Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chi-Town = CHICAGO!

Last week, I had the amazing opportunity to see one of my best friends, Chad, and the amazing city of Chicago!  It would have been fabulous to all have all of y'all with me, but since that was quite literally impossible, I took a whole heap of pictures and took notes about all the many highlights on my phone as reminders.  Haha!  So, read on and it'll be like you were right by my side for the trip... kinda.

 - Moonrise Kingdom!  If you have NOT seen the trailer for this film, have no fear... I hadn't either before going to the theater.  Haha!  Some of the people in the single's branch in Chicago threw a birthday dinner for Chad (just turned the big 2-7) at a local pizza joint (SO good!) and then we went to see this film at a cool theater where more indie-films have a chance to be seen.  We got ice cream after and just walked around his neighborhood, which was great cause we could just spend more time catching each other up on life.  This film was by far a highlight of my trip - it was fresh, funny, and unique... Check out the trailer below:

-Millennium Park: I went with Chad there on the very first day (after well needed naps and breakfast with his partner, Allen... This is also included the cashier lady at breakfast telling, "I'll show you the way!" of how to have fun in Chicago.  Haha!).  Millennium Park was awesome!  Buckingham Fountain is right outside the area, and there was a Blues Festival going on downtown outside of the park - very cool.  There's a giant concert hall that looks like a "mini-Sydney" opera house in the park, which was gorgeous... we laid down in the grass outside of it for a few moments before heading over to... The Bean.  This is currently the most photographer object in the world and you've seen it recently in numerous films - aka: Source Code with my beloved Jake Gyllenhaal or The Vow with Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams.  It's a way cool, random piece of art.  We took pictures surrounding it, laying underneath it, and just of the inside of the structure.  Right next to The Bean are some awesome picture fountains - giant computerized images appear on these three-four story blocks while water cascades down the sides and around them... Very fun!
 - Sidenote:  Allen pulling over randomly for the garage sale was pretty classic... He's a rockstar.  Love that kid. :)

- Second City:  Chad takes writing classes here and is among good company as people like Tina Fey and Steve Carrell took classes there too.  We saw a review show there where the actors were currently in the process of working out the kinks for real performance, and it was still well-done and hilarious throughout.  There was a little raunchiness and language, but it wasn't terrible.  Overall, I enjoyed it and am sad we don't have more good comedy clubs in Utah.  We have a few, but not many.

 - Rap for the White Girl:  We were walking in Chad's area on Sunday night and this group of black guys cam around us and one guy started rapping about me & outlinin' my silhouette with his hands.  Haha!  I don't really recall all he said, but I do remember he said "my face and that back" were amazing.  Haha - oh, that was an EPIC moment in Chicago for me... definitely amazing.  I wish it had happened again and I could slow down and enjoy the moment more rather than darting off, laughing hysterically.

- The Magnificent Mile:  I shopped at H&M and got some adorable new clothes, including a dress I wore this past Sunday... I've never received more compliments on how I looked and what I was wearing in my life.  Not even at proms or dances - no exaggerating either...  I also got some of the famous "Chicago Mix" popcorn from Garrett's popcorn = AMAZING.

 - Night out with Jimmy!  I met Chad's awesome roommate, Jimmy, who was nice enough to quote-on-quote "babysit me," for a few hours when Chad had class.  Haha!  We went for a walk along lakeview's side of Chicago and saw the beaches there and city-skyline while we talked about relationships, the church, and life and just were ridiculously open with each other.  It was awesome, and just what I needed after a long day of walking around and shoppin' - just super chill.  Afterward, we stopped a gourmet grilled cheese shop for dinner called Cheesies, that was great!  I was thinking, "Why don't they have these in UT!?" and then I saw one in Cottonwood Heights area on Friday - small world!  Haha... I'll have to check it out and compare to two.

 - The Architecture Tour:  I got to hop on a boat for an hour and a half and see the entire city of Chicago from a whole new way!  I have a secret obsession with architecture and love seeing different styles of buildings, so this was perfect for me.  I loved being on a boat ("I'm on a boat!") and our "tour guide" of all the different buildings really knew his stuff!  He was incredible, as were the buildings and monuments...

 - The Cubs Game at Wrigley Field:  Funny story, I texted a friend saying, "I'm at Wrigley Stadium right now!" and he texted back, "Say those same words outloud right now, please..."  I did and people litereally corrected me - "FIELD.  It's Wrigley Field."  Haha!  I know that, but I didn't realize the big deal that it was.  Anyway, the game was great (they won!), the hotdog was legit, and we actually got last-minute steal-of-a-deal on seats that opened as I approached the window.  We got lucky, and I was SO grateful to Chad for going with me when I know how much he hated it.  Haha!

 - Taking a walk with Kylie!  I had the chance to see an old friend from college, Kylie, and have her take me around another side of the city (the Greek side) where she lives.  Right before I left for the airport, she picked me up from downtown and we went to her area to walk around.  It was nice to have her show me a new side of the city (a quainter, quieter side) and catch-up with her.  It was for sure a highlight!

 - Seeing Chad!!!  I was SO glad Chad had me come stay with him in Chicago and that us "four-day (five day-ish) friends" were able to have a good time seeing parts of the city and catching-up.  He will forever and always be one of my best friends! :)

Random Tidbits: 
 - Riding in a cab in the USA for the first time...
 - The Counter - a build your own burger joint that was really cool/good!
 - Walking in the really shady part of town at night with Chad because we didn't pay attention to where we were walking.
 - Watching Bridesmaids (edited) for the first time  -HILARIOUS!  Everyone was right.  It IS my kind of movie... I loved it. It has MANY facets to it that lend it to being the story of my life.
 - Finishing Wit and Chapter Two - two fantastic plays I've been meaning to real!  Niel Simon is just so funny...
 - Seeing the spot where part of My Best Friend's Wedding was filmed in the train station - one of my favorite films of all time! 
 - Magnolia's Bakery s'more cupcake.... fairly legit.
 - Seeing Chad's office at Leo Burnett and grabbing pizza at his classic lunch-spot with him before heading home. 
 - Navy Pier and the Ferris Wheel!  So much fun... and allowed for great photo opportunities of the city-skyline. 
 - Random act of service from a lady in the subway - she saw I was looking a bit lost one day when I was alone in the city and just walked right up and asked, "Honey, you need some help?"  It was the nicest, simplest thing she could have done and made my day.  I love service!

Till my next adventure... well, probably before that even.

Song of the Day:  I am currently in love with this song... and the video is pretty cool too.  Here is Katy Perry's song "Wide Awake."  SO good!  Enjoy!


Mike said...

Fun trip! Did you know that they used to have a Counter burger place in Salt Lake but it went out of business? I never got a chance to go.

Emily said...

Glad you had so much fun! And so smart of you to take pics during the day! haha. I only took them at night and although the view was incredible the pics not so much..and you look great! Still coming to LA this summer?