Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chicago: Day 1

So, my friend Heather and I met on Facebook through mutual friends and we found out, through posts, that we are both in love with traveling. After getting together a few times for musicals, and cirque du soleil we decided to take a trip. I had always wanted to see Chicago and she loved her short trips so we decided to go. We left town at the end of July. My dad was still in his medicated coma but it was a nice time away from the stress that everything was causing. My gracious family decided to come stay with my dad and I took the chance to catch a breath.

Unfortunately, the trip started with a few hiccups. For the lower airfare we had to leave at the crack of dawn...but Heather's alarm didn't go off and I was too silly not to text her early so we missed our flight. Technically, we didn't! But since we checked in 15 minutes before it left, and hadn't gone through security there was no way... So, we ended up on standby for a few hours. Not fun, but definitely worth it once we got there! We took the train into the city and, with the help of a nice gentleman, we found ourselves just a few blocks from our hotel.
Just a view of our hotel, Hotel 71. Heather did some great research and found a cute, chic place to stay just on the water! It was great and the room was so spacious!
The beds were great and there was a huge sitting/office area where I was standing when taking the picture. And the view was amazing...

Standing at our hotel window was this view :) I know, right, be jealous!

Since we hadn't eaten yet we decided our first Chicago attraction to hit was Chicago-Style Pizza! So, after looking on my travel sites and books we chose Giordano's.

Who couldn't love a place that has the 11th Commandment posted??

Little did I know we were in Pizza Heaven o:) I'm so glad we ordered the small because our eyes were much bigger than our stomachs and one slice of Chicago-style deep dish is equal to 3-4 of regular Pizza Hut.

Oh, Cheese, how I love thee. If only you were as healthy as celery.... I'd eat you forever.
After our heavenly pizza assault we decided to walk it off and explore downtown Chicago. The buildings were amazing. I could just get lost in them....and we did....often.
We went back towards our hotel to the waterway. The Wrigley Building was really spectacular.
And I loved the Chicago Tribune building! Lol, it was like a kid in a candy store... I was so excited to see all the newspapers. Hello, anyone hiring travel journalists in there?!?
As we approached the Tribune building we saw this .... controversial Marilyn Monroe statue. Some Chicagoans appreciate the artistic side of it, but others find it distasteful. Any thoughts? I was a little annoyed watching the teenage boys standing under her legs pointing up, I have to admit. Not appropriate!

More of the Chicago skyline from the street.... Lovely!

And then we walked Magnificent Mile. Ahhhhhhhhhhh, shopping Heaven. The five story Pottery Barn almost did me in. And that was just our first store....

I got to go explore my first American Doll Store. I had never really been in one. I'm just glad my 12 year old self stayed inside. I would have spent a fortune if she had emerged. :)

In the same shopping center/mall was the Lego Store. Very cool display! I know a lot of second grade boys who could spend their life savings in that store with one bat of an eye.

The Chicago Water Tower is right in the middle of the Magnificent Mile. It's the second oldest water tower in the US. Amazing and very beautiful...especially at dusk.

After walking the Mile and prying Heather away from Tiffany's without spending her life savings we decided to go out for the night. We walked around to House of Blues but it was $20 to see Snoop Dogg and that wasn't really our thing. We eventually ended up at Harry Caray's (whom at the time we had no idea who he was).
It was pretty busy. We stayed in the bar area and had a few drinks and just people watched. Same people who go out in Houston, go out in Chicago :) I was most excited about the National Register of Historic Places designation. It claims it due to its building (not the wonderful reputation of the steak house, though). Then we headed back to get some rest for a busy day ahead!

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