Jul 17, 2012

Woppin' in the Windy City

Hello from Chicago! This blog post is sponsored by fantastic shopping, deep dish pizza, and tons of reckless taxi drivers! <<< kind of a lie, but these are all things I have experienced so far! The title of this post is also kind of a lie. I haven't (yet) wopped on the streets of Chicago, but I did listen to the song in the car about 34932 times on the drive up. Nothin' to pump you up for a great time in an incredible city like the Wop. Now that we're good and off topic, let me show you a little bit of Chi Town!

So last night when we arrived in the bustling city, we quickly checked into our hotel to freshen up before heading to the big sister's apartment. Did I mention we drove all 11 hours? Yeah, that was a fun drive. Actually, I slept for most of it so it really wasn't that bad. Plus, we passed some interesting sites along the way. Take these creepy windmills for example:

Mills on mills on mills.
Those mills went on for miles. No joke. It was slightly odd.
So back to last night. I happened to find this sign outside our room strange:

We mean business.
Our room looked completely normal on the inside. I have no idea what kind of "business" that sign was referring to. Awkward. However, I was ecstatic to discover that our hotel was literally right across from a Trader Joe's. 

Just a short walk away.
My goodies.
I seriously act like a kid in a candy store when I'm in Trader Joe's. It is just so exciting!!! I guess I was pretty excited to see the big sister, too, even though I just saw her in SoIll. She lives in the cutest little part of Chicago. I was in love with these quaint houses:

So adorable.
She even has a stoop!

 Da stoop.
"Stoop kid's afraid to leave the stoop!" <<< anyone remember that Hey Arnold episode?? anyone?? After I had my fun prancing around the stoop the big sister showed us around the apartment, we met up with the madre's cousin for dinner. Our chow-down place of choice was Cafe Baba Reeba's, a local tapas bar. Tapas are like small plates/appetizers/snacks/whateveryouwanttocallthem. You order several per table and then everyone shares. It was a neat concept, and I definitely enjoyed trying bites of each plate. We may or may not have ordered 13 tapas, plus desserts.

Not ashamed.
Delicious goat cheese spread.
Post-dinner required a leisurely walk back to the hotel, so as not to burst. Along the way, we stopped and visited the children in the park.

Ring around the rosy...
That picture is so insanely creepy, but so hysterical at the same time. I think I like it :)

This morning began with a trip to a bedding store to buy the big sister a mattress. The little sister and I caught up on some quality shut-eye while we waited.

Nap time.
I even nap awkwardly.
After the big sister finally decided on a mattress, we explored some local clothing stores nearby, came out unsuccessful, and decided to cut our losses by eating lunch instead. Then it was time to pack up and head downtown! While we waited for our next hotel room to be cleaned before checking in, the sisters and I headed to a lovely little street.

It really is a magnificent mile.

Gorgeous view.

What better way to waste time than shopping?? We explored a few stores on Michigan Avenue, but mostly just window shopped. We knew it wouldn't be too long til the hotel room was ready, so we didn't want to go too far (plus we knew we'd be shopping all day tomorrow). With plans of all the stores we want to further investigate tomorrow in mind, we trekked back to the hotel. After some freshening up (aka changing clothes and whipping sweat off), we journeyed to Giordano's, one of Chicago's famous deep-dish pizzerias (and took some great pictures along the way).

The madre and I.
 Once at the restaurant, the hostess reported the wait to be about an hour, but we found something to occupy ourselves:


Shopping just never gets boring. And, of course, I managed to find something I liked:

I've wanted one of these forever.
Love all things zodiac-oriented.
The wait seemed much more bearable with these purchases in hang. And the wait was certainly worth it! The family dined on some deep dish:


While I enjoyed a fresh salad:

Yay veggies!
Of course I had to snag some bites of the cheesy goodness, too. Giordano's was definitely a thumbs up.

I've had such a great time in Chicago so far, and it's only been a little over 24 hours! Tomorrow is our shopping day. Can you tell I'm a little bit excited? :)

 Til next time,                 

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