19 October, 2011

Chicago--First Anniversary

Mike and I celebrated our first anniversary with a weekend trip to Chicago.  We booked our hotel through Priceline and snagged a great deal!  We decided to take the train in from Michigan City so we wouldn't have to pay for parking.  Our hotel was about a 15 minute walk from the train station, and about 15 minutes from the beginning of the Magnificent Mile.  We were within walking distance of everything we wanted to do, so we didn't even have to pay for a taxi! 

We had an awesome went by way too quickly, but we really enjoyed our time away with no set schedule or anything we had to do!  I have a ton of pictures to share, so I hope you enjoy them all!
Our hotel room was huge!  I have to tell you about the you see that little green thing around the pillow?  They actually have a "pillow menu" so you can choose a pillow to fit your needs (soft, firm, etc).  The green tags tell you what kind of pillow you have!  The bathroom was quite large, and I was impressed by their Bath and Body Works shampoos, conditioners, and lotions! 
Our room was on the 20th floor of the hotel, and we had an incredible view of the city! 
For dinner on Friday night, we went to the famous Ed Debevic's.  Mike had eaten here once before and he really wanted me to experience it.  Mike ordered a chili was over a foot long and more a sausage than a hot dog!  I had a buffalo chicken sandwhich which was super spicy, but tasty!
The food was good, but the atmosphere is what really made the night. The restaurant is set up like a 50's diner, and the waitstaff tries to dress the part.  If you didn't know what to expect before you went, you'd think the waitstaff was incredibly rude; however, that's the point.  For instance, after we were seated, our waiter (the male in the picture), threw paper hats at us and told us to put our thinking caps on and order!  He mocked Mike for eating slowly and spilled my drink all over when he brought a refill.  It's all part of the exprience.  And of course, we can't forget the waitstaff dancing on the counters!

After dinner we ventured out to find Trader Joe's.  I was super excited when I heard there are multiple TJ's in Chicago and I told Mike we had to go to one!  I could have bought so much more but since we had to carry our items on the train, I restrained myself.  I wish there was a TJ's in Michigan!  We also made a stop at the 8 story Sports Authority (I found another favorite store!) before heading back to our hotel room (the view was even more spectacular at night!)
Saturday morning, we went to Eggsperience for breakfast.  Wow was it ever good!  I saw Nutella crepes on the menu and I knew I had to have them.  I also had a mango smoothie and I left completely satisfied and overly stuffed!  Mike ordered an omelet, expecting just an omelet.  You should have seen his face when he received an omelet the size of his plate, with a side of hash browns and 2 pancakes!  Food might not be cheap in Chicago, but you certainly get what you pay for!
After breakfast, we ventured down to the Magnificent Mile--we had to burn off all we ate of course!  We passed a huge mob outside the Apple store.  We stopped to see what the fuss was about and saw hundreds of sticky notes on the front windows with flowers, apples, pictures, and notes, all in memory of Steve Jobs who had passed just days before.
We saw this in the Water Tower Place--would you have guessed that it's made out of Legos?  By this point in the day we were both getting tired of walking, and my stomach was really hurting (I probably ate more at breakfast than I had eaten in the previous 2 days!) so we headed back to the hotel.  We ended up taking a 2 hour nap, and we were still so full from breakfast that neither of us minded skipping lunch.  (I was disappointed that it was one less restaurant I'd get to try, but I didn't want to not be hungry for supper!)
After a relaxing afternoon, we ventured out again to the Magnificent Mile.  We still had a few stores that we wanted to visit.  One of those stores was H&M, we were right across from it earlier in the day but we didn't see it!  I went in and found a shirt that I liked; I asked Mike if he wanted to look in the men's area.  He said he didn't need anything, but let's look anyway.  We ended up buying him 4 new shirts!  So much for not needing anything...  For dinner, we went to Cheesecake Factory!  I started with a salad and Mike ordered some sliders.  We split a bbq chicken pizza for our main course.  And of course, we took a piece of strawberry cheesecake back to our hotel room!
Sunday morning we woke up and looked out the window.  This is what we saw!  Runners!  We had no idea that we were in Chicago for the Chicago Marathon until someone asked us about it at the train station Friday.  I was so excited when I heard we'd get to watch!  We didn't know that the race went right past our hotel so that was so neat!
This picture was taken about 30 minutes after the previous picture.  When we first got up, I thought we were just seeing the stragglers in the back of the pack since there were so few runners.  I was wrong though, and they were the leaders!
After breakfast (at the hotel's restaurant), we ventured outside to see the race up close.  We found out that we were seeing the runners just past the 12-mile marker.  I commented to Mike about a very pregnant lady we saw running and we're fairly certain she's the one who gave birth shortly after finishing!
Our hotel was in the same building as the Art Institute, so we saw some really neat structures outside.  This one reminded me of a similar colored one in Grand Rapids.
This was the view from our floor on the hotel. You can see the restaurant in the back and some cozy sitting areas in front of them.  It was a very modern feeling hotel!
Here we are on the train heading back home!  We had such a great weekend--lots of good food, good shopping, and awesome company!


  1. It looks like so much fun!!! I've never really wanted to go to Chicago, but after reading this I want to go! I'm glad you got the hotel for a good deal. It looked so nice!

  2. It looks and sounds amazing! Have you told Kaylyn about it yet? She LOVES Chicago.


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