Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Chicago for our 15th Anniversary

This was the first time David and I had made it to the Windy City together, since high school. Twenty-two years ago we (and about 20 other kids and chaperones) spent a week at Moody Bible Institute for something called S.E.M.P. It was fun to explore the city as adults this time and remember a few of the places we had been back in the day.

The catalyst for the trip, beside our anniversary of course, was that the Tall Ships would be there that week-end. They make the long trek through the Great Lakes every 3 years. We plan to take the kids to see them in Duluth next time.
 
But first we made a stop in Rockford Illinois to stop by Urban Farmgirl. I purchased a couple of chalkboard prints for the girls' room.


 photo
Chicago005_zpsb1a0ee29.jpg

 photo
Chicago003_zps903f7803.jpg

 

 photo
Chicago004_zps4294a913.jpg
 
We ate at Gino's East for dinner that night which we laughed about the rest of our trip. Had I known the d├ęcor would be similar to walking into my high school bathroom, with graffiti all over the walls, I think we would have picked somewhere else. Live and learn...
 
The first day was all about the boats.

 photo
Chicago019_zps99685b06.jpg

 photo
Chicago050_zpsc27b9e7f.jpg

 photo
Chicago094_zps3eb2eacc.jpg

 photo Chicago127_zpsfd4e0e3f.jpg

“Oh Hi!”

 photo
Chicago165_zps784b4701.jpg
 
 photo
Chicago065_zpsd1cbfc80.jpg

We also got to take in a bit of the Chicago Match Cup. David has a deep love for sailing so he was definitely in his element. I on the other hand get seasick at the drop of a hat.

 photo
Chicago032_zpsb4daeed8.jpg

 photo
Chicago047_zpsfdedf05c.jpg

While at Navy Pier David said "I know that voice! Where do I know that voice from?" I tell ya, my guy can't remember a name for his life, but voices he gets down pat. As soon as he figured it out we started looking and sure enough behind us was a guy that sits a few cubes over from him. They eat lunch at the same time every day too. Did he remember his name? Of course not! But we said "Hi" and found out that they also had tickets to see our Twins beat the White Sox that night.
Small world!
 
The next morning, after a dose of Dramamine, we were ready for the 8am Architecture Boat Cruise. Which we highly recommend! Though I’m sure having a good tour guide makes all the difference. Ours was a young guy that does these tours in the summer between teaching high school history. He's starting his 2nd year of teaching and I bet his students adore him. He was phenomenal. Later,  as we were walking along the river we heard another tour guide ask the people on his boat “So, what do you want to know?” followed by silence. Ummm…yeah, glad we weren’t on his boat.

 photo
Chicago173_zps29ebbcb9.jpg

 photo
Chicago178_zpseca21a48.jpg

"Hey, this sailboat is cheating!" 
 photo
Chicago180_zpsc60f1968.jpg

I wish I could remember the name of this next building (the one in the middle), but I do know that the architect won some amazing awards and it’s designed to look like water is flowing down the side. And some of those curvy balconies jut out 13’ which is some sort of record. Very neat!

 photo
Chicago225_zps6f85c7e3.jpg
 
 
 photo Chicago231_zpsbf6db856.jpg

Of course we had to walk over to Millenium Park too. Where we were surprised to see they offer free aerobics in the park on Saturday mornings.  No, we did not join them.

 photo Chicago297_zps7af8b52e.jpg

The Bean!

 photo Chicago300_zps5dd470c7.jpg

I had to fight the urge to run to the nearest drugstore and purchase lots of Windex and paper towels.

 photo Chicago305_zps89dd26c2.jpg

Across the street we saw this. Starbucks was infinitely busier inside. Poor Caribou, we love you too.

 photo
Chicago311_zpsc94c081d.jpg

We took an hour or so to hang out in this shady spot. It was a scorcher for sure.

 photo
Chicago317_zpsd265ac43.jpg

 photo
Chicago312_zps750afd31.jpg

The last big thing we did was get to a Chicago Fire game. These stadiums look so much bigger on t.v.  At lease at home they don’t come with kids smoking weed 2 seats down from you.
Oh I was SO mad when I figured that out!

 photo
Chicago337_zps59198d90.jpg
 
I learned 3 things:
 
I'm not a Foody. Of course we ate at several restaurants throughout our 3 days there, but honestly the most enjoyable meals we had were at Chick-Fil-A for lunch both days.
When you come from having the Mall of America in your backyard, Michigan avenue just doesn't have the same appeal it might otherwise.
I also discovered that I’m not a big city kind of girl. Bettcha didn’t see that one coming. ;) The noise and the crowds really got to me and I couldn’t wait to leave.
 
We certainly enjoyed our time away, celebrating 15 years of marriage. And a big thanks to my mom for giving the kids their own mini-vacation at her house. Now we are just trying to eek all the fun we can out of the last few days of summer here. The leaves are already starting to change.

2 comments:

Sarah said...

You were in my college city! And I remember that SEMP trip :) I grew to love the city at Moody... but it was a learning process. You have to get used to the noise and constant activity. I'm with you on the foodie thing. I sometimes prefer the familiar too :)

Sarah said...

oh, and chick fil a coming to minnesota??? are you excited?