Monday, June 20, 2011

our trip to chicago

We had such a great time in Chicago! It was wonderful to spend time with David and give all my attention to him. Do you guys remember that flirting is really fun and gives you have butterflies? I loved being able to put my head on his shoulder on the train. To feel him reach for my hand as we walked down Michigan Avenue or put his hand on the small of my back to lead me through crowds. I feel really lucky to be his girl. 

The city of Chicago is beautiful. I'm not normally one to love modern architecture but the combination of old and new are really interesting. I decided that the Tribune tower, United building (77 West Wacker) and Trump tower were my favorite buildings. And of course, Millenium Park is beautiful as is the walk across the river on Michigan Avenue. David and I both agreed that was one of the most romantic walks we've ever taken.
Stephen's graduation from Kellogg was fun and interesting. David and I managed to get a picture in front of Bryant Avenue on our way to the school, which was cheesy but had to be done.
Stephen Colbert was the commencement speaker and he was hilarious. No big surprise there but it was really entertaining. Then after commencement there was a professor's lecture on entrepreneurship that was actually really interesting. I really enjoyed it which was a big surprise since I was starving. Luckily right after that was a lakefront reception that was beautiful and had delicious sushi, fresh white cherries and peaches, passed hors d'oeuvres and lots of other food. Northwestern is a beautiful school!
We're all really proud of Stephen. Kellogg is a top-ranked MBA program and he is such a hard worker. My big brother is the bomb. The funniest part of convocation was during a rather uninteresting part, my two-year-old nephew Beck loudly proclaimed, "I'm bored!". Maybe you just had to hear it but he had me laughing for several minutes.
the best picture I could get during convocation cause I didn't bring my big lens.
An important thing for David was seeing Wrigley Field. David is a huge baseball fan and the sport has always been a big part of his life he can throw a ball farther than any human being I've ever seen. It's very attractive to me. I think seeing this field was a highlight of the trip.
After Wrigley Field we took a cab to Wicker Park, where I would have enjoyed spending more time. We went to Mindy's Hot Chocolate for dinner. If you go there I recommend the mac 'n cheese. We all shared it and I secretly wished I had ordered it for myself.

Then on Sunday we drove up to Wilmette for Margot's baby blessing. She is such a sweet chunk of baby goodness and I loved kissing her soft cheeks. She has such a pleasant personality too. I can't wait to visit them in Seattle! It's much closer than Chicago and Seattle is one of my favorite cities ever. I also just realized that they're making the same move as Sam and Jonah and I love that movie.
Just like all travel experiences there were a few things I learned along the way about Chicago. So, here are some things I will do differently on my next trip to the windy city:

- Never believe the weather report. The weather said that there was a 60% chance of thunderstorms and rain the entire time we were there. In reality? Not a cloud in the sky and beautiful weather the entire time. I hear that's really typical for Chicago. I would recommend being prepared though with a light jacket to layer and umbrella on your person though just in case. It was pretty hot a few times but generally nice weather.

- Architectural Foundation River Tour instead of Chicago Line Architectural Tour. David talked me down from saying that Chicago Line was horrible. It wasn't bad but I was really disappointed when they didn't even take us down the river. We spent 90 minutes on the lake and saw the beautiful Chicago skyline but I felt like the architecture down the river is the most important part and we didn't get to see it (though that evening we took a $2 water taxi down the river and got to see some sights but without a guide). We had a lot of conflicting information on where to get tickets for the foundation tour (get them here) so we found the Chicago Line and bought those since their 8 a.m. cruise was half the price. That's one thing I regret.
see that boat behind us? that's what we should have been on.
- Lou Malnati's instead of Giordano's for authentic Chicago pizza. We were all pretty underwhelmed by Giordano's and then we walked by Lou Malnati's on our way to the "L" to go to the airport and it looked fantastic! 
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Beck has his own version of dinner.
- Gold Coast Dogs instead of Portillo's for my Chicago style hot dog. We went to Portillo's on the recommendation of some of David's co-workers (mostly for David's Italian beef which he said was good and their chocolate cake shake was worth a trip there again). The hot dog was OK but we still wondered about the other kinds of hot dogs out there. Then we saw Gold Coast Dogs at Midway airport and tried their char-grilled dog with everything on it (except ketchup, of course). It blew us both away! I'm dreaming of a hot dog. What does that say about me?
eat this.
not that.
- Get the orange ricotta pancakes with gingersnap brown sugar butter instead of brown sugar french toast with raspberry coulis and vanilla bean creme at Bongo Room. Leone got the orange hotcakes and everyone (meaning me) was saying "Just one more bite!" as we (meaning I) took one more small forkfull.

Well, now that most of my recommendations are about food . . . I'm off to get ready to see my beloved boy. I have been missing William terribly but I know he had a wonderful time with David's family.

5 comments :

  1. Ugh! I feel terrible that I didn't specify the Chicago Architecture Foundation Cruise! I thought I had :( Sorry about that, Liz!

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  2. I'm so excited you liked Chicago so much!!! :) Glad you had a great time here!

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  3. sorry you didn't enjoy giordano's pizza. another place to try is 'the art of pizza.' i'm not sure where it's located though, but it's good too.

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  4. I can't believe that boat tour didn't take you down the river. What a bummer.

    I never mind airport appreciation at MIdway cause the food is good... I'll have to try a hot dog next time I'm there. Thx for the tip.

    I lived in the building where the fountain goes over the river every half hour (4-5 flight attendants in a one bedroom) don't miss that. :)

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  5. Chicago is my hometown. I am glad that you enjoyed yourself
    "Chicago IT"

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