Thursday, June 6, 2013

How do you spell "awesome?" C-H-I-C-A-G-O!

I'm in love.  For sure.  Spain will always have my heart, but I've a new-found love in this country, for once!  Sorry ladies, this post won't be about polish (well, I do plan on including a photo of our manis), but primarily I'm gonna share my awesome little vacation with you.  I hope you don't mind!  And if you do, well, come back in a few days, I guess.  ;-)

Gotta start out with a cloud pic from the plane, right?!  The thunderheads were awesome - from the air, anyways.  The ensuing storm wasn't as awesome.  
Well, actually it came at the perfect time, as you'll see in a bit.

My shoes, after about 6 hrs working in the backyard.  We decide we'd invented new platform shoes: Dirtforms.  They're all-natural.  ;-)
Our primary objective on this trip was taming the wild lily beds in my friend's backyard in preparation for new renters.  She now lives near me, but they still own their home in Chicago.

Michelle and I, in the pouring rain that came down just as we were finishing up.  Typically, I HATE rain, and make it a point to never be out in it, but in this case, it felt so good.  We were unbelieveably sweaty and dirty, you have no idea!!
Btw, you should totally check out Michelle's blog and her post about the very beginning of our adventure!  She is a fabulous writer who has many wise things to say - with a tish of hilarity for good measure. :-)

Our treat after the work and before going to a live improv comedy show in the Streets of Woodfield. :-)
Salted caramel cake pops!!!  NUM.
And yes, here are the manis that survived the work day, for the most part.  I have Liquid Lacquer's Safety Stick (a little preview for you - full post coming soon!) over NYC French Tip White, and Michelle got her nails done at the mall while we were wasting time because our 1st flight got canceled - don't get me started on that frustration! ;-)  Anyhoo, I'm not entirely sure what color she picked.  It was a sheer-ish shimmery, grapey purple base with a shimmery blue shift.  Pretty sure it was an OPI.

Out for SUSHI!!!!  We had one called a Tootsie Roll, and despite the seemingly incongruous, candy-esque name, it was to die for!
Michelle is one of my dearest friends...I was so thankful and blessed to go on this trip with her. :-D

Our day downtown!  Rode the Metra train from Roselle to Union Station.  I'd never been on a passenger train before, so that was yet another new experience for me.  Quite nice, really, and we rode in the top "floor" of a double-decker train, so that was super fun!  Union Station is big and beautiful, reminiscent of Grand Central Station in NYC. :-)  Actually, Michelle confused the heck out of a cab driver later when she told him to take us to Grand Central Station.  Personally, I think he was playing dumb just to be a pain in the butt.

I had to include this: see how there's a distinct dip in one part of the old marble stairs?  Echoes of all the hundreds of thousands of people that have passed through this station since it opened in 1925.  How cool is that?!  'Shel says she always thinks of the countless immigrants that passed through this very place.

I still don't know what this thing is called, but I know it has to be a famous statue, since a replica of it was in Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian. ;-)
If you have't seen that/those movies, please do!  I personally think they're hilarious.

Love old neon marquees like this! :-D  And the reflection of the skyscrapers in the building across the street just adds to the je ne sais quois of this photo.

Ok, I HAD to share some of the city wildlife with you!  I FED A CITY SQUIRREL!!!!
I couldn't believe it!  Look how CUTE she is with that bottlebrush tail and teensy, tiny fingers!  We ascertained it was a nursing mother, so I felt especially compelled to feed her. :-)

You may have spotted some green on my toes: that is Essie Mojito Madness, in case you were wondering.  Gorgeous, creamy, bright summery green color!

This was the bossiest seagull I've ever seen.  This is its "I mean business"/model walk pose.

'Shel & I in front of Buckingham Fountain.  I could've lingered there forever, with the city on one side and Lake Michigan on the other. :-)
Every half hour, a huge geyser comes out of the top of the fountain and runs for about 10 minutes.  It seriously reminded me of Old Faithful in Yosemite! (ok, maybe not quite that big)

Beautiful tranquility in the midst of the city.

Menacing, regal, and drippy patina-d lion in front of the...Art Institute?

Another very unique park (Crown Park) with two glass-block pillar fountains that have internal projectors that project close-ups of peoples' faces.  The eyes blink & everything... that was a tad creepy!  Oh, and then the water periodically streams out of the mouth, as shown here.

What is Chicago without a Bean photo?!  Here I am, showing you the skyline. :-)

A cancer memorial park/pavilion.  This is the entrance; the other side opens onto a big garden & sprawling lawn.

Eeeee!!  I think I took about a million photos of this!  Again, another iconic building from a movie: Transformers 3 - Dark Side of the Moon
Can you tell I love movies yet?! ;-)

Took me forever to realize it was the Tribune Building tower.  I just love it.  I think this is the first time I've photographed architecture like this, but that has an American flag flying from it.  
All my previous photos of similar flying buttresses are accompanied by Spanish flags. :-)

Yup, that's me.  Hiiii guys! *waves hello

The old, original water tower. SuhWEET!  Michelle said it was one of the few buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.
I found this on Wikipedia: "The fire was said by The Chicago Daily Tribune to have been so fierce that it surpassed the damage done by Napoleon's siege of Moscow in 1812."  WOW.

I insisted that we ride the giant ferris wheel on Navy Pier.  Not entirely sure why, but I have a proclivity towards those things. 

And I leave you with a gorgeous nighttime skyline shot!  Sorry, I could not for the life of me hold steady enough, but I think the hint of blurriness adds a 'lil somethin' in this case. 
I hope you enjoyed a somewhat unconventional stroll through Chicago with me!!  I know I sure enjoyed taking it and would go again in a heartbeat!


  1. Wow, that looks like such a great trip. I have been to Chicago once, but we were only there during the night and didn't see much. I would love to go back, especially after seeing your pictures. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You're welcome, it was my pleasure to share with my "girls!" It most assuredly was. If you ever get a chance to go, DO IT! I feel like we saw a lot, but I know that was really only a tiny portion. Chicago has soooo much to offer for people of all ages and interests. Oh, btw, I TRIED commenting on your comeback post, but after 3 tries and losing wireless connection upon trying to publish the comment (which erased what I wrote), I gave up! :-/

    2. I will put Chicago on my "to do" list :)

    3. How awesome would it be if you, me, & Liesl could meet up there someday?! Unfortunately, she'd hafta come a TAD farther! :P

  2. It looks like you had a fantastic time! :) I've been across a corner of Illinois but never to Chicago. Oh and seagulls are always bossy. The water tower is WOW, but that fountain...YIKES!

    1. YUP! We absolutely did!! :-D And as I said to Essie, if you ever get a chance to visit Chicago, take it!
      Lol...silly birds! I just love the fierce look in his/her eyes...totally reminds me of some models I saw in a magazine the other day, walking the catwalk. ;-)
      Sooo, is that a good "yikes," or a bad "yikes?"