Cyd’s Burgers on the Boardwalk–6/22/11

Who is the worst/laziest blogger? ME! I AM! I picked things back up last night by heading to Cyd’s for Burgers on the Boardwalk. Cyd’s is a local gourmet cafe–a definite favorite in my office–and they offer a build-your-own burger “special” every Wednesday night from 5 to 9pm.  Since I’ve been mooching off my parents any time I write about food for this blog, I decided it was time for me to give back–I took Mike and Linda out to dinner at Cyd’s for burgers! Favorite Daughter Badge.

It was a little rainy last night, so we didn’t eat on the boardwalk–which was totally fine because Cyd’s has a great atmosphere inside as well as a live local musician. I almost had a panic attack when we walked in because it was PACKED. And since everything you order at Cyd’s is freshly made, you wait quite awhile for your food–so I knew we’d be waiting a hot minute to get seated.

Lucky us, they opened the back “banquet room” which offered more seating…so we headed back and picked our own table. After a few minutes of waiting, we ordered our drinks… water is served in cute little mason jars…and my parents soda’s came out in mason jars too–but with really fun gray and white striped straws. I was a total bad ass and ordered Stella Artios–in a can…classy.

 And then we browsed the burger inspiration sheet and marked our selections.. I ordered the veggie burger with pepperjack cheese, avocado and chipotle mayo, my mom got the chicken burger (which is ground up chicken with parmesan) with feta, avocado, onion, lettuce and sun dried tomatoes, and my dad got the secret agent (which is beef ground up with bacon–this summer’s special) with onion, provolone, tomatoes and mayo…and we all split some sweet potato fries.

So we chatted and solved the world’s problems while we waited for our food.

Finally–the big moment came–a secret agent even delivered our food–complete with a creepy mustache and a top hat! (I didn’t catch a photo of him…sorry!)

YUM!!! These burgers were…. yes, you guessed it… the  We continued to chat and enjoy our beef/chicken/veggie patties. I liked that we all tried something different…and what I love even more about Burgers on the B-walk is that I can come back and try a bunch of other different combinations of toppings on different kinds of patties!

We thought about desserts…but apparently the mix of hearty food and hearty beer made me tired.

So I got the bill…which came out on a super cool clipboard.

I paid…and we peaced out. But first, we swung by the baked goods to view the selection–while tempting, we left empty handed.

Cyd’s has never let me down and didn’t let me down this time. While you may have to pay a little more for local gourmet quality, it’s definitely worth it. I also love that Cyd’s also sells other really fun/cute boutiquey type  treasures…like a shirt that says “Made in the Midwest” or an old fashioned egg timer or decorative napkins.

I liked taking my parents out for once–maybe I’ll make a better habit of it!

And now that I’m back in business, I’ll be posting more regularly again–for those of you who check back regularly (Margo, I think you’re the only one :))

See ya!


Psst! This one was kind of expensive (for me at least!):

My mom’s burger: $8.25

My dad’s burger: $7.75

My burger: $8.75

Side of fries: $3.00

2 Diet Cokes: $3.00

1 Stella: $2.75

Total: $33.50 (plus tax and a tip)



Steamboat Classic–6/18/11

It’s becoming a trend–I get super lazy over the weekends and I don’t post anything. Don’t judge me…especially since I wasn’t lazy on Saturday because I woke up at 6:15am to go to the Steamboat Classic…7:00am start time, folks. For those who don’t know, the Steamboat race in Peoria is known as the world’s fastest 4 mile race and Illinois’ toughest 15k. I was granted some VIP access to the Gateway Building for primo picture taking before the race. I’d like to give a HUGE shout out to Maggi for offering that up to me…check out her blog here:

So lets get to the race and those pictures.

The time was 6:50ish and the approximately 5,000 runners were heading to the starting line. Both the 4 mile and the 15k started promptly at 7:00am…and they’re off.

If you wanted to know the race course, here you go: (I took these pictures off the official Steamboat website)

Thinking about running that makes me tired…

After the race started, I just kicked it up in the Gateway building chatting with Steamboat committee members and the few others up there–including Central Illinois very own Tim Broe’s mom! (Matt, I mentioned your man crush on Tim to his mom :)) Anyway, about 17 minutes later we spotted the lead runners coming back down Hamilton (actually we saw the 2 lead cars and their flashing lights) which warned me to turn my camera back on.

Then there was this dude who came flying down in his wheelchair.

And the first female runner…

These people seem super-human…a break down of times along with some honorable mentions. (The reason why I choose some of these people will make sense in a second)

4 Mile:

1st-Kevin Chelimo @ 18:02

3rd-MacDonard Ondara @ 18:08

1st Female-Diane Nukuri Johnson @ 20:41

7th Female-Nikki Domico @ 23:54 (she’s my old neighbor!)

58/9th-Jeffrey Camp & Adam White @ 23:57 (my gurus from Running Central!)

Maggi Wettstein @ 28:21 (my “in” with Steamboat)

Jim Rustman @ 40:13 (favorite friend’s husband)

Jess Rustman and Ellie Doyle @ 40:36 (favorite girls)


Allison SU @ 1:34:53 who beat her dad, Dave, who came in @ 1:34:54 😉

(I got those times off Steamboat’s official website, if you were curious)

Phew!! So anyway, little did I know that where I was hanging out taking pictures was also the place that the elite runners keep all their stuff–that meant celebrity photo op post race!

(I hadn’t showered yet…I didn’t know I would run into the fastest dudes at the race!)

And here are other random race photos..Starting with an interview with the winning female.

And the Peoria Firefighters who ran the 4 mile race in full uniform… HOT! (in more ways than one)

Then I mosied my way down to the finish line to support my girl Allison who thought running the 15k was a good idea…and then I saw her brother. Hi Jeffrey!

And here comes Allison…why does she look so pissed off?

Allison, there’s no need to be angry–you finished the race! YEAH!

And once Allison crossed the finish line, it was my cue to head home and go back to bed.

Although I was tired, going to watch the Steamboat race was so fun. It was motivational, really…there is this running cult, I mean culture that I would love to be a part of. Maybe I should head back to Running Central and actually buy shoes this time?

And today I have the day off–I wonder what I’ll do? Whatever it is, you’ll find out tomorrow! See ya!


Psst! Watching the race was free, but if you signed up late to run, it would cost you $35.

Leaves-n-Beans Roasting Co–6/16/11

My schedule has been changing so much that it’s hard for me to stay focused–and since this blog is important to me, I try to incorporate it into my daily life without letting it take over. Last night is a great example…My bible study took a little detour to Leaves-n-Beans Roasting Co in Peoria Heights before our session.

I hadn’t been to L-n-B in about 10,000 years and since I don’t really drink coffee, I didn’t have a reason to go…of course my opinion has now changed. I mean, talk about charming.

I had to get a couple pictures of the place before I browsed the drink menu.

What other place do you know that has a giant painted oak tree with little nests full of happiness, I mean cups of coffee and tea?

A cozy fireplace and giant bags of coffee beans? Swoon!

We made our way through the little coffee/tea house up to the counter to place our orders…but first Monique stopped for a handful of peanut M&M’s.

If you were curious, Tina is checking to see if she has some cash in her back pocket–you pervs.

The menu was pretty big…lots of choices, even for us non-coffee drinkers.

But they also had a little pour-your-own station..

My strawberry fruit smoothie was awesome…I got a small and I felt like it was huge–I couldn’t finish it all. Allison got an iced coffee and sucked it all down by the time bible study was over.

And if you wanted to know what I look like while drinking a smoothie and taking a picture, here you go:

And as a tradition here on TP the Town, I got a group shot of my fellow TP-ers outside the local establishment.

Allison was working on her supermodel pose in this picture…and I clearly missed the purple memo.

Leaves-n-Beans had a great atmosphere–I could see myself going there to do some homework (except that I’m done with school) or catch up with an old friend. I really need to become a coffee drinker and these trips to places like L-n-B and Joe’s won’t be so weird for me.

So I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to be doing tonight–there are a few ideas up in the air. But I know for sure that tomorrow I will be at the Steamboat race! I’m so pumped about it…minus the being-at-the-race-at-6:45am-on-a-Saturday part. It will be worth it.

Have a great weekend!


Psst! I actually spent money last night:

Small strawberry fruit smoothie: $3.50












Lunar Eclipse/Hot Tub–6/15/11

Do you know how awful my week has been? No? Ok, well we can talk about that later. Last night I needed to chill and since I didn’t really have anything on the agenda for TP the Town (yet ANOTHER freakin’ long meeting which interfered with a blogging activity) so my parents brought it to my attention that a lunar eclipse was happening last night and that we should all kick it in theirhot tub and watch it all go down. I guess I didn’t realize that we wouldn’t be able to view it here in North America nor would there really be anything to look at–whatever, any excuse to get in the hot tub on a cooler summer evening was good enough for me. So we headed out to our Lunar viewing digs.

We even brought Barn for the party!

Clearly he isn’t much of a party animal.

The deck looked pretty sweet though…

Note to self: Get a camera that takes better pictures at night.

And of course, we had to get a picture of each of us in the Lunar viewing party.

Nerds much? You can thank my mom 🙂

Annnnnd we were done.

Anyway, clearly we truly had no intentions of staying out in the hot tub to “watch” the Lunar Eclipse, but it did give me something to write about today! Win! Also I wanted to mention that as I was talking to my dad about this post, he said “Well I don’t want people thinking they can just pop over to our house whenever they want to get into our hot tub.” I assured him that none of you would do so–but if you want to, hit me up 😉

I promise that my “event” tonight is legit–none of this fake lunar eclipse and excuses for sitting in our hot tub to have something to write about.

See ya, P-funk!


Psst! This was free–unless you count buying a hot tub as a cost.

Hip Hop Aerobics at Body Fitness–6/14/11

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been eating my way through this blog–so I decided to nix that habit and get my blood pumping. Luckily, my friend Rose (yes, the same Rose who has made several guest appearances throughout this blog) is an aerobics instructor at Body Fitness in Peoria! Rose had mentioned to some of us at our office that we should come to her class so I figured this would be a great opportunity for me to bust some moves (I’ve got sweet rhythm…you should see me at weddings) and break a sweat. I knew my girl Emily would also be up for the challenge…and I say challenge because word on the street was that we may or may not have needed to know how to pop-n-lock it.

Since Rose only teaches this class every other Tuesday, I know I didn’t have a ton of opportunities to attend…so we went last night after work. Body Fitness is only about 10 minutes away from where we work and is in a fairly central location in Peoria. Easy access, folks!

When I walked in, I didn’t know what to expect–I guess I was thinking it was going to be more of a dance studio than it was a gym. I was mistaken. This gym is a little smaller than what I’m used to (I’m looking at you, RiverPlex) but it was super clean and had a ton of awesome machines. Basically this little gym packs a huge punch.

(sorry that’s not the world’s most clear photo ever taken)

So we headed to the back of gym to the dance studio.

Holy wide open spaces! I wanted to do cartwheels and backflips and spin in circles–I refrained because there were people there who didn’t know me and I didn’t want to scare them off.

So Emily and I explored the studio while Rose got set up for her class…through our exploring we learned that the Jonas Brothers used Body Fitness’s gym to practice a few time–WHAT!? Did Rose know that I secretly love the JoBros????

Since I knew my BF Joe Jonas was watching over me, I knew I had to dance my absolute BEST!

Anyway, back to the blog–Rose was busy getting her headset ready…

Notice her sweet kicks? Yep, those are her new shoes from Running Central!!

Right before Rose was all ready, Emily and I got a pre-workout pic.

So that was the last picture of the evening. I didn’t take pictures throughout the workout because that would be really weird. Just imagine me out of breath with awesome sweaty hair and Emily with a beat red face :). Rose did a fantastic job of quickly teaching us some dance moves for each of the songs while also incorporating tons of cardio moves. My favorite dance track was California Gurls by Katy Perry and my other favorite was the arms track–I don’t remember what the song was because my arms were ON FIRE the entire time and I was too focused on how much pain I was in.

Rose definitely kicked my butt last night–literally, my bum was feeling tight and sore this morning!

Emily and I both really enjoyed our visit to Body Fitness. I really like that they have so many different types of workout classes that are dance focused–I think that’s really different from what other gyms in the area offer. We talked about coming back to take Rose’s class again which I could definitely use this summer!

A huge thank you to Rose for being an awesome instructor and just a pretty sweet person overall!

I’m excited about tonight’s activity–nope, I haven’t even TP’d the Town yet! Lunar eclipse, here I come!

See ya, dudes!


Psst! Em and I got a comp pass for the class… but if anyone wanted to take the class it $10 (SO WORTH IT!!)

Lou’s Drive-In–6/13/11

Well since I wasn’t able to hit up Lou’s 2 weeks ago….I had every intention of going to Lou’s Drive-In over my lunch hour with some friends–oops, I forgot that I had to attend a FOUR HOUR MEETING from noon until 4pm. So I convinced my adorable parents to hit up Lou’s with me for dinner. They graciously accepted and I secretly knew that this would be another blog post that I wouldn’t have to pay for. Win!

Anyway, my parents and I loaded up my car (psh, they made ME drive) and headed off to Peoria to visit Lou’s Drive-In for dinner.

As soon as we pulled up, our carhop came right to our window and handed us menus. After perusing the menu for about 2 seconds we decided what we wanted. My dad ordered the tenderloin basket (which included the sandwich, fries and a rootbeer), my mom got a cheeseburger and I got a double cheeseburger basket (my mom and I shared the fries and we each got our own rootbeer.) Apparently the rootbeer was a MUST TRY item on the menu–it’s homemade! So after we ordered, I got a chance to take some pictures of Lou’s as well as catch up on my Drive-In etiquette–like turning off your headlights and only turning them on when you need the attention of the carhop. Anyway, here are some pictures of Lou’s

It’s pretty much your all American drive-up! So old skool.

And then I came back to the car for a photo-op

(those are my parents, if you were curious)

(and that’s me–a really attractive picture of me, might I add)

And finally after a little bit of waiting, we got our food!! So naturally, we cheers’d with our rootbeers and dug in.

We didn’t get any pictures of our actual food–imagine juicy cheeseburgers and a crispy tenderloin…And whoever told me that I HAD to get the rootbeer (I think it was my dad) was right–it was awesome! We drank it all up.

Isn’t that window-latchy-tray thing awesome?

And we were done after our dinner? Nope! We’re Pizzuti’s and we’re bottomless pits. We ordered some fresh popcorn to go for the ride home.

The popcorn was a perfect treat for the ride home and a great “dessert” to our meal.

I loved Lou’s because I feel like it’s one of the only true drive-in’s left in the area. It was also great spending time with my parents and although we just ate cheeseburgers, going to Lou’s felt more like an experience rather than just another place to eat dinner. My mom and I want to come over our lunch hour just for the popcorn and rootbeer.

Thank goodness I had a more active TP the Town activity tonight to help me burn off that double cheeseburger. Stay tuned!


Psst! This adventure wasn’t free–that would be called stealing

Tenderloin basket: $5.85

Cheeseburger: $3.65

Double cheeseburger basket: $6.00

1 Rootbeer (the other 2 were included in the baskets): $1.50

Medium popcorn: $2.15

Total: $19.15 (although Mike and Linda paid for me…except I did drive and gas ain’t cheap)

Tremont Turkey Festivus…

a Festivus for the Rest-of-us!

If you can’t tell by the Seinfeld reference, Tina is NOT blogging this entry! I’m Allison, Tina’s co-worker/sometimes friend, and since I have a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism (which is also known as being a Starbucks barista or Admissions Counselor—get it, journalism grads don’t have jobs?), Tina asked me to tackle the Tremont Turkey Festival this weekend! I happily complied, because as a life-long central Illinoisan, I’ve developed a sincere appreciation for small-town, Midwestern festivals (cheap food and unbelievable people-watching).

Where else can you win prizes for frozen-turkey-tossing-prowess?!?!

Background on the Fest: in 1966, the Tremont Turkey Festival was created to raise monies for a swimming pool. At that time, around 5,000 people attended Turkey Fest; today, over 50,000 people will swarm the Tremont Park like zombies whose thirst can only be quenched by turkey sandwiches and strawberry shortcake.

I’m pretty sure all 50,000 were trying to find seats in this pavilion.

Our first stop at TF:2K11 was, of course, the food pavilions. Really, there are only two foods at Turkey Fest: turkey, and other things that won’t taste better than turkey, so don’t bother. My main squeeze and I grabbed three sandwiches, a couple of soda pops, and plopped down to pound it all. Jeff and I have different approaches to meat: I view it as a necessary fuel that allows my anemic self to run, and Jeff views it as an adversary that MUST BE DESTROYED.

The hunter stalks his prey…

…prepares his war face…


After my gem finished his food, we were ready to be entertained. First stop was the Merchants’ Tent. For those of you who don’t know, the Merchants’ Tent (they forget that possessive apostrophe and IT TICKS ME OFF) is full of siding, roofing, tractor, newspaper, Scentsy, and Mary Kay proprietors, all looking to sell their wares. I like to go because the Tazewell County Democrats and Tazewell County Republicans are always represented, and I know one day, if I’m a good girl, I will get to watch middle-aged, overweight politicians brawl. This Merchants’ Tent had a surprise in store for me…the Tremont High School FIRST Robotics Team had a table!

This robot (or “bot” if you’re no nOOb) placed 3rd in a national competition @ the FIRST Robotics Symposium in St. Louis.

I could tell the story of how the energetic student representing Tremont’s FIRST Team suckered me into buying a $20 lightbulb (which I maintain was a donation, and my husband views as another example of my big heart/dumb brain), but that’s for another day…

After we said good-bye to my new friends in the Tremont HS FIRST Team, we headed to the “mainstage” for a recital. As mandated by law, there were cute little girls in sequiny costumes dancing songs like “Blue Suede Shoes,” which we totally enjoyed. Then the high schoolers came on the stage….in another life, my hubs was a real life GLEE’er, so he thinks he knows a thing or two. This was his expression to the men’s a capella group singing a personal fave of mine, Toto’s “Africa.”

The face…

The group…

and in their defense, I didn’t think they were that bad considering the sound quality was awful, and I’m pretty sure most of the audience was distracted by the similarities between these guys and BSB. At any rate, the little kids were a-dor-able, and we now know the arts are alive and well in Tremont, IL!

At this point we concluded there was just one more thing we needed from TF2K11: strawberry shortcake!

Anatomy of a feast:



The best things in life are usually pretty simple.

Breakdown of costs:

Three turkey sandwiches & two sodas: $13.50

One lightbulb (that won’t burn out FOR NINE YEARS, JEFF.): $20

One strawberry shortcake: $3.50

Total cost (minus my dignity): $37.00