Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Early Birthday Celebrations in Chicago

Warning:  Picture overload because this girl is now a camera owner and narrowing down 600 photos in one weekend is pretty flipping hard!  

It feels good to be back.  If you follow me on twitter, last week I posted that I was taking the week off because I just straight up wasn't feeling it.  As that is true, I just had some family things going on that had me all sorts of emotionally drained, which I have debated sharing but because it's a family matter I felt as though it isn't really my place to share it.  I will say that I haven't been that upset in a very long time and experienced a variety of emotions ranging from sad, upset, furious, hurt, hysterical, frustrated, mad, flabbergasted and shocked.  I'm sure there was a few more things thrown in there.

Anyways, moving on to the good stuff in my life.  My birthday is the 29th of this month and I had been feeling pretty down about it because Phil is going to be out of town for work for 2 weeks and it happens to land during my birthday.  As you know, I am totally freaking out about turning 25, go ahead and laugh but I really just am not ready to be this age yet.  He wanted to do something nice and so he suggested we go to Chicago for the weekend to get away.  He could have not read my mind any better.  Getting a weekend away could not have been more perfect right now.  

I had Good Friday off but Philly still needed to go into work in the morning.  I cleaned up the house and did last minute laundry before leaving, I know who cleans on there day off right?  But I was thinking ahead and decided that I'd rather come home from a weekend away to a clean house.  Phil's parents came into town from St. Thomas so I went to lunch with them, it's so nice to have them around!  Phil ended up getting stuck at work longer than we thought so we finally left around 2:30 which put us in Chicago at  4:30. 

When we got to our hotel, Phil gave me my present, which I was jumping up and down and screaming when I opened it.  I almost knocked him down because I jumped right on him, "sorry babe, I keep forgetting your leg isn't back to 100% yet."  I pretty much talked about NEEDING a camera 24/7 but I honestly didn't expect it because those things are not cheap.

I had a lot of fun walking around the city playing with my camera.  Shoot, I have no idea how to use the thing.  So if you have some tips & tricks up your sleeve let me know because just call me Miss. Clueless when it comes to this camera. I love love love this camera though.  And I love Phil for getting this for me, it is honestly one of the best presents I have ever received.  When I start looking through that lens I feel like I am in a different world.  It makes me feel close to my middle brother because he is a photographer/artist.

Phil is part of Trunk Club, which is this company for men that ships clothes to you based on your style and personality.  Your own stylist picks out a bunch of outfits that you request and ships them to you.  You keep what you want and ship back what you don’t like.  The company is based out of Chicago and his friend happens to work there so he set Phil up for a fitting.  It is by far one of the best shopping experiences I have seen.  They have a bar stocked with beer, wine, champagne and liquor.  Basically you sit, drink and a stylist brings you clothes to try on.  Sounds like a pretty damn good thing.  Props to this company because it really is one of a kind. 

I didn't bring my camera out so I didn't get the chance to photograph the place very well.

Phil’s friend, Daniel pretty much took us under his wing this weekend and showed us all the great areas of Chicago.  He took us to Mercadito, a Mexican/Tapas restaurant.  Holy goodness in my mouth.  I don’t have a bad thing to say about this place.  We shared three different kinds of guacamole, 3 different kinds of tacos and of course had to order the chorizo queso dip, which might have been the best thing that ever has touched my taste buds.  I also highly recommend the pineapple guacamole, the perfect combo of sweet and spicy.  Afterwards we went to a bar which I can’t flippin remember the name of but Phil and I were exhausted and didn’t last very long.  Lame-sauce I know.

The next morning we woke up, showered and met up with Daniel at his apartment.  His place has some of the greatest views of the city.  He has views of Lake Michigan, The Navy Pier and the skyline.  We went up on the roof top and admired all the views.  The building with the blue roof was my favorite. 

We brunched it under the heat lamps outside at Tavern on Rush.  We people watched and I of course stuffed my face with Crab Cake Eggs Benedict.  The food in Chicago is legit one of my favorite things.  This might be why I love Chicago so much.  It was a good thing that we walked around for an hour looking at all the town homes and checked out the Public Chicago Hotel.  I seriously don’t know if I could live here because I would be huge consuming all of the to-die for food. 

I thought this door was pretty flipping sweet.

A little cappuccino and a couple macarons hit the spot in Old Town.  We really lucked out because the weather in Chicago was pretty fantastic even if it was a tad bit chilly, the sun was out and it felt great.  We stopped a Cigar Shop and this little aquarium place along the way. 

The next stop on our adventure was 25°, a playful, funky restaurant/bar combo complete with velvet like red walls.  They are on this whole bandwagon of bottomless mimosas and obviously couldn’t pass that up.  Next thing you know, 3 hours and 8 bottles later we were all feeling pretty good.  This is when I told Daniel that he legit looked like Leonardo Dicaprio.  Haha, he thought that was the best compliment ever.

Our adventure didn’t stop here of course.  I found a dog park and of obviously had to meet all the cute pups.  If there is anything you should know about me it's about my love for animals.  I fell in love with every dog I met including a tiny teacup Chihuahua with a gold chain, I repeat a teacup with a gold chain, two yellow laps and a pit bull.   They all made my heart smile.  I also may or may not have acted like I was paparazzi.  This camera is making me a tad bit cocky, okay it might have been the bottomless mimosas.  I really wonder about me sometimes.  I had fun, that's all that matters.

^This is when we spotted the Dog Park!

We went to this diamond in a rough for some Thai Food inside of Bloomingdale's.  Legit it was so good.  Thai is up there on my favorite kind of foods and we don't really have any good places around me.   We said goodbye to Daniel because he had to call it a night and Phil and I took a Rickshaw ride, is that what you call it?  You know those bike things that have a cart attached to it...  Holy crap though, those things are not cheap, you are better off taking a cap.  Anyways it was fun and we stopped at The Redhead Piano Bar.  I met 6 guys who were  visiting from Ireland and you know because I'm Irish I immediately thought we should be friends. It was a great end to our fun filled adventure of a day. 

I always get really sad on Sundays, especially this one because I really just didn't want this weekend to end.  After breakfast at Yolk we headed back to Indiana to have Easter with the boyfriends parents.  I love Chicago, I love my Camera and I love my boyfriend.  I couldn't of asked for a better weekend to celebrate my birthday.  One day I hope to call Chicago my home, even if it is freezing a majority of the time.  There is just something about this city that I love.  What's your favorite city?

P.S.  Yes, Phil is rockin the cane.  For those that don't know he tore his ACL a month and a half ago and since we were doing all that walking he really didn't want to use his crutches. 


  1. Chicago is one of my favorite cities to visit! My boyfriend and I talk about moving there all the time. The food is out of this world! It looks like you had a great trip. So jealous of your new camera, I've been wanting one for a while now :)

  2. I heart Chicago so much and these pictures are practically forcing me to plan a trip there this summer. Also, you're adorable! And I'm jealous of your new camera! AND my birthday is January 29th, so we're 29th bday twins! Oh and and and your boyfriend rocks the cane very well, he looks totally hip walking the streets of Chicago with it!

  3. Wooohoo!! It looks like you had a blast!! Come back soon! Happy birthday, happy Easter, happy everything : )

  4. Looks like such a great weekend! If you have any specific camera questions, I might be able to help!

  5. OMG stop it with that baby puppy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHY DIDN'T YOU STEAL IT?!
    I've actually NEVER been to Chicago! I hope to go soon though! It looks and sounds like so much damn fun!
    And your pics are great, girl! What an awesome gift!!!!!!!!!!

  6. The puppy is adorbs and the pics are gorg! One of the cities I want to visit!

  7. ahhhh puppy gif!!!! also for just getting your camera you pictures are awesome!

  8. what a great birthday weekend in chicago topped off with a new camera, score!

  9. YAY FOR THIS POST AND EVERYTHING IN IT! Chicago is one of my favorite cities, no doubt! I'm sooo jealous you live only two hours away from it!! The fiance and I will be there in August and I'm adding that tapas place to our list of restaurants to visit. PS My bday is in May and I am begging begging begging the fiance for a nice camera!

  10. Um, so it looks like you had an awesome time, I love all of your photos (congrats on the new camera!). I'll be in Chicago next month on a business trip but hope to have some downtime to experience the city the way you did!!

  11. I'm sorry you've been having some family stuff going on, but I hope everything looks up from here on out! Chicago looked fabulous! Happy early birthday and YAY for week long celebrations. (obviously I'm a fan!)