Thursday, January 21, 2010

CHICAGO!!! first week of class (not as cool.)

Friends and family!

Wow, so good to be back home but what a great trip! And the perfect finish to my month long winter break (oh, how I wish it was longer still!)

So, what to tell, what to tell... Let's just narrate this story through pictures, shall we?

The weekend began when we arrived at the Midway airport in Chicago, IL at 9:30pm on Friday night. Our original intent for this trip was to see all of Scott's buddies from his study abroad experience in Costa Rica, so one of those boys picked us up from the airport (name, Joel). We walked outside to meet him in the pick-up area and the weather in Chicago is significantly different (now I sound like I am teaching statistics) than in Houston. Weather in Houston on Friday: Partly cloudy, highs in the mid-50s, lows in the low-40s. Weather in Chicago on Friday: Mostly cloudy, highs in the mid-30s, lows in the low-20s....... YIKES!

Anyway, Friday night and most of Saturday we hung out with Scott's friends from the study abroad experience. They were a very nice crew of people and, since I was the only unfamiliar face, I was greeted with, "Oh! You must be Scott's wife!" Indeed, I am. Name's Hannah. We stayed at one of the guy's homes and his mother cooked us all of our delicious meals!

Well, Saturday night we met up with Scott's friend from JBU who now lives in Chicago, Molly. She was our host for the remainder of the weekend, letting us sleep in her twin-size bed (tight quarters, but we were warm!), telling us which buses to take to get where, providing us with a map of downtown, and feeding us breakfast. We went out to eat with her on Saturday night at a Cuban restaurant

then went to go see BLUE MAN GROUP!!! Wow! If you have never seen Blue Man Group, it is an absolute MUST. I'll give you the gist: three men, painted COMPLETELY blue, never speak, amazing at percussion, hilarious, and have a love of paint and marshmallows. I can't even describe to you how awesome the show was! It was very interactive; they picked audience members to help out with several of their acts. And by "picked", I mean they creepily walked up and down the aisles with their eyes bugged, stopping occasionally to stare down one person, moving on, more staring, then they just grabbed your wrist and off you went! Scary!!! I was stared down at least 3 times and my thought process went something like this: "Dear God, PLEASE don't let him grab me. Amen." Prayers were answered. I was never grabbed. Whew.

Imagine being stared at by him!

Sunday morning, ready for a big day!

So.... Sunday morning, we hopped a train to Michigan Ave.--the hot-spot for tourism and shopping!

Waiting at the train stop by Molly's apt.

We saw the "Bean", which for all I can tell is big, shiny, metal, kidney bean in the middle of Millennium Park (it has a history, but I can't remember the details...)

The Bean! (Not to be confused with the cafeteria at ACU, mind you.)

You see us?? Reflection in the Bean.

I think I might just take this bean....

Or I'll just give it a hug!

Scott conquered Millennium Park.

We meandered further down to the bridge to see the frozen-over river!


I kept having visions of falling in.... brrr.... After the bridge begins "The Magnificent Mile", a mile-long strip of Michigan Ave. that has all of the high-end retail stores you can possibly imagine! Such names included: SAKS 5th Ave., Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Burberry, the list goes on! Seeing as how we are newly weds and all, and the fact that I did not want to spend our entire travel budget on a wallet, we just walked the "Mag Mile" rather than shopped the Mag Mile. Along the Mag Mile, we saw such things as a GIGANTIC rendition of "American Gothic",

They were SO BIG!

a welded moose made of car parts (with HUGE male parts... gross...)


and Sears Tower!

SOOO tall!

We stopped and got a free hug.

We stopped for lunch at a famous deep-dish pizza joint, Gino's East and ordered a small, supreme, deep-dish pizza! 4 inch thickness of cheese, sausage, veggies, and crust--YUM!

Yummy, yummy, pizza.

We then traveled on to the Art Institute of Chicago!

The Art Institute of Chicago

Because, you all know, I have a slight obsession with art. Oh man, it was fabulous! I saw REAL paintings from Monet, Renoir, VAN GOGH,

One of my favorite painting by Van Gogh. I love the colors.

Picasso, and Georgia O'Keefe! I was in art history heaven. The highlight of the trip was when we were in the Modern European Art wing, about to leave because my feet were KILLING me (wearing boots with heels when you plan on walking for 5 miles in one day is not a good idea), and I said to Scott, "Man, I really wish that they had Picasso's 'The Old Guitarist' here, I love that painting!" And, would you believe it???? We turned the corner and it was RIGHT BEFORE MY EYES!!! Yahoo!

There he is!

That night, we were very cold so we hopped into the Hershey's chocolate store and grabbed some hot cocoa,

This is Scott's famous "creepy face".

then went to a really neat bar with Molly called "The Map Room".

If my grandmother, Mema, would like a bar it would be this one. Let me explain. The walls were painted with a huge mural of a map of the world, they had atlases sitting here and there on the small tables, and there were STACKS of National Geographic magazines all along the side wall! It was a very sophisticated place. Not loud or crazy with blaring TVs. We each ordered a drink and had a great chat that lasted until about midnight.

Monday, our last day, we woke up and had breakfast at an adorable cafe called "Milk and Honey". Now, tell me you would not want to gorge yourself with french toast, syrup, and orange juice at a cafe called Milk and Honey!

My french toast--it was HUGE!

Scott got out the borrowed map and planned our route for our day of souvenir shopping.

The map was torn into about 10 different pieces.... not too helpful, but we figured it out.

Lots of trains and buses later, we made it to a cute antique store called "P.O.S.H.", a paper store called "Greer", and two hot dog stands to satisfy our need for a Chicago-style hot dog!

Hot dog

Oh yeah, and we saw Lake Michigan!

The Lake

We arrived at the air port 2 hours before our flight, only to find out that our plane had been delayed for 3 hours. We spent a long night at the airport and made it back to Houston at 2am, just in time for Scott to wake up at 5:30 for work and for me to wake up at 8:00 for my first day back at school! Needless to say, we are still recovering.

At the airport. This is around 10:30pm.

It was a wonderful, memorable, and fun trip that we will certainly remember for years to come.

Scott wants to go for a run now. Not sure how excited I am about that...

Love you all!


Ashton said...

Sorry your plane was delayed, but it looks like you had a blast!! You were so stylish and looked like you fit right in to the big city! :-)

Oh, and I had to read the "If my Mema would like a bar..." a few times. Haha. Map or no map, it was still hard for me to picture. Haha.

Ronda said...

Sounds like a great trip..Trey loves that pizza place.

Molly said...

I love the post about Chicago! I miss you two- and your phone charger is on the way! :)