Trip: Chicago, July 2012

Courtney’s brother George got married in Chicago last weekend – two months ago…(yikes…a bit behind! ) so we went on a long weekend trip.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Courtney, Claire, Grace, Sophia and I left home around 6:15 AM and had an easy drive to Chicago in six hours.  We drove directly to the Hotel MileNorth where we were staying and were able to check in early which was nice.  We had two mini suites that were great.  A queen bed in one section, a couch and chair in another section, and then a couple steps up to a desk and the door to the hall way.  Courtney and I stayed in one and all the kids were in the other (hurray).  We decided to go on a boat tour on Wednesday afternoon as the weather forecast was calling for hotter weather as the weekend progressed.  We have always wanted to do this but never had the chance.  The boat was only a 10 minute walk and we were able to get on with no probs.  It was a beautiful afternoon with bright blue skies so it was great to look at all the amazing architecture and learn lots of things that we didn’t know about.  The ride lasted 90 minutes and was enjoyed by all, even the kids.  We wandered back to the hotel, stopped at a few places on Michigan Ave (nice Apple Store of course) and relaxed for awhile.  Courtney’s long time friend Christian Rieben (check out his web site:  met us at the hotel for drinks and we sat around catching up,  and then we wanderered around looking for somewhere for dinner.  We ended up at Giordano’s, which we’ve been to before, and had a nice dinner with lots of cheese on our pizza.  We wanted to try and catch the fireworks that were going on at Navy Pier, but didn’t finish with dinner until 10:00 so didn’t quite make it.

waiting to get on boat. happy to be on vacation.
going down the river with our histrionic docent. beautiful day.
the new trump tower
marina city
merchandise mart. largest building in USA before the petagon was built.
old and new
the sears tower and neighbors.
the green curvey building on wacker ( I forget what it’s called…but its a beauty)
the beautiful tribune building
enjoying some post cruise ice cream.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Courtney and I went for a walk around 8:00 or so while the girls were still sleeping.  We walked up Michigan Ave to Chicago and walked to the lakefront trail along Lake Michigan.  It was another beautiful day with all the Chicagoan’s out running, walking, biking and swimming on their beautiful lakefront.  They even have lane markers in the lake for people to use.  We walked North about a mile or so and then headed back downtown.  We happened upon a cool street called Astor Street that had hundred year old beautiful brownstones and lots of beautiful gardens.  It was quite amazing.  We made if back to our hotel, roused up the sleepy heads and headed out for breakfast.  We had breakfast at a place called Yolk a few blocks south that was really good.  We ate outside and were able to enjoy a nice leisurely breakfast.  After breakfast we headed down town, walked around Millenium park, walked around the loop checking out the architecture with our new found expertise, checked out the Rooker building which we have never been to, walked back through Daily Plaza and then went to the old Marshal Fields on State Street – now unfortunately known as Macy’s – blahhhh.  I was the good consumer and bought a new pair or shoes and a skinny black tie for the wedding and of course we had to get a box of frango mints.  We headed back to Michigan Ave where we met Dan and Emily in their luxe room at the Peninsula and then had a (really) late lunch with them at a sub place.  It was nice to see them as we haven’t seen them in a long time.  After lunch we went shopping a bit more and then back to our hotel for a brief siesta.  Alissa arrived soon after we got back to the hotel and Carrie stopped up to say hello.  We all walked to dinner at Lou Malnati’s about 1/2 mile away.  Jack arrived from Cincinnati that evening and met us right at the restauraunt.  It was fun to all be together at last.  George seemed excited for the weekend ahead.

walking along the lake in the morning
nice pot on Astor
another nice pot and interesting doorway
an early Frank Lloyd Wright building
beautiful flowers everywhere
interesting window box. love the caladiums.
row houses on Astor
old and new
breakfast al fresco
breakfast at yolk
nice place
millenium park
yeay chicago
another pefect day
inside the beautiful rookery building
on Michigan Ave
dinner at Lou Malnati’s
Hi George
jack fresh, and scruffy, off the bus
yeay pizza

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Jack had an interview with an Architecture firm in the morning near Navy Pier so we walked with him and then got some bakery and stuff and had breakfast out on Navy Pier.  We headed back along the lake back to our hotel.  The girls all had a ladies bridal luncheon followed by manicures at Neiman Marcus for the afternoon.  Happy that we are not women, Jack and I headed out downtown first to a jazz record store that Jack wanted to see and then the the Art Institute.  A Roy Lichtenstein exhibit was going on that was very interesting.  There is a new contemporary wing that I have never been to that has recently been added and it is beautiful.  Interesting architecture, bright and wide open with nice views.  After spending an hour or two we went to the Taste of Chicago that was going on in Grant Park for lunch.  We each tried lots of different things but our favorite was still the Chicago Style Hot Dog.  Just as we were finishing a huge storm was rolling in and everyone was forced to leave…quickly as they were nervous with all the tent and lighting.  It was surreal being part of thousands of people all leaving at once.  We were able to duck back into the Art Institute to wait out the storm.  We ended up staying another hour in the museum exploring the new contemporary wing more closely.  We met the girls back at the hotel and rested a bit.  The boys had a cocktail on the nice lounge at the top of our hotel and then we all got into taxis and headed to the rehearsal dinner.  The rehearsal dinner was at Topo Giggio, probably about 100 people.  Nice place, nice bar, good food, nice speaches.  Courtney’s family hasn’t been all together for a long time so it’s nice to have everyone together.   After dinner the kids went back to the hotel and the adults went to the bar next door.  It was packed with twenty and thirty somethings so interesting to see the hook ups.  We didn’t stay late as we were tired.

canoe sculpture on the way to navy pier
breakfast on navy pier
good one
huge jazz record store off michigan ave somewhere
outside art institute
could spend days in here
hi jack
taste of chicago – lots of people
pulled pork maybe?
just before the storm rolled in
watching the storm inside the art institute
statue looking out at millenium park
outside tribune building
cocktails on the roof
at the rehearsal dinner
listening to the toasts

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Wedding Day!  Courtney and I got up early again and went for a walk.  We walked toward the river, walked around the loop and then headed back.  We picked up breakfast on the way back and ate in our room.  Courtney, Grace and Sophia were off to get Grace and Sophie’s hair and make-up done.  Claire, Jack and I walked down MI avenue, walked north on the lake and ended up at the volleyball tournament that we saw getting set up a couple of days ago.  We stayed and watched for a bit, then headed back, stopped and chik fil a for lunch, more shopping and then it was time to get ready for the wedding.  We walked to the Peninsula to catch a shuttle to the church…and of course it started pouring rain.  It ended by the time we got to the church.  The ceremony was very nice.  Very hot.  I thought for sure George was going to pass out.  Sophie and Grace did a great job.  After pix at the wedding we shuttled back to the hotel to rest for awhile and then to the reception.  Everything was amazing. Cocktails on a beautiful patio.  Amazing flowers.  Amazing food. Awesome band…best ever.  We danced all night.  Fun. Fun. Fun.  Thanks George and Carrie.

another perfect morning for a walk
volleyball tournament on the beach
claire and jack holding the ball up
on the beach
sophie getting her hair done
flash mob in front of contemporary art museum doing bollywood dance
all dressed up and ready to go
pretty girls with pink shoes
kids after the wedding
the girls bouquets
chilling before the reception
on michigan ave on the way to the peninsula
all dressed up
sophia and william
kids with their uncle george
courtney with her little brother
nice spot
the flowers were amazing. bottom lit orchids submerged in water. crazy
aunt patty, grace and sophia
the food was amazing
the dancing begins
best band ever
carrie cutting the rug
more amazing flowers
the dessert table
getting down
time to go already?

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Everyone was beat the next morning.  We walked to the corner bakery for breakfast, got Jack on a cab to get to the bus station as he had to go back to Cinci on the mega bus, said goodbye to everyone and then took off to Michigan for a few days….

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