Thank you for all your wonderfully kind words and congratulations on yesterday’s big announcement! I have a few “I can’t publish these first-trimester-rants until I’m 12 weeks” posts I’ve had saved for a bit that I need to go through (some are coherent, others…not so much) but I also have a lots of pictures from our fun trip to Chicago last weekend. This first trimester may have me exhausted and sick, but it hasn’t stop us from keeping all of our original travel plans (like that trip to DC last month). We spent last Friday and Saturday night in the loop (right downtown Chicago) with two friends who had never been to the city before.
Almost everything we did were repeat favorites of mine from various trips to Chicago in the past two years (this was the fifth!), which made for a great weekend full of good food and falling in love with the city all over again. There are lots of photos after the jump from our Saturday in the city along with my top picks for things to do/eat while you’re there!
We started off Saturday morning at the covered French market on Clinton street. I’d discovered it two years ago with friends and we had enjoyed the best late lunch of assorted cheese and fresh baugettes that I knew I wanted to come back (pictures of my first trip at the bottom of this post). The market is full of different vendors selling everything from fresh organic produce to fine olive oils (with plenty of food options thrown in for good measure).
We don’t pass up macarons often, but especially not in Chicago. The market has two different vendors but after my last trip, Vanille (the shop not the flavor) is our favorite.
I had no idea there were that many flavors of gingerale. Given that ginger is good for nausea, I almost drank one for breakfast 🙂
I started my breakfast off with a warm almond croissant (I’m a sucker for any pastry with almond) while the rest of the group got crepes. I’ve found I need to eat very regularly (every two hours or so) but can never eat very much at once. Its a good thing we had such a leisurely time at the market so I could fit in two rounds of food 🙂
^^ The boys outside the market (its in an old railroad station)
We did so much walking that first day! It was definitely the most exercise I’d gotten since we found out we were expecting and it was a blessing to be able to keep up with everyone all day. These were snapped on our walk from breakfast to purchase our tickets for the Architecture Boat Tour (my TOP recommendation for things to do in Chicago- the prices are a little steep for two people – $90 – but by the end you really feel like you know the city).
I wore this mustard dress for a day of walking around the city and really loved that it was something my mother wore when she was pregnant with me 😀 (full pictures of it in this post). She hardly wore it after having kids and passed it on to me last year.
^^Peeking into people’s gardens 🙂
^Had to snap a picture – after this trip Chicago is looking like a better and better possibility for a few years down the road (if we can’t decide between New England and California…its a never ending battle in this household 😉
After purchasing our tickets for the boat tour (if you buy them from the architecture foundation on Michigan Ave or by the river you don’t pay the extra fees you do if you book online), we headed to Navy pier for a great view of the city and the lake.
^these cuties (Nick was a groomsman at our wedding three years ago and Ben was in their wedding a year and a half ago while I was competing in Chicago – we sure do love when our friends get married 🙂
^I took so many pictures of the beautiful buildings on our architecture tour and I tried to cut it down to just my favorites (I also love seeing how my photography has changed since I took the tour a year and a half ago)
^We learned all about the river walk, and how the city mandates that buildings provide a public walk way between their building and the river (its a newer ordinance but you can really see how the policy is changing the atmosphere around the river)
^I always love these riverside ‘cottages’ – and to live in a place with that many windows!
^Navy Pier from the river (have any of you read Divergent? That’s the ferris wheel they climb up in the book 🙂
^We stayed at the Silversmith Hotel, a boutique hotel right downtown – I’ve stayed a few places while in the city before but for atmosphere and location, this was my very favorite. They had a discounted rate through Brittney’s employer and the four of us shared a room (which for two nights was awesome because we split the price, got to pillow talk late into the night, and never felt bad about down time spent in the hotel because we were all together). I was just extra grateful my morning sickness gave me a brief reprieve or else our friends might have been regretting their choice 😉
Not pictured: after a full day of site seeing and walking we opted for deep dish pizza right by our hotel (at Pizano’s which notably Oprah voted as the best thin crust pizza in all of Chicago). It was delicious, moderately priced, and just half a block from the hotel!
After our late dinner I pulled the pregnancy card and went back to the hotel for a warm bath and an early night (it was 9:30 by the time we finished eating) but everyone else ended up calling it a night rather early too… turns out I wasn’t the only one exhausted from our packed day 🙂