Okay y'all. Chicago is amazing.
My amazing friend and across-the-street neighbor, Cindi, used to live in Chicago - still does part-time! - and works there, which gave us a great excuse for a little girl's getaway.
One thing I just didn't realize about myself (and I'd wager most wives, and CERTAINLY most women who are wives and mommies have this in common with me) is that I spend a lot of time worrying about/taking care of the goings on of our household. Of course, this is completely fine with me - the arrangement in my marriage is that one of us works and one of us stays home. It's not a gender thing, it's a "the way we've worked it out" thing, so lots of this is just my jurisdiction. But the point is, lots of my mental energy is spent on worrying about whether the laundry is done and ironed; the groceries are bought and put away; the dog hair is off the floor; etc.
I didn't worry about any of that FOR A WHOLE WEEK. Oh my gosh. Goodbye brain. I don't even think I HAD a brain. It left my body and went on a cruise.
So here were all the things, pictures included, that scored my incredible week in Chicago with my precious friend Cindi. People, this trip was every girl's motherfrakkin dream.
- After a flight delay that caused us to miss our original Tuesday evening plane, we eventually arrived in the city.
- But not before I was introduced to God's greatest gift, the Stroopwaffel. You guys, I didn't know this existed. But it does. It DOES. Two waffle wafers with molten caramel inside that melts when you place it atop a coffee cup. Goodbye, willpower.
- We then arrived in the most chic and fabulous condo of all time. Mmhmm. Do you wish you lived here? I know. I know. And Cindi did all the decorating herself, because she's not a real person and is insanely talented.
- Drooling is an appropriate reaction. My own drool started with condo lust and just kept happening because of ALL THE FOOD, like this:
- After we were stuffed up to our eyeballs, we had our nails done and took naps. I'm telling you, it was Girl Heaven, this trip was.
- We then decided we needed to probably go outdoors and move around for some portion of the day, so we took a stroll around Maggie Daly Park. Unsurprisingly, it was extremely charming.
- Look at all these adorable little play areas for kids!
- After our stroll around the city, it was back to the condo for a quick jaunt to sea! Well, not sea, Lake Michigan, but you get the point. Cindi rounded up some buddies and we took to the water armed with to-go meatballs and beef sandwiches because #chicago.
- Not a bad way to spend a Wednesday night.
- We kicked off right with breakfast at a local Chicago restaurant, Hash House A Go Go, that's famous for its portion sizes. Which became clear, when they served us a bananas foster pancake the size of a pizza.
- By the way, we had that pancake as an appetizer. At breakfast. Did I mention this was Dream Week?
- We walked around a bit, visited Cindi's sweet mom, went back to the condo for naps, then struck out for a late afternoon coffee-and-walk run before our insanely delicious evening plans: RPM (a fab Italian restaurant) and HAMILTON.
- DID I MENTION WE SAW HAMILTON?
- WE SAW HAMILTON.
- So as we approached dinner, pregnancy hit me with a nasty headache, which means I was lousy dinner company and also have no photos of our beautiful meal. But I do have pictures of us FAH-REAKING OUT on the way to the show!!
- Maybe the most tragic outfit choice of all time for me, but y'all, I just didn't care because HAMILTON.
- I think that experience requires a separate blog post. It was overwhelming. I have literally been singing songs from it EVERY DAY since we've been back. I wake up with the songs in my head. It's just insane.
Friday and Saturday.
- Good morning, Chicago!
- Fabulous Friday, we awoke and started packing the car for the next leg of our journey: a trek to Cindi's husband MIke's family cabin in Wisconsin. I kept checking cities/states off my list this trip!
- Mike had driven up to to Chicago the day before, so we got the pleasure of Jake and Elwood's company while we were packing - those two cute little Frenchies down there.
- On our trip, I had my first Culver's experience. Delicious, which is no surprise. #fastfoodforever #gonnafailmyglucosetest
- Our experience over the next two days is largely undocumented because it was a largely technology-free weekend. Which was FANTASTIC. We met up with Cindi's Chicago girlfriends in Wisconsin and just lazed around. We hiked a little, ate a lot, and spent a lot of time with movies, great conversation, and lots of alcohol.
- Early Sunday morning, we woke up, packed up, and headed back to Chicago. This was such a delightfully restful part of the trip, and I really enjoyed a little quiet time on the dock Sunday morning. It kind of hit me that this was the last girls' trip I'd ever have a non-mom; that every trip from here on out, I'd have to make childcare arrangements or bring that baby with me. I am SO excited to be a mom, but I'm also very conscious of bidding farewell to parts of my life that are going to change. Got a little choked up this day as I said goodbye to Wisconsin and goodbye to this chapter of life!
- The lump in my throat didn't last long, though, because before long we were back in the city and getting hour-long massages. Because...YES. Have no photos of the spa because I was trying not to be a redneck, but it was gorgeous and we drank delicious tea and everything, everywhere was good. Turns out prenatal massages are WHERE IT'S AT.
- When we arrived back at the condo, it was time for the main event:
- DEEP DISH
- IN ACTUAL CHICAGO.
- So a little backstory:
- Cindi and Mike gave our neighborhood deep dish pizzas last year for Christmas. I had never had a deep dish pizza (how this was possible, I'm not sure), but I have never taken a bite of anything and been so instantly in love. Love at first bite, if you will. So deep dish in Chicago was obviously going to be a huge part of the trip. Here are some photos of me with the pizza:
- We watched The Founder on Netflix and passed on in a pizza and cheesecake (did I mention I'm going to fail my glucose test?) haze. Nothing has ever been sweeter. I mean, it's like 1. This deep dish, 2. My wedding day.
And just like that, it was time to come home! Since we started with a Stroop, the only logical conclusion to the trip also had to be with a Stroop:
Easily one of the best trips of my life. Thanks to my incredible friend Cindi for an unforgettable experience, and to ChiTown, you beautiful city - can't wait 'til next time! Thanks for showing me your very best self!