Sunday, October 27, 2013

Chicago- Part One

For Helen Grace’s fall break, we (I) wanted to get out of town, so we piggy backed on John’s work again and headed to Chicago for a long weekend since skyscrapers and taxis seem to be HG’s favorites. I picked up HG after school on Thursday (which happened to be Red Day), and then Spiffer and GD took us to the airport.

HG and I grabbed a quick bite and then hopped on the plane. The flight was short and super easy (thank you to the Delta stewardesses that gave us free M&Ms and a glass of wine), and our bags made it to baggage claim before we did. And then we walked outside to catch a cab and saw the mile long taxi line…dum dum DUM. We waited for over 30 minutes, and thankfully, the guy in front of us held our spot while we ran back in to the potty since our cab ride was half an hour too.

We FINALLY made it to the Intercontinental Hotel on the Magnificent Mile a little before 9:00 p.m. We were so impressed by the view from our room as we overlooked the river and all the skyscrapers were lit in pink for breast cancer awareness month. It was a beautiful sight! We collapsed in the bed, happy but exhausted.

Counting the gate numbers at the airport2013-10-17 17.00.36 2013-10-17 17.14.48 Studying the flight safety information- the stewardess was impressed. Hey, maybe that’s where the free treats came from?!IMG_4817 So excited!IMG_4823 IMG_4825

On Friday morning, HG and John went downstairs to the Starbucks in the lobby while I finished getting ready. HG loved watching the city go by while she sipped her hot chocolate.

We headed to meet my friend, Kristin, and her little girl, Caroline, at the Shedd Aquarium. Kristin used to live in Memphis, and we were Delta Gamma chapter advisers at the same time (I at Ole Miss, she at Memphis). Also, her hubby went to high school with me- very small world! She is now the chapter adviser at DePaul, and their president just happens to be an intern at Shedd and gets a few free tickets each day, so she hooked us up with the royal tour. See, Delta Gamma will take you around the world! This was our first time to meet Caroline too, and HG had a ball playing with her.

If you do plan a trip to Chicago, the aquarium is a must-see. The view of the skyline from the front steps is breathtaking, and then you step inside and the amazing-ness continues. It’s like you are in the Smithsonian but surrounded by larger than life fish tanks. We’ve been to a lot of nice aquariums, but this one takes the cake.

After our morning with the Crawfords, we headed back to the Magnificent Mile and had lunch at the Grand Lux Cafe, recommended by our concierge. This place was amazing for it’s location and it’s huge menu. We were seated in a huge rotunda overlooking the Mile, and HG was stuffed with mini sliders and make-your-own cupcake, while we had delicious pasta and salmon and the most amazing drink ever that made us feel like we were at the beach!

With full bellies, we all took a nap and then headed to meet my college roomie and sorority sister, Susan, for dinner. (We also went to Harding together, and she now lives in Chicago.) While John, HG, and I were walking through the lobby to leave, I ran right into another Delta Gamma, Ivy, who is from Southaven but lives in Denver. WHAT?! She was there for a girls’ weekend and was shocked to see us and find out that we were meeting Susan as well. They went their way, and we headed to meet Susan.

Susan introduced us to Chicago’s finest deep dish pizza place- Lou Malnati’s. After we got our table and pizza reservation back from the people that pretended to be ‘John T,’ we had a great dinner and loved the pizza! For dessert, she helped us get our hands on some Garrett’s Mix popcorn. We were stuffed and full of good food and old memories. She walked us back over to our hotel to say goodnight, and who do we run into in the lobby but Ivy again- hilarious!

HG and Daddy’s morning Starbucks tradition2013-10-18 08.48.24 2013-10-18 08.50.25 Excited about the aquariumIMG_4826 IMG_4828 IMG_4832 2013-10-18 09.38.08 This aquatic show area was amazing. Before the show started, the curtain with the screen on it was raised, and you had a panoramic view of the lake. Dolphins and beluga whales performed for us.IMG_4837 IMG_4839 IMG_4842 IMG_4847 IMG_4850 IMG_4851 IMG_4853 So good to see Kristin and Caroline!IMG_4861 Lunch at Grand Lux with her new penguinIMG_4863 2013-10-18 14.36.02 2013-10-18 15.34.31-1 Waiting and chatting at Lou Malnati’s2013-10-18 18.11.24 2013-10-18 18.54.47 Getting a ride from Daddy2013-10-18 19.34.52 Garrett’s Mix- yum!2013-10-18 19.42.48 Snagged a pic with Ivy and SusIMG_4864 A little artwork before bedIMG_4866

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