Ashley is the type of friend who is honest, loyal & never really gets/takes due recognition of her talents & time.
Thus, a few months ago, her best friend, sister and myself got together the idea of surprising her on her 1/2 birthday...her real birthday is Nov. 29th...tucked in between busy holidays and usually logistically impossible to honor or even surprise her as her family usually takes a trip to the Dells around that time.
She was completely surprised & we had a fabulous time on our road-trip (thanks in part to the Gentle Giant as our "limo"), a SUPER fun Segway tour, good food, good shopping & good conversation!
what's a surprise birthday reveal at Starbucks without large, obnoxious signs?!
and the Gentle Giant all painted?!
Jami, me, Alison, Kate, Arianne, Becky, Ashley & Tara (taking picture) ready to go!
but first...we must get instructions-exits, storage bins, legroom...wait, does that sound like flight instructions? :)
the girls loved it!
"uh, Jon...you need to take care of transferring our food to the new refrigerator...I"m heading to Chicago!!!"
parked & ready to EAT & SHOP!
lunch at Lou Malnati's on State...gotta love a great salad & deep dish pizza!
they balance each other out calorie wise...right? :)
next stop...Sugar Bliss on Wabash for a gourmet cupcake...no caloric balance here...just straight sugar!
when planning this trip months ago, Ali got out of Ashley that if she was to head to Chicago with some friends, she would LOVE to do a Segway tour sometime...so without disappointing our birthday girl, several of us braved the challenge! Personally, I was THRILLED she chose that option, as I'm sure I could never get Arlan on one of those things without a considerable amount of convincing...it was FAB!!!
listening to instructions...folks, helmets.ARE.COOL.
birthday girl went first for one-on-one instruction
Arianne conquering her fears!!!
Absolutely Segway makes you practice for about 20 minutes in a tunnel before hitting the streets of downtown Chicago...wise-very wise :)
photo opp at Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park...Becky was more than capable on her Segway, but Mr. Guide didn't allow time for her to properly park hers..."parking" a Segway takes some getting used to :)
we may or may not have broken a few rules regarding this Segway tour...rule #1 broken: you MAY NOT do the Segway tour if you believe you are pregnant. Well, Alison was a trooper and while being 28 weeks pregnant, she hid her adorable belly under a very flowing shirt! All for her sister's dream!
rule #2 broken...NO taking video, pictures, etc while Segway is in motion :)
ehm, well here's beautiful Lake Michigan.
ice cream & hot dog break at Shedd Aquarium
while we didn't know it at the time, apparently Obama was at the downtown Hilton & thus several hundred pro-life picketers were there rallying against abortion & Obama care....
...serious enough for mounted police.
we finished our day up with dinner at Su Casa on Ontario St. where we met up with Tami for a bit!
It was a super fun day!