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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My kind of town, Chicago...

I am so excited to tell you all about our trip to Chicago!  It was an amazing trip, and it was so nice that Dan got to show me around "his town."  I can't wait to go back and visit!  I shall start this post off with some observations about Chicago:
  1. I am 100% sure that Michigan Avenue is what Heaven will be like.  Except the stores won't require any money.  SERIOUSLY.  Have you been to the Magnificent Mile?!  The window displays are enough to make you drool.
  2. This one is important.  WHY is all pizza not Chicago style?  This was my first experience with Chicago-style pizza, and to say that I couldn't get enough is an understatement.
I'm sure I have more words of wisdom, but I'm too excited to get to the pictures, so here we go!  Sit tight, it's gonna be a long one, folks.

Immediately after de-boarding the plane on Thursday, our first order of business was to find the pregnant woman some delicious pizza (refer to #2 above).  We checked into the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel, which was absolutely incredible.  It is located on Walton Place, which is right by the Louis Vuitton store on Michigan Avenue (Holy window display filled with ostrich legs and amazing shoes!!!).  Dan got us an excellent deal via Priceline, and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay.  The pictures don't even do it justice - it is even more incredible in person.  I didn't think to take pictures of our room (sorry!) but if you're really curious the hotel website has photos.  After check in, we walked a few blocks to Pizano's on State Street, per Aunt Shelley's suggestion.  I am here to tell you, my friends, that it did not disappoint.  Nothing quite compares to the deliciousness of Chicago-style pizza.  Behold:

I thought about having Dan take a photo of me enjoying my pizza, but I was too busy scarfing.  Yum.

After lunch, we decided to take a boat tour of the city.  Aunt Shelley did not steer us wrong during our trip - she told us it was the best, so upon her recommendation, we decided to do the Chicago's First Lady Architecture Tour.  We had a wonderful time.  It was so neat to see all of the buildings and learn about a little of the city's history.  Chicago is truly a beautiful city.  The weather was a lot colder than we anticipated, but Dan fortified us both - me with hot chocolate, him with an adult beverage or four - and we were good to go.  I took about a bajillion pictures, but since you can google the buildings online, I'll just post a few favorites:

Dan was super excited about the beer boat tour

We finished up the boat tour in the early afternoon, and after a break to rest my feet (and get some cookies and milk at the Corner Bakery), we decided to do a little shopping.  If you read my recent post on shopping for maternity clothes, you'll know that Raleigh's store selections left a lot to be desired.  The stores on Michigan Avenue were so much bigger in general that I had higher hopes.  Long story short, H&M and Zara were disappointing, but we hit the mother load at GAP - and they were having a sale.  Double score for us.  I didn't get too awfully much - just some basic staples (short-sleeve and long-sleeve shirts for layering and a few light weight sweaters), but we got a great deal on all of it.  We were actually in search of a jacket, but we didn't find one we liked.  A new store called Top Shop had just opened, and quite a few people recommended that we try there, but we didn't end up going because (1) we walked approximately 29384729374 miles that day and I didn't pack appropriate shoes, so my feet were swollen and my back was killing me, and (2) it looked a little trendy for me.  Maybe next time!  After our shopping trip, it was nap time due to aforementioned sore and swollen feet and back.  Per Ana's suggestion, we tried out Eleven City Diner for dinner, and it did not disappoint.  Finally, on our way home we dropped by the Observatory on the 96th floor of the John Hancock building to see the city all lit up at night.  To say it was beautiful would be an understatement, but next time we go I think I'll take Nina's advice and go to watch the sunset.

Friday was equally as busy as Thursday, and also a little warmer, which was a nice break.  We ate breakfast at another one of Aunt Shelley's favorites, Tempo Cafe, where I had the best french toast I think I have ever eaten.  After stuffing ourselves, we went to Millennium Park to see the bean.  I feel like you can't go to Chicago and not see the bean!  It is WAY cooler in person than pictures can show, but we had a great time goofing off:

Can you see us?!

Why hello, baby bump.  Where did you come from?

It took a few shots to get this close to perfect, but it made me laugh nonetheless!
Another cool part of Millennium Park that I'd never seen before was the Crown Fountain.  It is basically two huge glass block towers of flowing water that project the video images of different Chicagoans.  I took quite a few pictures but couldn't do it justice, so I'll leave you with just one of when the water started flowing:

Nifty, huh?

Friday afternoon, we took the L to Wrigley to catch a Cubs game (I think this is the part Dan was looking the most forward to).  I wanted to take a picture of my first experience on the L - it is interesting for sure - but it was so crowded and I didn't want to be the weirdo taking photos.  Luckily, other train riders were nice enough to give the pregnant lady a seat to rest her tired feet.  Behold, Wrigley Field:


They still fill in the scores, etc. by hand.  So cool!
We didn't eat lunch because we were saving room for ball park food (I'll admit it, I was going to eat a hot dog.  Nitrates, you say?  Surely one hot dog wouldn't hurt Geronimina.).  First on the menu: nachos.  I requested nachos and my loving husband went to get them, and this is what he returned with:

Your eyes are not, in fact, deceiving you.  That is a head sized helmet FULL of nachos.  The good news is, we made a pretty good dent (I'm undecided as to whether that fact should be embarrassing or impressive) - we for sure got our $15 worth.  The bad news is, there was no room left for a delicious hot dog.  Oh well!

Recognize the singer of the 7th inning stretch?  He threw out the first pitch, too.  #Winning.

Friday night, we met Katie for dinner at Old Jerusalem, and it was delicious.  The hummus was divine, and I thoroughly enjoyed my chicken kabob as well.  Cool little place, Old Jerusalem is.  We went to bed early again because I was pooped from all of the activity.

On Saturday, Katie took us to St. Charles to visit  Aunt Shelley and Uncle Mike for the rest of the weekend. 

We were so glad that we got to spend a few days with them to catch up, and they spoiled me rotten the entire time!  Also, their home is breathtaking.  It is straight out of Better Homes & Gardens - it is so beautiful! 

The rest of our weekend in St. Charles was very relaxing and low-key.  We ate a lot, went to church, napped, watched some football, went to a movie, ate some more, sat outside by the fire, ate even more, and just relaxed.  Here are a few pictures of us with Aunt Shelley, Uncle Mike, Katie, and sweet Logan whom Layla would have LOVED (FYI, it has been brought to my attention that I am doing the "pregnant woman pose" in all of the following pictures.  Was trying to get good shots of the bump for the Grandparents to see since I was wearing a flowy shirt!).

Side note: Geronimina really made her debut over the past two weeks - seems like the baby bump just popped out of nowhere!  Let's also not forget the sweet, sweet gift they gave Baby Baum - her first book (SO excited about this) and an adorable outfit:

Weibles, if you're reading, thank you so much for your hospitality.  We had an amazing weekend spending time with you and can't wait to see you again soon!

Well friends, I may have just broken my own record for the longest post in the history of the blog, but I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed reminiscing.  The trip to Chicago was so wonderful, and I can't wait to visit again soon.

This mama to be is exhausted - way past my bed time!  Until tomorrow...


1 comment:

  1. Hi Sarah and Dan, My first time on your blog. I am very impressed. Sarah, you make me want to go to Chicago and see all the sights, eat, shop and eat again. Your next trip will be with Baby Boy Baum and we will do completely different things and show you more of Chicago.


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