The three of us have been planning this little excursion for months, but originally planned to travel in the fall. And then Emily and I went and got knocked up. So, we moved up our plans to April to avoid any issues. I’m so happy we did, I don’t think I’d have had the patience to wait.
Emily and Shannon flew in on Friday morning, and I drove up to Chicago and picked them up at their airports. I’d already met Shannon and knew my undying (friend) love for her. It was also (friend) love at first hug with Emily. You always have that moment that you think, what if we really don’t get along in person? But, that wasn’t the case at all. Between the three of us, there wasn’t a moment of silence or awkwardness. We just jumped right in.
It was a laugh-fest Friday to Sunday.
Not only did we spend the entire weekend together, we also shared a hotel room. Which could have gone horribly wrong, but didn’t. (Except for that time when Shannon and I had a sleeptalking conversation. I’m sure that if I could remember it, that would have been wierd.) It was as good as the slumber parties of my youth. Where we all gabbed and talked and gabbed in the dark until it just went silent and we all passed out. (Shannon’s passing out could have been from her solo drinking *wink*, but Emily and I were pregnant and stone-cold sober.)
While I was the closest to Chicago and probably should have done more planning for the trip, I pretty much just booked our hotel room (we stayed at the Holiday Inn on top of the Chicago Sun-Times building, which had a really awesome river view and was quite comfortable). Shannon and Emily did most of the other planning, and we tried to hit the areas that they wanted to see.
If you are planning a Chicago excursion soon, here are a few of my picks based on our trip.
The Magnificent Mile/Michigan Avenue
While there aren’t many stores available that aren’t in most suburbs, the Magnificent Mile is still worth a stop. We did some leisurely shopping where I convinced Shannon that $40 was too much for napkins. Then, we admired the tulips. Seriously, the tulips were pretty awesome.
While touristy, Navy Pier also has some lovely views. We ended up spending a good amount of time here while waiting for the boat tour. There’s plenty of people to watch, the Lake Michigan views are lovely and there are lots of tschotchky shops on hand. Plus, there’s ice cream.
Willis (formerly Sears) Tower
I’ve never been to the Skydeck, but I think it’s worth a trip. We went at night, thinking we’d miss the crowds. Not so lucky. But, I still liked seeing the views at night, and the video was interesting. However, the 15 million teenagers I could have done without. Shannon opted out of the plexiglass ledge, but Emily and I took the leap for a photo op.
The Chicago River
Because I’m a moron, I wasn’t aware this was a river. But, it was right by our hotel and had great views. The walking paths and bridges are also pretty.
I’ve never seen this comedy group before, but it’s worth the effort to get a ticket. The show was hilarious – we had a great time! And we barely made it. We walked in the door right when the show was starting.
We also took a boat tour, which I wouldn’t recommend. It was too early to take the true Architectural Boat Tour on the River. The tour we took was frigidly cold and the guide was painfully bad. But, we still did a lot of laughing … at his expense.
Home of famous Chicago hot dogs, this is a fun place to visit and the food is quite yummy.
This is a Rick Bayless restaurant, if you know who Rick Bayless is. (I didn’t.) But, Shannon was right on the money to pick this place. We went there for brunch on Saturday and it was quite delightful. It’s also super popular, so get there early.
For Chicago deep dish, this is a good choice. And you can’t go to Chicago without deep dish.
As you can see, there was lots of eating, a little drinking (by Shannon) and tons of being merry. There was also a lot of walking, which may have made us all a little sore by day two. Holy moley. This pregnant body can’t move like it used to.
I’m already counting down the days until our next meet-up.
Wondering what these gals are like in real life?
- Neither of them have an opinion about anything. (Psych! These girls have an opinion about everything. A funny opinion that I love.)
- Shannon refuses to have a sip of alcohol. (Psych! She has nothing against drinking alone and, in fact, endorses it.)
- Both of them are health food nuts. They won’t put anything processed in their bodies. (Psych! We ate ice cream, drank fountain beverages and devoured burgers and pizza.)
- Emily is a true diva. It takes her hours to get ready. (Psych! She can be ready for the day in 5 minutes.)
Blog buddies turned real-life friends. There’s nothing better. Their secrets are not safe with me.