(The sad thing is this week I will probably do recaps of Christmas break...I'll try to break them up with a SOAP or two.)
Chicago. So. My two aunts and my cousin had planned this trip. We missed the -2 degree temperature, and when we reached the Jackson airport, we found out our plane to Atlanta was delayed by an hour. No biggie, especially since they bumped us up to FIRST CLASS because of the inconvenience. WOO HOO!!!
Or so we thought...
We got to Atlanta with limited problems, but our plane to Chicago was delayed. By four hours. Some fog problems or something like that. Which, we admitted, we'd rather be safe than sorry. But flying in first class for about two and a half hours (on a one and a half hour trip) will quickly become tedious, especially when we found out that we'd been flying around Chicago for 45 minutes -- we just weren't allowed to land.
We then were rerouted to Cincinnati, which, honestly, was a blessing, considering we almost were taken to Lansing, Michigan -- which has NO Delta connections. So, really, it was good.
HOWEVER, what was NOT good was that we were spending the night in Cincinnati. With NO luggage. And guess who did not pack ANYTHING she needed for an overnight stay? Even though we were placed in a very nice Comfort Suites, without my hairbrush or toothbrush (Delta supplied us with those ones that barely do anything) or contact solution or makeup or CLOTHES, I felt like I was quite roughing it.
We FINALLY made it to Chicago around 8 a.m. the next morning. Oh, but guess what? Now our bags were lost. After spending the second day in the same clothing and getting about four hours of sleep the night before, I was not pleased. Not. At. All.
But we were in Chicago, and I did have Christmas money. So what did we do? Shop, of course!
We were less than half a mile from the Magnicificent Mile, aka Michigan Avenue, this amazing collection of places to shop. It was beautiful. I got a gown, some underwear, two pair of pants and three tops. Suddenly, Chicago was looking up.
Our window treatment in the hotel
View from the roof of our hotel
Hello, Ann Taylor! Hello, Nordstrom! Hello, Tiffany and Company (to look, not to spend -- it's RIDICULOUS!!). Hello, Guess!
That night, too, we went to watch "Wicked," which was incredible. I had high expectations for the play, and it exceeded them. I even ordered the book (though now I hear the book isn't good. Yuck.). Seeing "Wicked" was definitely a highlight of the trip.
Inside Ford Theatre
The next day, the four of us headed to the Chicago Art Institute, which I loved. I saw Renoirs, Monets, Georgia O'Keeffe paintings, and even "American Gothic"!! LOVE it!
We also saw The Bean (aka "Cloudscape), which was totally cool. I took tons of pictures of it and of us posing for silly pictures in it. We didn't go ice skating in Millenium Park, though, because the line was wwaaaayyy too long.
We hit the cultural center of the public library in time to hear the last parts of a string concert and then had the opportunity to view the architecture. Beautiful. So much of the Chicago architecture was breathtaking -- so much care and time had been taken to make sure each inch was carefully constructed. It was gorgeous.
Side of the cultural center
The next day (last full day) we headed to the Field Museum, where we saw Sue -- the largest complete set of T-Rex bones available. Sue's head, however, is too heavy for her body at 600 lbs, so it is encased upstairs.
Another highlight of the trip was having high tea at the Drake Hotel (where people like Princess Di and Ronald and Nancy Reagan have stayed). It was way too pricy, but the experience was so much fun. We chose from an extensive list of teas and then were brought out a three-tiered tray filled with scones, banana nut bread, four types of finger sandwiches, and an array of colorful desserts. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
Speaking of mouth-watering foods (love that transition, haha!), we did eat VERY well...Chicago pizza, Dunkin' Donuts (hehe), Rosebud's (where people like George Clooney, Oprah, and Alex Trebec had eaten), Tapas (never tried a Tapas before, but basically everyone shares their food, which works for me, because I like eating off of everyone's plate anyway), West Egg (for our first breakfast)...Oh, and did I mention that there was a coffee shop IN OUR HOTEL??!!! It was called Lavazza, and apparently it's the Italian Starbucks, but they only are in Chicago in the States.
If I think of anything else, I'll post it in a later post, but as I've been away from work for two weeks, it's time to get back!