Adam has always called me a bit of an "opportunist," when it comes to travel. I got this label when I turned the road trip I took when we moved to Alabama, into a full blown vacation, instead of a way to get from point A to point B. But how could I drive cross country and not squeeze in some things I wanted to see? I always say why not with travel. Life is not infinite, and I want to see absolutely everything I can.
So I convinced Adam to let us spend a day & a night in Chicago after Christmas, since we drive through Chicago on our way back from Wisconsin! But unfortunately on Christmas night, I went to bed with a tickle in my throat and the next day I woke up feeling not so hot (I knew I was getting bronchitis). But we headed to Chicago anyway, and got to our beautiful hotel, Mile North Chicago, on the Magnificent Mile that evening.
I felt sooo horrible, but I had to walk around a little bit and see the lights. The Christmas lights were beautiful, and I really enjoyed all the window decorations in the fancy, schmancy stores. We also had a Chicago deep dish pizza delivered to our room, and that thing was no joke! It was sooo tasty. I could only eat about a piece and a half due to the thickness though.
I had an awful night's sleep, and I woke up feverish. But I was determined to make it through the day and through our tour as planned. It was one of those hop on and hop off affairs. Adam brought me up some cranberry juice, and I was all like this cranberry juice shall cure me and sustain me!
So we started our tour and our first stop was Millennium Park, to see the bean. I don't know what the big deal is about the bean, but I always see it in the montage of pictures whenever a TV show features Chicago. And it is a unique feature, and I love how it reflects the views of the city. And in the picture of us taken by the bean, you can't even tell how much I'm dying of illness!
We also stopped at the Michigan Avenue Bridge and enjoyed some time at the Chicago Riverwalk, which was undoubtedly my favorite part of Chicago. I loved all the beautiful buildings set against the frozen river and the monuments. I want to come back in the summer or spring and take a cruise down the river.
We learned so many interesting things about Chicago on the tour. Like the name Chicago comes from a word meaning wild onion or wild garlic, because when the city was first founded there was a lot of wild onions and garlic and it was pretty stinky. So this leads me to forever refer to the Chicago Bears, as the "The Stinky Bears." Green Bay Packers for life!
We also enjoyed a little shopping and browsing around on State Street. We got our souvenirs and of course had to try some famous Garrett's popcorn. It is seriously the best popcorn I've ever had. Which says a lot because I usually avoid popcorn because I hate kernels in my teeth! But that stuff is craveable.
Unfortunately, I just felt worse and worse as the day went on, so we finished the tour, but from the warmth of the trolley, and I didn't feel much like taking pictures (so unlike me). We went by Navy Pier, Soldier field, Lake Michigan, and all those wonderful museums that I would love to get lost in a little next time.
Although we didn't get to do half the things I had wanted to, we still got a good overview of Chicago, and I really appreciate it as a city. I hope to make it back there some day, and I'm sure I will (the opportunist that I am).
So after the tour, we loaded up our car and drove an hour south to spend the night at a decidedly less luxurious hotel in Lafayette, Indiana. We drove home the next day, and I was eventually able to get treated for bronchitis and missed a week of work due to illness, before prepping for surgery!
And even with all the sickness, my Chicago adventure was still worth it!