Monday, January 5, 2009

Chicago recap

(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!


Anonymous said...

I find it ironic that you, who spent 10 days on a mission trip in Jamaica (aka really roughing it), call an overnight in a comfort suites without a hairbrush "roughing it." :P

Love ya and glad you are back home safe!

Lois Lane II said...

Haha! I didn't even think about that. Maybe I've been pampered too much in the later years, lol!

Beth said...

wow!!!! what a trip!!!!!

Brooke said...

very cool! :) well you know...except for that whole lost luggage and cancelled flights part.

i love dinosaurs (I often suspect I'm a 6 year old boy deep down) - i love the pictures of sue! :)

Anonymous said...

Ok, first the delay, then no baggage... uh! I wouldn't wish that on anyone. Though I have yet to fly the friendly skies. Sounds like the shopping turned things around. Oh! to see such a view... ha!

BTW: Thanks for stopping by and Gordon's eye is looking great!


Growin' with it! said...

you take the coolest pictures! how fun...well except not having your change of undies! ugg. torture. poor thing. glad it turned out so happy.

Anonymous said...

WOW! You really hit the Windy City! Sounds like you got to see and do it all! Sounds like a lot of memories were made along the way!

The Bean is one of my favorites. I love how you can stand and take a picutre and the skyline is behind you reflecting off the Bean. So cool!

I haven't been to the art museum in years...maybe it's time to go!

And...Rosebud's!!! Good choice!

Sounds like you HAD to do some shopping just like I HAD too! Isn't that a bummer!?!

Great pictures!

Sara@ Butterville said...

I SO want to go to Chicago! Hubby has been promising!
Um, I read's TOTALLY different then the Musical. I haven't seen Wicked but I do have the CD and kow the story the musical tells. I was VERY disappointed in the book. It's like raunchier, way raunchier. And there's a lot of swearing. The story is really kinda creepy. I won't read the next book, something like 'The witches son' or something.
So sorry about your flight and lost baggage...I would drop a kidney from all the fits I'd be throwing...and yes I DO relize that nobody controls the weather, but for what we have to PAY to better not lose my luggage! I'm just saying.

Lois Lane II said...

To Sara -- Exactly! I mean, they had a whole night to get our luggage from one plane to another. And that didn't happen. It stayed in Atlanta. What??!!

Yeah, after I ordered the book, I heard from a friend that she hated it. I'm so sad because the play was soooo good. Ugh. Oh, well. $8 down the drain.

Becoming Me said...

Great recap---I hope to visit Chicago some day.

CR said...

what a fun trip! love the pictures!s

Mari said...

What a fun trip! My daughter and her hubby went to Chicago last year and they loved "the bean" too. We've talked about spending a weekend there, but are going to have to make work of it!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Oh my goodness. the cultural center looks awesome! If I ever get back to Chicago I want to go there. Great pictures.

Sorry about the rough time getting there but sounds like it was worth the trouble. Ah, the Magnificent how convenient that you had Christmas money. So fun.