Hi all, guest blogger Kaela here! For those of you who don’t know me Bethany and I work together at Yelp. We started back in the day together, just 2 months apart, and have been friends for the last 6+ years. My husband Isaac and I used to live right down the street from Bethany and Kevin for about a year when they lived in Phoenix so the 4 of used to hang out quite a bit as well.
This is my very first blog post ever, so go easy on me if it’s not up to par! When Bethany asked me if I wanted to guest blog while here, of course I said yes, but I’m not lying when I say I’m both excited and nervous! Laugh all you want, but do you know this thing has 25k views? That’s no joke!
Anyway, Isaac and I got in on Friday morning and Kevin picked us up. As you know Bethany had a long Drs appt on Friday so Kevin, Isaac, and I went to lunch in Geneva, close to where Bethany grew up. We went to this cute little pub called Stockholm’s that brews their own beers and had great food. It reminded me of a place that you’d go to in Boston (where I’m from) so I of course couldn’t have been happier.
But as great as company as Kevin and Isaac are what I really couldn’t wait for was to see Bethany! Once Bethany called us to let us know she was finished at her appt, her mom and her came to meet us at our next stop, Penrose Brewing Company. Now, this is going to sound cheesy, but I’m sure those near and far will understand. It felt so good to give Bethany a big hug and just be around her! It never ceases to amaze me that through all of this, all the physical and mental pain and trying times, Bethany hasn’t let herself disappear. She is the same funny, optimistic, laughing, smiling Bethany that we all know and love and it’s just really pretty amazing to be around.
Ok, back to the rest of the weekend. After all of us hung out for a bit (btw Mary = awesome and hilarious) Bethany and I split off from the boys and went to our next stop, a place called Galena Cellars, this cute little wine bar. Great wines, cute vibe… just all around a great place. Bethany and I did a wine tasting and then each got a glass of our favorite one. Of course we love our husbands, but it’s always nice to have some girl time to catch up!
The boys met up with us after and then Kevin and Bethany told us they were ready to take us to our surprise. A surprise for us! How cool is that?! Next thing we know we pulled up to TheHerrington Inn & Spa! They surprised us with rooms there for the night for a staycation for all of us. How sweet of them was that?! This hotel is where they stayed when they got married, and have stayed a few times since for special occasions so we felt really honored that they shared their special place with us! And let me tell you this place is amazing! Our room was huge and had it’s own fireplace. We then walked over to an awesome restaurant called Foxfire for dinner and had amazing food and drinks, followed by hanging in front of the huge fireplace in the main area of the Inn. We spent most of the day and night reminiscing and laughing. Needless to say, it was so so fun!
Saturday was spent mostly relaxing at their house (which I’m kinda obsessed with, such a great house!) in sweats, watching football, and cooking and eating great food. Honestly, it’s great to have friends that you can just hang out with, no plans or anything, and have a great time. We were all exhausted from the night before so called it a night pretty early.
We woke up Sunday and grabbed breakfast at a great place called Jam N Jelly and then went to see Manchester By the Sea. Now don’t get me wrong, it was a really great movie, but whoa was it heavy. Like, really heavy. None of us realized we had picked such a depressing movie to go see, so of course we found a way to laugh about that too afterwards.
We then hit up their neighborhood bar, Shanahan’s, and grabbed a drink and some apps. Coolest part? Kevin played the slot machine and won $150! Pretty awesome, right?! We went back to their house and spent the rest of the day laying low, playing dominoes, watching football, and of course, laughing some more. Oh, aaaaand we might have had our own dance party in their living room as well. I mean, listen, if Party In the USA comes on you know you need to get up and dance. Amiright or amiright?
For as many laughs (and dance moves) as we shared we also talked cancer. But more than just F*ck Cancer (although we did say that quite a bit) we talked about everything to come when Bethany beats this awful thing. Isaac and I can’t wait to hear what walk up song Bethany chooses for her bell ring on Wednesday to signify completing radiation (hence the dance party Saturday as we tested out potential options), we long to hear about a NED (no evidence of disease) scan, we are excited about the possibility of meeting up with her and Kevin for a celebratory weekend trip somewhere together once chemo is done, and we can not f*cking wait to come back to Chicago for an epic Bethany Beat Cancer party (that we spent most of the weekend planning) and belting out We Are the Champions together.
It was tough to leave today for sure. We all agreed we are each living exactly where we should be right now, them in Chicago and us in Phoenix, for a variety of reasons, but that doesn’t stop us from also wishing we all lived closer and could hang out more often. What started as a work friendship between Bethany and I years ago has turned into so much more than that. It’s pretty special when you have friendships that over time start to feel like family.
Kevin and Bethany, thank you for letting us come visit and hosting us! We are amazed by your courage and strength, and how you continue to find joy and laughter throughout this whole entire thing. We love you and we’ll see you soon!