Chicago For Christmas: Part 1
Part 1. Being Turned Away, Exploration of Downtown, and Hotel Relaxation
Zach and I's first Christmas as a married couple was spent in Chicago! We decided to get away before our busy seasons and spend time together while exploring.
We also got the awesome opportunity to do a Instagram takeover for our friends at Mitscoots! We wore their hats, scarves, gloves, and socks all weekend and got to actually hand out a few pairs of socks to the homeless downtown. Check out our posts here!
We arrived to Chicago around noon on Christmas Eve. We stopped in a few shops as they were closing down for the holiday, and then decided to head down town and get checked into our hotel. Right as we found the entrance to our parking garage, we were stopped by policemen on horses, policemen on bicycles, and a hundred protesters. Life in the big city, eh?
Our favorite thing to do together when we travel is explore our whereabouts. We watched as families, all dressed up, walked into steakhouses for a Christmas Eve dinner and as other travelers walked quickly in packs up and down the Mile getting last minute Christmas deals. I love seeing bright lights and everything dressed up for Christmas. And Chicago did it really well.
As we set out to casually look at shop windows and browse what was around us, we realized we had forgot our swim suits! (Always something). We popped into a few closing giant stores on the mile, and found absolutely no swimsuits along with "you're kidding me, right" looks from the saleswomen. So we then realized we better get moving on dinner, since most things were closing. The only place we found open was Eataly. No pictures are available to display for you this accurately designed Italian marketplace, because this is where Zach and I lost all control to make a joint decision on dinner. We walked around those two floors way too many times, discussing, making decisions, and growing weary. We finally ordered a pizza to take back to our room. We imagined a sweet sweet Florence Gusta imitation pizza, so we were so sad to open the box to a small small puddle sized pizza.
I tell you this to help you remember to get the necessities on a trip BEFORE things are closing and you don't know the city you're in.
The next morning, we found ourselves in the closest Starbucks. Christmas morning and everything is closed is the only time you'll see Zach with a Starbucks.
We wove around until we saw a glimmering sign in the window of Snickers-the perfect dive bar- that read "Bloody Mary's, Mimosas, and Breakfast Sausage". Yes please.
We ordered so much breakfast. Something about a haphazard brunch on Christmas morning, it was really quite enjoyable.
From here we set out! We spent 4 hours just walking. The mile, the bean, the ice skating, the pier, everything.
Pigeons our are least favorite thing about big cities. (kind of home alone-esque though, right?)
We got to meet and talk extensively to this cute lady named Jenny. She asked us for money as we were taking these photos.
She told us that her boyfriend wears thick socks-so she would give the Mitscoots socks to him. She came from England with her husband. They never gained citizenship, and he died later. We didn't get too far into her history, she was extremely chatty and wanted to talk and fruitcake and puffy coats. But, I loved being out and about and having the time to listen to her stories.
We went all the way down to the end of Navy Pier, because why not? We were the only Americans out and about. It felt like we were in Europe all over again.
One tiny step ahead of the night before, we started brainstorming dinner before it got dark out. The ONLY place open was......
Yes, we had grilled chicken and double Big Macs (or whatever).
We spent the remainder of Christmas cozy watching Netflix and eating sweet treats.
This was part 1, get ready for the upswing of the trip tomorrow!
HAPPY NEW YEARS EVE! I hope your either home and cozy or celebrating with friends!