Chicago

This past weekend, Jordan and I went on a little “babymoon” to Chicago. Neither of us had ever been and had always wanted to go see what it was all about. My sweet family stayed with Jonah for four and a half days… It was the longest we have ever been away from him, and it was a little difficult (but much needed). Things have been so crazy lately that we haven’t even been able to find time to go out on dates, much less be foot loose and fancy free for multiple days. We missed him SO much and were happy to get home, but it has been a challenge to adjust back into normal life and not going out whenever we want and having all of our meals made for us 🙂

Basically, all we did the entire trip was EAT! It was my favorite. Trust me, the best place for a pregnant woman who is just finally coming out of her morning sickness to go is Chicago. So much yummy food everywhere you go. I felt like one of the kids in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory… except probably not Veruca. She is THE WORST. I’ve concluded that this baby is going to be part sumo wrestler when she comes out, but it was all worth it.

Other than stuffing our faces, we walked around a lot, went on a Wendella boat tour (Highly recommend… except if you’re going on a weekend, maybe show up 30-40 minutes early. Or else you will end up standing the entire time and not able to hear as much), saw Jurassic World, and went to the Blues Festival. Before we left Arizona, the forecast was rain and thunderstorms for the entire weekend. Thankfully, Saturday and Sunday were beautiful (albeit warm and muggy) days, and it poured off and on our last day, which was fine. I’m sure it’s a different and miserable story in the winter time, but we were ready to move there after the perfect weekend we had. Such nice weather, so many things to do.

Big props to Jordan who was super patient with his rotund and whiny wife. My body is just not what it used to be and was struggling with all of the walking. He is the sweetest!

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We stayed at the Marriott Downtown right on the Magnificent Mile. It was AMAZING. There were so many places that were walkable or easy to get to by bike. Our room was on the 35th floor, which was hard for me to get used to at first (because, you know, heights=death). After a day or so, it didn’t bother me as much, and it was so nice to come back in the evenings to the pretty views and city lights.

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The Bean in Millennium Park. Super neat!

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We walked around Maggie C. Daly Park Saturday morning, and it was probably the coolest park we’d ever been to. I think it was newly renovated or something? Everything was brand new, and it seemed like there was a celebration going on for the re-opening. There were tons of playgrounds, splash pads, walking/skating paths, and even a free climbing wall. Jordan, of course, had to hop on it immediately! And check out those calves! Rawr

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Alyssa boat tour Boat tour 2

On our boat tour!

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Wrigley Field and Lincoln Park. Lincoln Park was gorgeous! Such lush gardens, and the zoo was free and fun. We felt a little guilty, because Jonah would have LOVED it! The whole area around the park was reeeeally nice… beautiful tree lined neighborhoods and very ritzy. After this, we rented city bikes and rode them back to our hotel along the waterfront on Lake Michigan.

deep dish Jordan

Of course we had to get a deep dish pizza at Giordano’s! It was pretty good, but not my favorite. There was just sooo much cheese. Jordan was a fan (and had the rest for breakfast the next morning. ‘Cause vacation!).

blues festival Chicago Panoramic

The Blues Festival (and my hubby’s awesome panoramic photography skills). I think this is the largest free outdoor blues concert in the world? Don’t quote me on it. The music was great, but the people watching was better. Everyone was dancing and feeling loose. And I was just praying the entire time that my unborn child wasn’t being exposed to second hand Mary J. smoke.

stained glass

Stained glass celing in the Chicago Cultural Center building.

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There was an exhibit going on of vintage graphic art from Valmor beauty products. It was super neat, and right up my alley!

We did and saw so many more things and had such a good time! I’m so grateful we were able to take a trip and have some time together before we become a family of four (!!). Big thanks to my sweetheart family for taking care of our little Buddy for so long. He had a blast on his “trip,” too!

For any of our friends that are planning to go, here is where and what we ate. Because that is, obviously, the most important part:

-Breakfast: We LOVED Wildberry Pancakes. We had plans to go to other breakfast places, and just ended up going there two days. They get super busy and waits can be over an hour, so order it to go and go eat it in Millennium Park across the street! We recommend: Red Velvet French Toast, Pancakes, Eggs Benedict, and our ultimate favorite SOUTHERN EGGS BENEDICT. SO. GOOD. (biscuits and gravy with sausage and poached egg… droool)

-Shake Shack: I know this isn’t native to Chicago, but we had one right across from our hotel and it was super convenient and super delicious. Good place to go when the waits everywhere else were too long. We got burgers, crinkly fries, and a chocolate shake.

-Gyu Kaku: Japanese BBQ. They bring you marinated meats and veggies and you cook them on a grill right in the middle of your table. It’s a little bit pricier, and this was kind of our splurge meal for the weekend, but it was definitely worth it. I am salivating just thinking about it right now. And making that weird Homer Simpson drooling noise.

-Giordano’s Pizza: There are lots of deep dish places, but this one lets you order your pizza before you’re seated, so you have less wait time

-Portillo’s: We were super excited to have a Chicago dog and eat somewhere really authentic and native to the city… then we found out there is one in both Tempe and Scottsdale. Ha! Regardless, the hot dog was delicious and so was our chocolate cake shake (a piece of chocolate cake mixed up into a chocolalte milk shake… just let your tastebuds stew on that for a second!)

-Big Bowl: We ate here on our last night when our bellies were kind of done with heavy food. Jordan had yellow Thai curry and I had a big salad. It was good and light Asian inspired food. They also do a stir fry bar where you can make your own, buffet style.

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