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Oh Chicago, How I love you!

I absolutely loved Chicago!!! We stayed in Pinegree Grove which is a suburb about an hour outside of the city, but we spent most of our time in the downtown area. We arrived on Sunday night and relaxed with dinner and some games. Allee even got some of the girls to play Barbies with her





I finally got to watch Rouge One with our host which was right up my alley! Monday went on the Big Bus Tours and got to see every single building in the city!  Listening to our tour guides describe different key points about the city made it so much more exciting than just driving by the buildings would have been. We also wandered through Millenium Park and I got to have a Chicago Style hot dog! I visited The Bean, Crown Fountain, Lurie Garden, Jay Pritzker Pavillion and walked through a bit more of Grant Park.

















I also got to visit The Field Museum of Natural History and it was awesome! We were going to go to the Art Institute of Chicago, but we changed our minds once we walked into the lobby and saw the current exhibits. It's not that I don't love art, but I was kind of interested in seeing The Field. I have no regrets. It was amazing.




















We also went to Giordano's Pizza and I got to have some amazing deep dish style pie that I swear has changed my life forever!! I had no idea Pizza could be like this. Coming from a die-hard thin crust girl this is a huge deal! My friend Joe describes it in such a way that makes me agree I need to have it again as soon as humanly possible. He expressed recently that he would NO QUESTION, have it as his last meal. I cannot say I disagree.

Good grief.

Why isn't Giordano's closer?! *ugly cry*

Okay. I've compose myself and can continue with this post.

Just kidding.

I had to get a snack. *sniffs* It's not as good as the pizza. I'll just stare at the picture I took of it. Let's see if that helps.







Nope. It's not helping.

We also did a night tour! WOW! It was gorgeous.








We also visited Navy Pier later on in the week after getting back on the Big Bus Tour.





 I thought of this during this post because we also ate at this amazing spot (DMK Burger Bar)  that was featured on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives (slide 5 on the DDD page in case your wondering). Oh my word!! Jonathan had a Shrimp Po-boy and I had the most amazing sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper fries I've ever had in my entire existence!





 They have this amazing garlic aioli that goes with it that I swear that smothered over anything on this planet I would ravenously attack it like a starving wolverine!



 Oh my gosh. My snack is not cutting it. I need another one! BRB.

*stuffs face*

The cool part about this day was that we got to walk through the city and I enjoyed that SO much!







 We also went to Six Flags Great America during the week which was a total bust because we got rained out. The only person who really had a productive time was Allee. She rode like six or seven kiddie rides. The rest of the group only got onto two rides before we had to leave. Oh well. I didn't
ride anything because I don't really care for roller coasters.





















We also went to a mall on one of the rainier days. 








and.... Cheesecake Factory!


( BTW: I was sending this vid to my 10 year old via Skype.) In case your wondering I decided on carrot cake cheesecake. YUM!

We also went to Magic Waters Waterpark which was super fun!!! Elena wasn't there which was a bummer because I think she would have loved it. She should be home from her grandparents house on August 10th which will be awesome, but I feel like she would have really enjoyed this trip. Little Allee had the best time!! We took her around the park and she enjoyed seeing everything, but once we arrived to the kiddie area she found a little slide and went on it a grand total of 100 times. Yes, I did the math. It was insane. 








I was so surprised that she had any energy left after we left! I thought for sure she'd fall asleep the moment that we got into the car, but she rode all the way back (1 hour and 15 minutes) awake and even decided to play some more once we arrived where we were staying! Our hosts were so shocked that she was still going strong. She wanted to go to sleep late that night too, but once I gave her a bath she started to get tired. I can't believe the amount of stamina this child has. If only I could bottle that kind of energy. I could get so much done. Alas, I'm always tired. 




If you know me at all you know that I'm not a big fan of driving, but I'm proud to say that I drove all the way to Chicago and back! It was about 8 hours each way with pit stops. It was pretty uneventful.

Well.... I was following a lady from our church and while she's not a bad driver it was a bit interesting to follow her in Chicago traffic while she was trying to navigate. In the future I will have my own set directions in the car so that if I get separated from her I won't be lost. Yes, I did get separated from her and yes, it was rather scary.



I can't tell you how glad I am to be home though. It was much needed to no longer be on the road! I'm so glad that we are no longer traveling and I can just relax now. Relax: Clean house and get ready for visitors coming into town next week. 



SIDE NOTE:

Speaking of relaxing. I found out that the job I interviewed for is not going to be filled for another couple of weeks. I guess I'll just be waiting it out to see if I get offered the position. I will likely explore some other options as well, but I'm kind of hoping that this job works out.

BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAM:

Sorry this got posted after my usual Saturday. I was not really wanting to blog while in Chicago and so I decided to be home before blogging. Starting this Saturday I'll be back on my regular schedule. Hoping you enjoyed this post! Have you ever been to Chicago? Ever tried deep dish pizza? If not, DO IT! Seriously, you owe it to yourself to go to Giordano's in Chicago.  In fact, I'll come with you. No really. I will!



Well, I better get going. I'm still not done unpacking. It is the worst part of traveling. Can I get an amen? *Sigh*


( I MUST avoid this!)

See you next Saturday!

XOXO,

Maria 

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