Our Whirlwind Trip To the Windy City

I love vacations. I guess that’s probably not a big surprise. I love all types of getaways. Whether it’s a weeklong trip spent lying by the ocean or a visit to a new and exciting location I’ll take it!

Sometimes all it takes is a few days away from the busy day-to-day of ordinary life to completely recharge. That doesn’t mean you have to spend your whole time just relaxing. Sometimes being busy making memories is just what you need.

That’s what we experienced on our recent trip to Chicago. We had just 3 nights in Chi-Town, but boy did we have fun! Our days were jam packed with places and experiences that we will always remember.

This trip started off from Springfield Missouri on a tiny plane. Just 18 rows in total, it had been years since I’d been on a plane this size and it took some getting used to. But in just 1 1/2 hours we reached our destination so it was worth feeling slightly claustrophobic.

After arriving at the airport we took an Uber to our hotel. We definitely knew we were in the big city when it took over an hour to travel the 17 miles to our home away from home.

The following morning we were excited to truly experience as much of Chicago as we could in a short amount of time. We had been to Chicago twice before and one thing I had yet to do was go to a museum. So rectifying that was first on the agenda!

Chicago has so many different types of museums to choose from it can be slightly overwhelming, but on the advice of friends we decided on The Museum of Science and Industry. This is a HUGE museum that you could easily spend days exploring. But we did our best to see as much as possible in the time we had.

Like everything else in Chicago the museum was all decorated for the holiday season. But I’ll be telling you more about that later. So stay tuned!

The hubby loves sports and I love the hubby so we have a goal to visit all of the different NBA teams. We have seen several but this trip allowed us to visit a team that has always been in our top 3. Growing up in the 80’s there was Magic with the Lakers, Larry Bird with the Celtics and, of course, Michael Jordan with the Chicago Bulls.

We arrived at the game early so we could explore and we were so happy we did. Not only did we get to see the statue of Michael Jordan, but the hubby got his picture taken with the cheerleaders!

It was a great game! In my opinion the best NBA game we had ever been to. We had great seats to a close, high scoring game against the Charlotte Hornets with a part-like atmosphere, what more could we want? Maybe to be on the Kiss Cam? Oh yeah, we got that too!

We had already had an awesome time but there was still another full day in Chicago and we intended to make the most of it!

Saturday morning started out cold, windy and raining. Not exactly the ideal weather for exploring but we were determined! Visiting the Christkindlmarket was first on the agenda.

This is an outdoor German Christmas market that happens every year. There are tons of vendors selling all sorts of foods and gifts. People come from all over the world and families make it a tradition to visit but I’ll be telling you all about it in a future installment!

While planning a trip is, in my opinion, a good way to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck, sometimes you just get lucky. This was truly the case on this getaway.

Because of the rain we decided to explore the area around the market and try to get warmed up. How lucky was it that we were just 2 blocks away from the historic Marshall Fields!

While the hubby likes sports, I LOVE shopping so this was right up my alley. This is a gorgeous building and the fact that it also happens to be a Macy’s department store is an added bonus!

There are 7 floors of shopping so even an expert shopper like myself was a little intimidated! Believe it or not I didn’t buy a thing but man did I have fun exploring!

As the rain stopped falling we ventured outside once again and we discovered another bucket list worthy attraction nearby!

Seeing Millennium Park is an absolute must do while in Chicago and it wasn’t until my third visit to the city that I finally got it done! Maybe it was meant to happen this way though because experiencing it at Christmas time is truly magical!

Of course, we were so excited to see the Bean! It is iconic Chicago! But there was also the huge tree all decorated with Christmas lights and ice skating!

There was absolutely no way I was going to try my luck on the ice but we had a blast watching all of the other skaters. There was a man who had definitely skated professionally at one time doing jumps and spins all over the rink. But my favorite was seeing the first time skaters clumsily making their way around ice. They would be laughing and smiling as they fell on their rumps much more gracefully than if I’d tried!

The great part was that there was still more to see and do! We made our way back to our hotel driving on Lake Shore Drive and as we drove past the Navy Pier, the sight of the waves crashing into the shore was crazy! It’s not called the Windy City for nothing!

Our return trip took longer than expected due to roads being blocked off for the next thing on our agenda, the Lights Festival! So we had just enough time to drop off our bags and warm up before venturing outside once again.

I had read about the Chicago Lights Festival but really had no idea what a big deal it is. When we were checking into our hotel they told us that our hotel was the starting point of the parade and we were even able to get a room directly above it!

We decided to brave the elements and join the thousands of other people standing along the parade route. It was magical! Cold, but magical!

After the parade we has just one thing on our minds, Chicago Deep Dish Pizza! There is absolutely nothing to compare it to. After talking to several Chicago natives the name that seemed to be at the top of almost everyone’s list was Giordano’s so that’s where we decided to go.

It was well within walking distance of our hotel so as the parade route was being cleared out we made our way down Michigan Avenue.

I think everyone else had the same idea of warming up with a thick slice of deep dish because it took us over an hour to get seated but it was well worth the wait! We opted for “the best” tomato bruschetta and “the classic” deep dish. Can you say yum??

With our bellies full we made our way back to our hotel. I’ve got to say that when it comes to Christmas, the Magnificent Mile sure knows how to do it right! The store fronts were all decorated with beautiful lights and the window displays were amazing!

As I am writing this I am amazed at all we were able to experience in such a short amount of time. I have so much more to share that I couldn’t possibly write all about it in one post!

So I hope that you will continue to follow along with us as I share more of our journey as the hubby and I just keep collecting memories as we go!

43 thoughts on “Our Whirlwind Trip To the Windy City

  1. Chicago is such a fun city to visit! In the summer you can spend time by the lake, and in the winter there are so many museums and other cool restaurants and shows to see. It’s one of my favorite cities!

  2. I love Chi-town! We lived there for 6 years, right in the city! Reading your post brought a lot of great memories. One really fun tradition every Christmas was to look for the Christmas El Train. You never knew where it was, and you were just hoping it was on your route. I got to ride on it a few times, and it was so much fun! It was completely covered in lights and Christmas decorations! 🙂

  3. My hubby and I went to Chicago many years ago because we got such a great deal. It was February and freezing. But we went to the bean and museums and saw the bean! They have great food there. We would love to go back.

  4. We are planning a Chicago trip in the spring when it warms up since we have 3 littles. However, I adore your photos with the Christmas tree and lights. When they are older, we should definitely go in the winter too. I grew up not too far from Chicago and have lots of memories as a kid there. I want my kids to have memories of it too so we are excited to go soon with them:)

  5. I was lucky to travel to Chicago in High School with a club trip. It was absolutely amazing and I would love to go back someday. I agree that the Museum of Science and Industry is fantastic and HUGE! I have never seen “the bean” though, so that’s on the list for next time…and that department store building is beautiful!

  6. How fun! We want to explore Chicago too! We are so not cold people (Texans here!) so maybe we could handle better in the summer 🙂 Looks like you had a blast!

  7. I absolutely LOVE Chicago! Pretty sure I could live there, although I haven’t been there in the winter yet, so may need to hold off on that statement until I do 🙂

  8. I am SO jealous! What pictures and enjoyment! I can not wait for your more detailed blog. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. Memories, you are one lucky couple!

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