. It’s not as crazy as NYC or Boston or Atlanta, and just feels so much more approachable to me. I wouldn’t at all mind living there some day.

The test was ridiculous. I know that it’s a requirement for my NCNZ RN registration, but it was still ridiculous. When my examiner found out that I was an American and that I was taking the exam for RN licensure in New Zealand, he said, “What, they don’t think we speak English over here?” Mmmhmmm, my thoughts exactly. The verbal part was awkward but blessedly short, only about 12 minutes long. The written exam was the definition of tediousness – almost 3 hours. I could’ve been done in just over an hour, but it was a requirement that you wait till all test-takers were done before anyone was allowed to leave. I became quite familiar with the walls and ceiling tiles in that room!

We ended up doing Navy Pier instead of Shedd Aquarium or any museums. Thanks to a friend, I knew that Chicago would be busy because of Lollapalooza. Honestly, I didn’t think that the traffic was bad at all, especially not compared to Boston, but parking was another matter – there was none. We drove and drove and drove, and finally gave up and decided on Navy Pier because we could actually find parking spots around there. We’re planning to do another visit to Chicago at a later date, though, so we’ll definitely do the aquarium and museums then. Let me know if you have any favorite Chicago spots, because we may check them out!

On Sunday we drove down to Mom and Dad’s to pick up Bear, who’d been staying with them while we were in Chi-town. Can I just say how nice it is to be able to drive and see family within the same day? Within the same afternoon?! It seems like such a novelty to me right now. I mean, we were in our own home at 1:30pm, and by 4:30 that afternoon we were standing in my parents’ kitchen… amazing! I guess that’s what happens when you don’t see your family for over a year 🙂

Here are some photos that I took while at Mom and Dad’s house. My mom is an amazing gardener, don’t you think?

One of Mom’s “dinner plate dahlias”

Mom is growing a pineapple on her front porch. Cute!

Bear and my knees!

Growing up, I was either surrounded by soybeans, corn, or both. Call me a hick, but I think that a field of beans or corn is one of the most restful sites in all the world 🙂

Once Mom and I were done walking around outdoors, we decided to ride down to the very local farm-stand for some sweet corn. Mom offered me some from her garden, but I really just wanted to ride bikes to the farm and get some there 🙂 It was a great bike ride and it was nice to spend a little time with my mom while seeing the “neighborhood”. I got a great big bag of corn for $4.00, and we headed on home.
Chris and I had to leave around noon to get back to South Bend, but before we left Mom and I picked some green beans from the garden. I have a whole bunch of them waiting to be cooked for dinner tomorrow night, along with some of Mom’s tomatoes. There’s nothing quite like fresh produce, is there? Oh, how I wish I had a garden or, to quote Mary Lennox, “a bit of earth”. Guess I’ll have to wait till we’re in New Zealand to do any planting of my own.
Alright, I’m headed downstairs to spend some time with Chris. I hope that you all had a great weekend and a great Monday 🙂
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16 comments

  1. Silla says:

    Haha crazy about the exam! Don't know why the NCNZ doesn't just have some exam waiver thing for Western countries. I was talking to another American lady here on the weekend (she's a friend of Brooke & Travis) who is a Nurse Practitioner and she had to sit that same exam on the weekend too.

    Next time i'm in the States I am definitely gonna visit Chicago, sounds like a cool city 🙂 Plus I have a friend who goes to school there.

    -Priscilla

  2. inkOBSESSIONdesigns says:

    Umm…can your mom come and help me garden?

    Glad you liked Chicago! 🙂 If you like museums definitely check out the Field Museum…it is right next to the Shedd Aquarium and is one of my favorites. 🙂

  3. Jessica and Michael says:

    Oh, I love Chicago! My husband is from there and I always love visiting. I'm also obsessed with H&M…..I really wish there was one here! UG! Love your photos! They are so pretty 🙂

  4. Children of the 90s says:

    I love Chicago! The garden is beautiful, too, I love it! I totally want a pineapple growing on my porch now too…:)

  5. Kassie says:

    Chicago is one of my very favorite cities in the world. I used to live in a town about an hour outside of it, and just loved it!!

    I know what you mean about living near parents!! I sure wish I did. I get jealous when my friends say they're going home for an afternoon! lol. 🙂

  6. prepschool101 says:

    I've never been to Chicago, but it sounds like you had a great trip. Good job crossing one more thing off your NZ list of things to do!
    Jennifer
    PS: Your mom's garden is just lovely. What gorgeous flowers!

  7. K.C. says:

    That dahlia is gorgeous! Well, actually everything is so green and very beautiful! How'd you ever convince yourself to leave?

  8. Southern Champagne Wishes says:

    Your mom's garden is amazing! We plant tomatoes every year, but they're not doing that well this year for some reason. Also, I totally understand what you mean about the corn fields being soothing – I feel the same way about cotton fields!

  9. d.a.r. says:

    Sounds like a good weekend despite the dumbness of the test! I can't believe you had to take it. I bet the oral part was super awkward, haha!

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