Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chicago!! The End

 Had to get a picture with the Columbia girl.  I bet she felt so dumb!  Ha ha.  It's a cool coat though.

Just to show how uninformed I am, I had no idea that the subway emerged to become the "el" train as well.  We rode it out to the airport.  

 These are high-rise apartments...the lower part is a parking garage!  There are some cool buildings in Chicago!  (This is where I'd want to live.  Parking is a nightmare, and horrendously expensive when you can find it.)

It's kind of cool to be in a downtown where you look around and all you see is buildings.  I'm sure it gets old, but it's fun for Tourist Becky!

 Navy Pier was right off the Magnificent Mile.  Not much to see in November, but it was fun to get a one minute history lesson off the sign we read.

The view from the pier looking back to the city was so cool.  This isn't the main part of downtown...that would be off to the right.

I love that they have lighthouses on Lake Michigan!

Things we saw in Chicago that you just don't see in Salt Lake:

  • Mulitple 7-11's with revolving doors
  • Parking that will cost you $25 for two measly hours
  • The Subway and "El" train
  • A jungle of high-rise buildings
  • Lots of babies, but no toddlers or kids.  Just babies.  
  • Express and Local streets.  They're the same street, but if you accidentally get on the express, you can't get off until there's an exit.  Which is inconvenient when you're already late for church.  :)
  • People smoking everywhere.  Sick.
On Sunday we slept in and went to church with Mike's cousins that live in Chicago.  Wes and Megan had us over for dinner as well, and it was so much fun to hang out with them for a few hours.  They've lived out there since I married Mike, and they have three kids about the same ages as ours.  Megan's parents were visiting too, and it was really fun to get to know them a little bit.  Oh, and Wes got us a parking pass to Notre Dame, so he was totally the hero of our trip!  I didn't have my camera so, sadly, we have no pictures with our fun Clayton cousins.

Wes & Megan gave us a few restaurant recommendations, and we loved every place we ate!
  • Blackie's (a dive bar with a sign over the door that read, "Better food than most hospitals."  I loved the food before I tasted it.  How could you not??  They had awesome burgers, and they were cheap!  Probably our cheapest meal there, plus it was a long walk, so we burned off the calories before we even ate them.)  
  • Bandera (on the Magnificent Mile, with an amazing view of the street.  We shared soup and a cheeseburger.  Oh, and they freshly grind their own beef.  Yeah.  Best burger I've ever had.)
  • Pizzeria Due (because Uno's had a longer wait.  Famous Chicago style deep dish pizza.  I will be replicating their food this week.  I also want to try Giarodono's and Gino's East.  Just not enough time!)
  • The Corner Bakery and Cafe (mini bundt cakes.  need I say more?)
  • Buona (A Cafe Rio style restaurant that had italian/american food.  Fresh and delicious!  And next to our hotel.)
We each gained about 5 pounds in 5 days.  But it was so good!  

Chicago!! continued

The main reason for our trip to Chicago was to catch the U vs ND game in South Bend, Indiana.  We met up with Doug & Jami (and Doug's parents) for the day, and we had a total blast hanging out at Notre Dame!  The people there were incredible, everyone was so welcoming and friendly.  They were expecting to lose the game, and they were still sooo nice to us.  It was so fun.  And since we were expecting it to be freezing cold, I crocheted a few U scarves.  So, of course, it was unseasonably warm.  Oh, and rainy.  I didn't have time to make four...sorry Dougie!  (Please pretend that I'm wearing my hat.  We had to wake up around 5:00 to drive there, so I braided my hair to wear under a hat.  Then it was so warm I didn't think to put it on before we left the car.)

 The campus was so beautiful!  It was too bad we couldn't have been there two weeks earlier, the trees would have been so amazing!

Me, Jami & Jerri.  We didn't stay for the traditional follow-the-band-thing that they do.  I'm sure it was very cool.

 Mike and Doug on the other side of the stadium.  We opted out of the expensive U tailgating that we had been planning on, and instead ate at Chipotle and spent the money we saved (by not tailgating) at the bookstore.  I love the pants and shirt I got!

Our seats were on the 11th row!  It was amazing, and if the U had even come close to scoring a touchdown, we would have been RIGHT there.  Saddest game ever.  The Notre Dame fans were expecting to lose, and they totally beat the pants off us!  (See?  Much better with the hat!)

We both looked like U fans until it started raining.  With all my blue rain jacket and bright yellow banana pants on, I looked like a Notre Dame usher.  Much better than being wet though!

 This was my attempt at a self-portrait, but instead got a nice shot of the back of Gonzo's head.  Gonzo and Jim (right behind me) were our best friends by the time the game was over.  They were hilarious, and so much fun to sit behind!  Gonzo shared his delicious, warm nachos with us, and Jim gave us his card and told us to facebook him.  They even invited us to tailgate with them after the game!  They probably felt really bad for us after the beating the U took from a team that wasn't very good.  :)  We would have gone too, but we still had to drive two hours to our hotel.  :(

Someone saw us trying to take our own picture, so he offered to do it for us.  The Notre Dame fans were seriously so nice.  At least the ones we were by.  We heard some fun stories from people on the plane about sitting in a war zone between U and ND fans.  Our seats were awesome!  Only two things could have made it rain, and a win.  But not necessarily in that order.

 You can see the Utah area up at the top.  The rain was on and off, but mostly on.

Look!  The U almost scored a touchdown!

The Notre Dame marching band is HUGE and AMAZING!  At the end of the game they come out again (like they do at the beginning) and play.  It was so cool!  Mike got some video of them coming out on the field before the game started.  Not the we cheered for them, but Notre Dame does football right.  We had so much fun!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chicago!! Part I

Mike and I took a second honeymoon to Chicago (in conjunction with the pitiful Utah v. Notre Dame game), and it was completely amazing!  Our first night we stayed in a swanky, spendy hotel (thanks Hotwire!), and went to the Chicago Institute of Art.  Hooray for free thursdays at the museum!  Since this will be a lot of pictures (really, a lot), I'm breaking it up into parts.  Part I is our first day in Chicago.

The Intercontinental was beautiful and fancy, and we were definitely not their average customer.  Thanks to Hotwire we got a great price on a room...because we would never spend $300 on one night in a hotel!  Plus none of the amenities are included.  $12 to work out?  No way.

You can't really tell, but the pool was so amazing.  And plenty of stadium seating to go around.  Which was only a little weird.

The view from our room was incredible at night.
 I think this is the Chicago Tribune building.  It was intricate and detailed and so beautiful!

We were on the 21st floor, and the street below is the Magnificent Mile.  The pictures really don't do it justice.  It was amazing!!

The cool, weird architectural art at Millennium Park.

Even the stairs are artsy at the museum!

 The museum was ENORMOUS!  It would have taken us a week to really see everything, so we just kind of had to admire as we walked.  I've always loved this picture (and I can't even remember the artist!), but when I was little Grandpa Orin explained to me the entire painting was done in dots.  And I never knew until we saw the real thing that it is HUGE.  Now I think it's even cooler.

 The Van Goghs were absolutely incredible.

As were the Picassos.  It was so amazing to see these paintings in real life!

 This is one of Mike's favorites.

As we were almost done walking through the modern art wing, I told Mike that the only thing missing was a Jackson Pollock.  Literally two steps later we happened amazing Jackson Pollock!  I'm not huge into modern art, but I really love Jackson Pollock's stuff.  It was so cool to see one!

We happened to see our friend Don that lives down the street from us (biggest U fan alive), so he took a picture for us in front of American Gothic.  

There were miles of artifacts, paintings, and so many amazing things to see.  This is a very small sampling of what we saw.  We were exhausted by the time we left!  It was so cool to go, it was incredible to see the actual paintings that I've seen in books all my life.

Monday, November 1, 2010

All You Need Is Love

 Will and Gemma are best buds!  They play so well together that it's actually easier for me when she's at our house!  I'm so happy that they'll be in the same grade, most of Will's buddies (like ALL of our playgroup friends) will be a grade younger.  The disadvantage of a summer birthday, I guess.
Will and Gemma wanted to eat their lunch outside, and as they were sitting there, Will looked up at me and said, "Mom, can I marry Gemma?"  I just about died, it was so cute!  They hug when they see each other, and they'll hold hands for about the first five minutes they're together.

And if Sam marries Jessie, we'll have some adorable pictures for their wedding!  I'm really not getting ahead of myself, but I do think it's cute!