Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Highlight Reel: Chicago

I got home from my trip to Chicago last night. I really, really didn't want to come home. I wanted to stay.

Usually when I go on a trip, I'm ready to go home after 4-5 days. Not this time. I was there for 8 full days, and I could have stayed for months. I already want to go back. It was so fun to spend time with Lisa, Adam, their son Matthew, and Adam's family and friends. So much fun. I can't believe that it's been 3.5 years since I've seen Lisa and Adam and when we were together it was like no time had passed at all. That is true friendship right there. :)

We did soooo many things and it didn't feel like it was crammed or rushed at all. Busy, but a total blast.

Here are some highlight pictures. I took over 600, so I'll try to cut out a few. ;)

After Lisa picked me up at the Milwaukee Airport (about an hour from her house), we stopped by the Mars Cheese Castle. Basically it was a store just for cheese, but built so it looked like a castle. I don't really understand the point, but it was hilarious that there was even a Cheese Castle. :) Now whenever the question comes up if someone's been to a cheese castle I can say I have. (And you know I will ask the question, just so I can say I have. lol!)

Lisa and her son Matthew in the Cheese Castle. It was kind of funny Lisa and I were even there, we're both lactose intolerant and so we don't generally eat cheese. But Matthew loved it and was so cute wearing a cheese head hat.

The next day Lisa, Matthew, and I took the train into the city. (My first time on a train!) It was incredible. It's been a long time since I was downtown in a major city and the immense height of the building was incredible. I loved it. It's amazing what Man can do when he puts his mind to it.

The city was beautiful. And there were tulips blooming everywhere!

This is the Sears/Willis Tower. It was really hard to look up to the very top of the building. So cool. And at the very top, you can see the little glass boxes that extend out over the city. I totally stood in one! More pictures below.

Here are some pictures from the top of the Sears Tower. The water is not an ocean (which is what it looks like), but actually Lake Michigan. So huge, and beautiful.


We made our way around the building to the side that looks over downtown and has "The Ledge" which are 4 glass boxes that extend out beyond the building so you can stand over it. Very Creepy and a bit terrifying considering it's 103 stories above the earth. Lisa wasn't sure how Matthew would react, but he LOVED it! And was mad when it was time to leave.

I knew about this and so I was totally mentally prepared to step out onto the ledge. At least I thought I was.  I wanted walk out on it all confident-like since I had flown all the way out there, but then I looked down and freaked out a bit. After a little coaxing from Lisa ("Do you really want to say that you came all the way out here and DIDN'T step out onto the glass?"), I did it! This picture is of my feet (and Matthew's cute little legs). I still have a hard time looking at the picture, but it's one of my favorites! :)

A panoramic view from the glass box. And yes, in the left corner is a person doing a hand stand in another ledge. Yeah, I definitely couldn't do that. :)

After Sears Tower, we went to Lunch at this delicious little corner bakery cafe. When we came out we found that were across the street from the Art Museum and decided to go. It was part of the City Pass that we had bought at Sears Tower. When I was deciding where I wanted to go, the Art Museum was low on the list, but I am so glad that we went. There were some incredible pieces of art there. Including the Hall of Miniatures--which I kept waiting to come to life a la Night at the Museum. :)

We discovered that Milennium Park was right across the street from the Art Museum and Lisa really wanted to show me the GIANT jellybean. When she had told me about it before, I was skeptical and didn't really care about seeing it. BUT AFTER seeing it, it was totally awesome. Super fun. And I decided that I want one in my backyard some day. :) The view it gave of the city was so awesome!

Thursday morning, before we headed to Nauvoo, we went to the Museum of Science and Industry. Yeah, that was incredible! It was huge and we didn't get to see a lot of it. But what we did see was amazing. Easily our favorite exhibit was the U-505 german submarine that they have there. Adam got us tickets to go inside for a tour. Outside it is HUGE! Inside was so small and cramped. There were 15 people on our little tour which was too many, but there were 59 men living on the ship for 100 days! Eeek! Yeah, NO THANK YOU! But it was amazing to see inside.

We played Ticket To Ride a bunch of times while I was there. I love that game and so do Lisa and Adam! Perfect. Adam won every game, but he started going out before we could finish our routes and so unbeknownst to Adam, we added the extra train cars to his bag--so he had three extra trains to deal with. It ended up giving Lisa and I several more turns. Adam still won, but Lisa at least finished her route. :) After the winner was announced, Lisa said to Adam, "But what you didn't know..." and then explained how we "cheated" and gave him extra cars. He thought it was sooo hilarious! The next time we played, he counted to make sure we didn't do it again. :)

This is Matthew's cheesy picture smile. It is so cute! And when he does it he starts giggling. So precious. I totally fell in love with this little boy. So precious. :) We took this picture right before we went to Lisa's ultrasound appt. where she found out she is having a little girl! Yay!

We also stopped by the Chicago Temple to look around. I was surprised that it looked exactly like the Dallas and Boise Temples. I guess I hadn't ever seen a picture of it. I thought the Marble on the building was very pretty.

The day before I left, Lisa and I decided to head downtown and check out Navy Pier. It was very empty and cold, but still cool to look around. And no, I didn't ride the Ferris Wheel. It kinda freaks me out. I figured that standing out on the "Ledge" at Sears Tower was enough for me. :)

When Lisa and I were roommates in college, we had a hilarious experiencing high fives first thing in the morning--thereafter dubbed "Morning 5's". A few years ago, I was able to see one of our other roommates, Jennifer and gave her one, so I passed it on to Lisa (they were the ones that did it the first time in college). So funny. :)

And there you have it, a very brief summary of my trip to Chicago. We did go on a little road trip to Nauvoo, so I'll post those pictures too.

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