Monday, September 10, 2012

Windy City Fun

Daniel has been wanting to visit Chicago since we moved to Milwaukee. Since we live fairly close, I figured we could go down sometime after we had kids when we couldn't jet set as easily. After shooting down my ideas for Labor Day weekend (DC, FL, NC, etc.), Daniel won and we spent the holiday in the Windy City. Nic and Janey also joined us and we had a blast with them! I'm glad we were able to do the city as a couple, we definitely would not have been able to do as much with little ones. I'm looking forward to bringing our kiddos there one day though, there's so much to explore! I started reading Kelle Hampton's blog recently and got especially excited by this post. Chicago definitely did not disappoint!

We left around 9:15am and (miraculously) didn't hit any major traffic delays. The boys talked about med school and Janey and I tried to change the subject anytime there was a lull in the conversation.

We got to our hotel before check-in time and asked if we could still use the free airport shuttle (a major reason why we picked the hotel). The front desk manager looked up our reservation (two rooms with king beds) to make sure we were legit (this will be important later), then gave us the all clear. I think the longest line of the whole weekend was the line to buy our CTA passes. There was only one functioning credit card machine and it was made in the 80s so it took awhile to move through. Our first stop was Giordano's...

We trekked around the Magnificent Mile for most of the afternoon, Daniel bought a new suit and some dress socks. Pretty exciting stuff. We walked along the river and ran into Ty and Kelsi, friends from the ward who also decided to spend the weekend in Chicago!

After we were all shopped out, we headed to Navy Pier...

Of course we rode the Ferris wheel...

With Ty and Kelsi!

After our ride, the 6 of us walked out to the end of the pier, found some benches, ate leftover Giordano's and just talked. My feet were very grateful!

(We also went to Cirque Shanghai, I didn't take pictures because you weren't really supposed to, but suffice it to say that is was awesome!)

When we eventually got back to our hotel, it was probably around 11pm. After we brought all our stuff in, the night desk employee informed us that we had one king room and one single room. Apparently making an online reservation doesn't guarantee a room (which kind of defeats the whole purpose of a reservation, right?), so we started calling other hotels in the area to see if they had any availability. Unfortunately, everything was booked, so we decided to take the single room (it was actually more like a double, which is doable). The night desk employee somehow managed to find us a magic king room that previously wasn't available (um, what?), so we ended up with two king rooms! Janey texted me after we got settled in to tell me that her room didn't have running water. Nic went down and explained what was happening, so they comped the room and everyone used the sink/shower in our room.

Not the best quality, but you get the idea

We think that this is a room being renovated, which is why it's usually not rented out. As you can see, this room used to be a two queen one and was in the process of becoming a king room.

We cycled 4 people through one shower in about 45 minutes and there was still enough hot water for the last person! We went to church to find Ty and Kelsi already there (of course), we all sat together during Sunday School and listened to the same lesson we'd had last week (oops!). We left after second hour to have a picnic at the temple

But the gates were locked! So we just kind of chilled on the sidewalk by the street. Hopefully no one called the cops on us...

We went back to the hotel to change so we could spend some more time downtown. We met Daniel's aunt and uncle, Rose and Ed, at the Lincoln Park Zoo!

Rose has lived in Chicago for ages and had never been to this zoo before. She definitely enjoyed it! After we said goodbye to them, it was time for Millennium Park...

Since we got there around sunset, we weren't able to fully explore everywhere we wanted, but the park was still crowded so it didn't feel sketchy walking around.

After the park, we realized it was like 9pm and we were hungry! We'd heard about the joy of Chicago style Italian beef, so we trekked to Portillo's to indulge...

On Monday we loaded up the car and took the train back downtown. All weekend long Nic talked about pink donuts from Dunkin's Donuts, and it just so happened our stop put us right by one...

Conveniently, DD was right next door to Garrett popcorn, another foodie favorite we wanted to try

Obviously it was delicious

Then we found the Shedd!

We made our way back to the Magnificent Mile-ish for a taste of the West

And then a taste of home (for me at least. It was Nic and Janey's first Chick-fil-A experience; they're now converted to the ways of deliciousness)

Reality hit nice and early on Tuesday morning, but I wouldn't trade our weekend for anything. We had a great time with great friends and we're are looking forward to visiting Chi-town again soon!


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