Bonfires and Goodbyes

Tonight, we went to a goodbye party for my sister-in-law’s younger sister who is moving out of the country. Our friend had visited Brazil on two occasions and loved it. She loved it so much that, a few months ago, she decided it was her time to move on in her life – her time to move to Brazil. She set the wheels in motion, putting her condo up for rent, learning Portuguese, and doing other preparations. On October 1, she will officially be living in a different country, within a different culture, and among strangers. If that’s not courage and determination, I don’t know what is.

There were many friends, family members, and neighbors on-hand to celebrate our friend’s final days in the States and to wish her well before she left. Although she will be greatly missed by all of these people, email and other technology have made our world so small that even when a person is half way around the world, they seem just as close and accessible as the person next door.

During the party, we enjoyed plenty of great food. I loaded up on appetizers because they looked so amazing – and I was really hungry!

9.19 dinner1

I had some very spicy mango salsa (quick, get me a drink!), a little chili dip with black corn tortilla chips, and veggie-cream cheese “pizza”.

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We’ve eaten these appetizers before at parties hosted by the same family and they are all so delicious. If you don’t get to the them quickly, they can be gone before you even get a taste!

Dinner was catered by a local Chicago favorite – Portillo’s! Oh how I love my Portillo’s! If I ever moved away from Chicago, I think Portillo’s would be the restaurant I would miss the most. Anyway, by the time I actually got around to eating my dinner it was very dark outside which made for terrible lighting to take pictures of my food, even with the flash. So, sorry, no photos to post of my incredible dinner. But, I had a small piece of Italian sausage, potato salad, and a small scoop of cheese tortellini. All of this fit on 1/2 of my very elegant paper plate and the other half was full of a very yummy salad.

After dinner, a bonfire was made to create more light and to give off some heat.

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I love bonfires and always have. I especially loved them in college when the sororities and fraternities would do joint bonfires. Ahh, to be in collage again! I haven’t been to a bonfire in nearly a year. Ironically, the last one I experienced was started by the family who did the bonfire tonight, just at a different location.

In addition to light and warmth, the bonfire also provided a great opportunity for the kids at the party, and even some adults, to make s’mores. I am not a big marshmallow fan so I passed on that. But, on the way home, we stopped at Barnes and Noble so I could pick up one of their huge chocolate chunk cookies…

9.19 dessert

These cookies are fantastic! I highly recommend them. But, notice I only ate 1/2 the cookie. I’m pretty sure these cookies have 600 or so calories in them, so I decided to split my calorie intake between two days/nights.

Now I simply must go to bed. My in-laws are coming over for dinner so I must get up early to get these ready for their visit – not to mention do my long run!

Good night everyone and see you in the AM!


  1. Sounds like a fun party, plus you just cannot beat food from Portillios!

  2. Mel – I know! Portillos rocks! I eat waaaaay too much of it too, but am trying to cut down.