Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chicago trip, part the first

Chicago was lovely :-)  Getting away from my responsibilities (i.e. the children) was lovely.  Getting to spend several days alone with my husband doing whatever the heck we wanted to do was especially lovely.  

We're home now, with a dog that can open doors (even locked ones, we've just found out to our dismay) and children who don't understand that nighttime is for sleeping, even at ages 5 and 2.  But we're refreshed and better able to deal with the craziness of everyday life, and that's THE most lovely part about getting away for awhile.  

But back to Thursday....

After slowly ridding myself of each of my family members one by one (Remy to Nana and Papa's house, Will to the airport, Max to the kennel, Emily to school, Charlotte to my sister's house) it was finally time to drive myself to the airport.  We flew out of Reagan airport, which I try to avoid at all costs, but it ended up being the option that worked out best this time.  It's a pain to get to (especially with the Nationals in the playoffs!) and it's kinda ghetto, but it IS pretty and has a lovely view of DC.

My salad made it through security (yay!), my flight was fairly perfect, and once I FINALLY found the shuttle center at O'Hare (it was so poorly labeled that it seriously took me almost an hour...I feel bad for non-English speakers who fly into there) I arrived at Will's hotel and had a snack.

I arrived just as Will was on a break from his conference, so we were able to chat for a minute.  We both re-checked the label on the pecan butter to make sure there was no sugar in it because it was so sweet!  Very yummy.

Even yummier was our dinner that night, provided by the conference.  We had a private room at Morton's steakhouse and I had no trouble at all staying on GAPS.  I even took it easy on the wine, although we were there for a long time and they kept our glasses full.

Since I was at a table full of old newspaper guys, the servers opened the wall next to us so we could watch the Vice Presidential debate.  I know this doesn't sound very fun, but it was a blast.  Almost like watching a sporting event, since these guys take current events SO seriously and we had people (loudly) rooting for both sides (plus the swank setting and unlimited wine didn't hurt either).  Will even found a fellow Vivo 
barefoot shoe wearer to chat with. 

The next morning I got up, ate the hard boiled eggs and bacon I had brought with me, and bid farewell to Will and the Crowne Plaza.

I hopped on the CTA (The "L"?  The "El"?  The Metro?  I have no idea what it's actually called) and headed to Bucktown.  I hadn't ever been to that part of the city before and Lauren told me it was neat, so I spent a bit of time doing one of my favorite things, exploring a new (part of a) city.

Wouldn't mind living along here!

 After awhile I reached my destination, which was Green Corner, the first of many juice bars I planned to visit.

I picked up a juice for myself and a pre-made juice to bring to Will later in the day.

 With juice in hand, I headed back to the CTA, and before long I was looking at the corncobs!

They were still building the Trump Hotel back there the last time I was in Chicago, so it was neat to see it completed.

Will and I thought about doing Priceline to get a hotel for our stay, but we ended up deciding on the Hyatt instead.

Not the prettiest building, but if you've been to Chicago you've seen the bar at this place, it is appropriately called "Big Bar" and spans the entire length of the glassed-in area in the front.

We've seen it and meant to stop in every time we've been there, so now that it was our choice where to stay we figured we'd make it easy on ourselves.
I made a quick stop to check into the Hyatt and ALMOST convinced myself that I should just lay down and take a nap (that was A LOT of walking to do while carrying all my luggage!) but I couldn't.  Not with Fox and Obel so close by!  So I struck out once again.

Ta Da!

 Now I will admit, Fox and Obel is not quite as awesome as it used to be.  For one thing they don't carry dried strawberries anymore :-(  For another, nothing can compare to their "Choctoberfest" that I was lucky enough to happen upon my first visit there, and it was an event for the record books.  I took a complimentary chocolate tasting class, discovered Vosges chocolates, and basically just danced around in  a wonderland full of free chocolate until I could eat no more.  It's much less fun when you're on a restricted diet, but I still have a fond place in my heart for it and I found some tasty snacks nonetheless.

Yes....they had BROTH!
 Once I had re-fuled I was ready to strike out again.  I went shopping a couple girly places that I knew Will wouldn't appreciate, including Victoria's Secret.  I had promised myself that once I was finished  having kids/breastfeeding kids I would go get officially measured to figure out what size bra I actually wear, so that's what I did.  This Victoria's Secret was AWESOME.  Once you're measured, they bring in a box of every bra they make in your size, and you can try them all on (in black so you're not swayed by pretty colors) and see which ones work best for you.

The candidates
I left with some very pretty bras, and feeling pleased to know that they would actually fit right!

My husband was arriving in the city shortly, so I strolled back down Michigan Ave. to go meet up with him.

Once we had reunited, can you guess where we went?  Why back to Fox and Obel, of course.  It was time for a late lunch.

I got a delicious Cobb Salad which was my first GAPS fail of the weekend since they dressed my greens in a sweet dressing even though I had told them no dressing.  I was far too hungry by then to send it back though!

Aaaaaaaaaaaand then my camera ran out of batteries :-(  The rest of the pictures are on my phone, which is not getting along with my computer right now, so they'll have to wait for a bit.  But this is getting pretty long anyway so now's as good a time to stop as any.

Read part 2 here
Read part 3 here

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