We started the day piling Corey, Alyssa, Laurie, Kyle, Nic, Terry and me into a Nissan Pathfinder, rented for the day so we could all travel to Chicago together. Destination: Lincoln Park Zoo.
There was a plan.
First stop was a great Cuban restaurant. I love locally owned restaurants in Chicago. They have a special ambiance that I am sure is unique to Chicago. The food was better than OK but not superb. But it was a great start to the day. I have leaned to absolutely love Cuban food since Alyssa has introduced us to it. She is an excellent cook...from scratch too!
We wandered through the zoo enjoying the exhibits until we came to the entrance along Lake Shore Drive where the Lion Statue greets visitors at the entrance.
That's when the plan hatched.
A total surprise for Alyssa.
SHE SAID YES!
They have talked about getting married and made plans on where they want to live and a business they want to start. But the ring was a total surprise on this day.
Corey has a high school friend that is a jeweler. Together they designed this exquisite ring with a deep amethyst focal with large diamonds on the side and smaller diamonds on the band.
The significance of amethyst is that purple is Alyssa's absolute favorite color.
This is the new family.
Nic and Corey get along well. Alyssa and Nic fit very well into our family and we all could not be more happy that they are a part of it.
We topped the day off with stuffed pizza at Nancy's, another favorite spot that Corey found on Broadway, I think.
Corey has my love of my hometown. He has explored it on foot the perfect way to see it all, finding the great places that tourists don't go.
Grateful: Corey found the girl I always told him he would find when he least expected it.