Our Trip To Chicago!

It's been a couple of days since I've been back and I'm still sleepy but not sure if that's jetlag or my permanent state so it's time to document an exciting week in 'The Windy City'.

A little background is required so here we go: my boyfriend's step-brother has been living in America for a couple of years with his partner. After a long period of dating, they got engaged (yayyy) and we all got invited to the wedding in Chicago (where the lovely bride is from). I felt so so thankful and blessed to be able to go so shout out/big thanks to my boyfriend's family for making me feel so welcome and for taking me to the wedding.


We arrived in Chicago on Thursday afternoon and, despite being pretty out of it as we hadn't managed to sleep on the eight and a half hour flight there, we had exciting plans for the evening! My boyfriend was going to the unofficial stag do with his brother and some friends, while I spent the evening with the bride and another friend carving pumpkins and nattering away (little note here - American pumpkins are bloody huge!). It was the perfect start to the week and we even got a goody bag of American snacks to take back to the hotel - nom.

On Friday I woke up surprisingly early, which never happens, and we headed out to the city. We had to get a double decker train in, which I'm sure I would have appreciated more if I didn't have a fear of trains (but I can still admit that it was kinda cool as well as terrifying).

Being the type of person who is dictated to more by her stomach than anything else, I was instantly on the look out for food. I was a touch apprehensive about meals because I'd been told that it was harder to find vegetarian options in the states (and I'm not a big fan of salad) but we accidentally wandered into a place called Native Foods. It turned out to be completely vegan/plant-based and the food there was DELICIOUS so I definitely recommend it!

We then had a wander around and stumbled upon the giant shiny jelly bean, also known as Cloud Gate, and I forced my boyfriend to take a photo of me (featuring my new bobbly pink hat that I now wear everywhere despite it giving me awful hat hair).


Our next decision was pretty controversial since we headed out to Little Village to go to a record store by the label Numero Group, which specialises in discovering and highlighting forgotten pieces of music history. It's only open on Fridays from 12pm, but it's a very interesting spot to visit. When we told people at the wedding that we'd been to that area though, most people were concerned and told us we shouldn't have gone. I've since googled the area and the first search term to come up is "Little Village crime" so I get their point...

We went during the day though and it was fine. I'm really glad we visited and got a better taste of the city. The record store was so unique and we also stumbled upon a Mexican bakery filled with cakes. As soon as my partner saw the trays in the shop, he turned to me and said "Sarah, I NEED a photo of you holding a tray full of cake" and I was happy to oblige - on the condition that we got to eat all the cakes I chose! They were goooooooood.

Engorged on cakes and feeling knackered, we headed back to the hotel and I fell into a blissful sleep.

Our third day was actually my fave of the trip and the reason we were there - the wedding of my boyfriend's brother and his wife. It was a charming affair in a little chapel on a Saturday morning, with only a handful of family and best friends. And okay, I *may* have cried a little because it was so romantic. It was a wedding where the love the couple has for each other is so obvious and huge and enduring. 

We had a delicious wedding brunch after (who knew wedding brunches were a thing?!) with the bride's very welcoming and lovely family, followed by a cheeky nap in our hotel room before the reception. 

The reception in the evening was lots of fun, and I won't go into it that much but I'll just say that they know how to throw a party! 

The fourth day was very chilled (and was partially spent recovering from the day before). Once we'd finally got ourselves together, we went on an architecture boat tour down the Chicago River.

The guide was insanely knowledgeable, and eloquent. I would love to say that I now know lots about architecture buuuut I was too busy freezing my butt off. Blankets on the boat would have been very welcome but alas, they were absent. Coldness can be very distracting. But the bits I caught were interesting. 

After our cold trip, there was something we NEEDED to experience: CHICAGO PIZZA. And damnnnn it is good. I walked in a day dream to the restaurant (I can't even remember what it's called) and I just gorged until I had a lovely big food baby. If you are in Chicago, for goodness sake get yourself pizza. Eat it every night. Live your life to the full. 

Day 5 was mostly spent in The Art Institute.  It was full of many famous and beautiful pieces, both paintings and sculptures, both classic and contemporary.  It is a truly impressive gallery. 

But what's not so impressive is the price. It was $25 PER PERSON for entry into the gallery. I come from Birmingham, England and we have a beautiful big museum and art gallery and it is free to go into, so I was very shocked by the fee at The Art Institute. Especially since the price was still $22 per person for Chicago residents! That isn't exactly what I would call " accessible" pricing... 

After the gallery, we headed to Buddy Guy's - a blues bar. It was a Tuesday so it wasn't very lively, but the guy who sang for us (sadly not Buddy Guy, though we got to see a slideshow of photos of him throughout the performance) had a lovely voice. 

The next day we went to Hancock tower, and I was taken into the ladies toilet to see the beautiful views of the city (not a euphemism). Bizarrely, the ladies loos give the best lookout! 

After that, I had a sneak peek in a Sephora and bought some new lippy because they have lots more Urban Decay colours than in the UK. And then it was time for our 7 hour flight home! 

Thank you Chicago and the lovely people I travelled with, it was a blast! 

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