Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mini Vacation in Chicago

On the Fourth of July, I said my tearful goodbyes to my family and Dustin and I headed to downtown Chicago for our own little mini vacation! We staked out a great spot on the Oak Park Beach to watch the Navy Pier fireworks without so much of a crowd. It's so neat to have a beach in the middle of a giant city! And can you believe this was our first beach trip this summer?

After the show, we walked over to Hard Rock Cafe for some yummy dinner and much needed chit-chatting. Spending a few days with the family makes me realize how much we are both used to spending a lot of one-on-one time together! We found a cozy little neighborhood bar that reminded us of the bar from How I Met Your Mother and had a couple beers before we headed back to the hotel.

Tuesday was our jam-packed sightseeing day, and my poor feet felt the miles we had walked by the end of the night. We hiked over to Lincoln Park Zoo, and got to see the zebras running around all over their habitat, while most of the other animals seemed to be resting due to the heat. We caught some terrific views of the city during our wandering, and it was really neat to be in the shade of buildings!


We stopped in at Tommy O'Toole's, a little Irish pub for some wings and a Blue Moon (yum!). While eating lunch we caught the Casey Anthony verdict and the collective gasp of 50+ people watching with us while eating lunch. What a shocker!

That evening Dustin and I ate dinner at a romantic little Italian joint, and sprung for some decadent Ghiradelli sundaes and their shop down the street. Good thing we walked so much after eating that giant dessert!


Late that night we rode on North America's fasted elevator to the 94th floor of the John Hancock building, and caught some majestic views of the Chicago skyline.

Dustin, goofing off with the props!
Wednesday was our long day of travel. We stopped by one of my favorite breakfast spots, Einstein Bros. Bagels, for a bagel and cream cheese. Yum!

Before we took the train to the airport, I participated in some much needed shopping. Forever XXI and H&M? Yea, we definitely don't have either of those in little old Jacksonville. Dustin was a good sport and held my shopping bags. While we were waiting for our first flight, we made up for missing a trip to Wrigley Field, by instead visiting the Harry Carey's bar in the airport for a quick lunch.

We spent most of the day between three different airports, almost lost our luggage, and then finally returned home to our sleepy little kitties at around 11:00 that night!


It was such a great trip, and I think Dustin is already planning his next adventure up to visit my brother in November!


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