Monday, January 18, 2010

Our Chicago Trip and Thankful Thursday on a Sunday/Monday

So we’ve been back for a week and I’m just now posting about our delightful trip to Chi-town.  I’m sure true Chicagoans (yes, they’re really called Chicagoans) hate when people call it Chi-town, but I’m not a Chicagoan, so I can say Chi-town if my little heart so desires.

And before I get too far into this post, an impromptu Thankful Thursday is needed.  I realize I could just say a normal “thank you” and that it’s not even Thursday, but pssh, why not go all here?   A huge, super, big, gigantic thank you to our friends Matt and Christie for hosting us for most of our Chicago trip.  We were technically in town for Matt’s interview, but since we flew alllll the way out there, we figured we’d stick around for a couple more days of fun.  (It made total sense, right?)  Thankfully, our dear friends are the best hosts, cooks, tour guides, comedians, restaurateurs, photographers,  snow shovellers, and cab  hailers we know, and we had such a blast spending an extended weekend with them.  Christie and I have been dear friends since third grade and we have seen each other through lots of dorky and awkward phases.  Don’t believe me?  See below…

a27 Haha, told you.  Christie (third from the left) and I (second from the left) went to summer camp with two of our best friends through most of elementary, middle and high school.  Any friend who has seen you through from 3rd grade to now is pretty special in my book.

Back our fabulous hosts and amazing friends…we had such a blast with them and loved seeing all the awesome parts of Chicago, especially the parts you don’t find in a tourist guide.  Much love to you both, Matt and I are so thankful for your hosting abilities, but even more so for you fun and fabulous friendship.  Check out all the fun we had in the windy city!

DSCN1468 After arriving in Chicago at 1:30 Wednesday night/Thursday morning, we headed to the hotel so Matt could rest up for his interview which was seven hours later (poor dude).  When we woke up in the morning, this is what we found outside our hotel…SNOW!  We hadn’t seen snow since our last trip to Chicago (March 2007).  From a warm, heated hotel the snow is so delightful.  Outside, well, that’s a bit of a different story :)

DSCN1470 After Matt’s interview, we grabbed a cab and headed to Matt and Christie’s adorable little brownstone in Lincoln Park.  It was so precious.  As we prepared to head out to dinner, Christie politely pointed out that my Uggs wouldn’t cut it in the snow (as my readers so brilliantly pointed out in my original post about the weather.)  Though I’m sure she was laughing inside at my lack of snow savvy, she kept from teasing me too loudly, and offered me my pick of her super chic warm boots.  Thankfully, we wear the same size shoe so my Uggs were spared.  Here we are grabbing dinner and drinks at a cute little Tapas place a few blocks from their house.  I will crave those delicious little potato delights for the rest of my life.

DSCN1472 When we got back, we had to face reality.  Living in the cold weather comes with some crappy details (exhibit A: shovelling snow.)  Christie wasn’t phased; look at her go!

DSCN1484 Such responsible and cute Chicagoans :)

DSCN1481 Before I go any further, I have to clarify.  Both Christie and I’s husbands are named Matt.  Confusing?  Yes.  Annoying?  Pretty much.  So within ten minutes of us being there, nicknames were in order.  Christie and “her Matt” quickly dubbed “my Matt” “Dr. Matt” in honor of his upcoming degree.  Though I didn’t ever call him Dr. Matt (not unless he calls me Dr. Allison), the name stuck with Matt and Christie and therefore, will be used for clarity for the remainder of this post.  Here Dr. Matt and I snap photos while Matt and Christie shovelled.

DSCN1485 But I soon got tired of watching and decided to try my hand at shovelling and snow sweeping.  I was a natural :)

DSCN1489 I can’t help myself, I’m always looking for a good photo opp, even in a blizzard.

DSCN1493 The next morning, the streets were covered in pretty powder.  I forced Dr. Matt to pose for a picture.  He’ll thank me someday :)

DSCN1494 You never have to convince me to stop for a photo :)

DSCN1498 That day, the four of us headed downtown for a little shopping (ok, maybe more than a little) and some yummy dinner.

DSCN1499Here come the men in black.

DSCN1500 Christie showed off her best Martha Stewart with a homemade chocolate cake (putting my cake-from-a-box method completely to shame.)  Thanks to Matt for my delightfully heart shaped piece, complete with powered sugar.

DSCN1505 Saturday we headed downtown to see the sights and explore the city.  Christie was such a good sport to show us around in the freezing cold.

DSCN1511 This is what happy Dr. Matt looks like.  He has been raving about Chicago dogs since we were there last.  We stopped at a tiny little spot downtown for this “yumminess.”

DSCN1509 Can you guess which picky eater looked like a total tourist asking for only mustard and ketchup?  (Ok, I confess, but I cannot stand any of those Chicago dog ingredients alone, nevermind mushed together.  Eck, sickening.  I’ll stick with picky thank you.)

DSCN1514 Matt and I in Millennium Park.  (Loving the boots Christie let me borrow.  Must get a pair!)

DSCN1538 Checking out “The Bean” downtown.  (Technically, its called “Cloud Gate” but pssh, no one calls it that.  The Bean it is.)  And why have I said “pssh” twice in this post?  Two times too many, Allison.

DSCN1519 Look, there we are!  So cool!  And how beautiful is the reflection of downtown?

DSCN1529 Double trouble :)

DSCN1534 Hahha, this picture is so awkwardly awesome.  I am so weird.

DSCN1531 Let’s play a little “Where’s Waldo.”  Do you see us?  All three of us are there…

DSCN1531 Ok ok, I’ll give you the answers :)

DSCN1527 :)

DSCN1537 I heart this picture.  I have cute friends.

DSCN1544 I couldn’t get enough of the snow in the park.  Very undisturbed and pretty.  The art instillation behind us is cool in person, but kinda creepy in this pic.  Yeah?

DSCN1550 Christie and I outside the new, soon-to-be flagship Anthropologie (aka heaven!)  Sadly (but lucky for my bank account) it didn’t open for another two weeks.)

DSCN1558 Dinner and drinks our last night there.  I wish I knew the names of all the places we went.  I was so trusting of our hosts/tour guides that I didn’t even to bother asking where we were or where we were going!

DSCN1557 The Matts.

DSCN1560 In the cab between hot spots.  Yes, I am that person who takes pictures everywhere I go.  Life is short and special, so why not capture all the moments you can?

DSCN1563-1 Our last spot of the night, which of course, I don’t remember the name of…Jasper’s?  Kate’s?  Some single name like that.  Regardless, it was dee-li-cious.

DSCN1562 This guy makes me really happy.

DSCN1564 Cheers to a fabulous trip, a fabulous dinner, and FABULOUS friends. 

I also want to give a huge THANK YOU to my fabulous readers who commented on this post when I was freaking out about how to balance the snow and freezing temperatures with a wardrobe that maintained some level of cuteness.  Though I was terrified of looking like an overbundled, puffy marshmallow, their tips kept me warm and somewhat chic (at least I think so!)  Many thanks to those that shared their cold weather/wardrobe friendly tips with me :)


Bohns said...

I miss Chicago. Ok, I've been one time, for my 17th birthday (minus various layovers in O'Hare), for the day. But it was so much fun! I may or may not have spent most of the time shopping but I loved it anyway! Your pictures are adorable :)

ash said...

Looks like you had a blast! You are so adorably cute!

I hope "Dr. Matt"'s interview went as well as you hoped for.


Allison said...

Aww, you guys are so sweet! Thank you so much! Ash, Dr. Matt thought his interview went well and we are giddy about the possibility that we could move there!

Alison said...

I'm with you on the hotdog toppings! I only like ketchup and mustard too. Although apparently it's "sinful" to order it that way! :)

Christina said...

What a sweet blog! We had a lot of fun hosting you and Dr. Matt. The names of the places we went to are:
Cafe Babareeba, for tapas
The Bristol, for cocktails
Jane's, for burgers

I hope y'all end up in Chicago! There are so many more amazing restaurants we must try. Keep me posted!

Gail said...

I found your blog through Lola B' cute! My husband and I went to Chicago a couple of years ago & really really loved it. It had snowed pretty heavily while we were there and (being from Texas) was a total blast! It's funny when I saw your pictures (before I even read the blog title or anything)...I thought..."that looks like Chicago"...and it was only the picture of the street with y'all shoveling the snow. Ha! It's an amazing city...and if you moved there I think you'd love it.