I'm still working on my list for 2012 and will more than likely be posting it next week. So far, I've got some good stuff on there. Or at least, I think I have some good stuff on there. : ) And, get this? A.P. is making a list this year, too! I don't think it will be as long, but he's got some good stuff on his, too. Yay!
In the mean time, I'd love to share some photos with you from The Half-breed Swede's trip. I would say that she has been to Chicago at least 20 times, but this trip was different because she brought her man, who shall heretofore be named Cash Folds and who may or may not look exactly like A.P., but who had never been stateside, let alone to Chicago. So, we ended up doing a lot of touristy stuff, which is sometimes nice for me to do because it helps me to remember what an amazing city I live in and how I sometimes take that for granted. Anywho, if you'll let me, I'd love to share some photos of their trip with you!
The day after they arrived, we went downtown for a trolley tour with The Chicago Architectural Foundation. They took us to a few different stops where we could get out and take photos. The tour was only okay, mostly due to our wacky guide. A couple days later, they ended up going downtown on their own and taking a walking tour.
After the walking tour, we went to visit my brother-in-law, who is working at the Obama National Headquarters. He gave us a private tour of the offices, which was kind of rad. Unfortunately, we couldn't take photos. After that, though, we headed to Millennium Park to take some night shots of the bean and some of the other parts of the park.
After a jam packed first day, we decided to take it easy on Wednesday. We chilled out all day and ended up going out for dinner and drinks that night. We started out at Violet Hour, one of my favorite places to get drinks in the city. Located in Wicker Park, it's a top secret bar that has amazing drinks. If you don't know where it is, you'd easily pass it, as it has no exterior sign or doorway, really. Once you enter, though, you're greeted by low light and enormous, tall-backed chairs. Their drinks are strong and delicious and I love the servers, as they always answer any questions you have and are super nice.
After a couple of rounds at Violet Hour, we headed to Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse. The Half-breed Swede wanted to go here because a few years ago when she was in town, we took her there for dinner. It's pretty much all you can eat, which in my case, wasn't very much. The rest of them went crazy and ate a bunch of delicious meat, though, so they at least got the full experience.
Thursday was a jam packed day. I dropped our guests off at the train so they could head into town early and do their walking tour and check things out. Then, A.P. and I ended up driving into town to meet them to go to the
Willis Sears Tower (I'm from here, people, that shit will never change!). The line was ridiculously long, but we endured and after about two hours in line, we finally got upstairs. Of course, by then, it was dark out. Still, we got some lovely night shots. A.P. chickened out, but the rest of us were brave enough to venture out onto the new glass ledges that jut out 1300 feet over the city. It's like you're floating, but it's pretty freaky to inch your way out there. I was definitely holding on to the wall for the first few minutes. So scary!!
From there, we headed to Telegraph, a new restaurant in Logan Square. I have to tell you, this was our first time there and I was not very impressed. The prices were pretty high for what you got, and I had the cod and it was soooo salty. I don't think A.P. and I will head back any time soon.
After dinner, we jetted home, dropped off A.P. and the rest of us headed to B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted, a blues bar. Cash Folds is a music teacher and amazing guitar player, so he wanted to check out a blues bar while in town. We met up with my brother-in-law, who proved he's not that old by staying out until midnight on a work night. Gasp! There, we saw Eric "Guitar" Davis and the Troublemakers, who were awesome.
After a long, exhausting day on Thursday, I think we were all looking forward to a relaxed day. The Half-breed Swede wanted to show her man where A.P. and I got married, so we drove over to Lovely to have a look around and buy some cupcakes. Then, we went to Lincoln Park to our other favorite bakery, Sweet Mandy B.'s, where we purchased some other delicious desserts. Yum!
Then, we went home, chilled for a little while longer and worked up the energy to go to...MEDIEVAL TIMES!!! And listen, I know what you're thinking, "Why in the world would you take actual British people to Medieval Times??" But it wasn't my idea! It was totally The Half-breed Swede's. And let me tell you something else...it was AWESOME!!! Even A.P., who was a little nervous about the whole thing ended up loving it! We were cheering for the Green Knight and cheer we did. We cheered so damn hard, that at one point, he tossed The Half-breed Swede a flower! Yes! Awesome! After the show, the knights came out and signed things and took pictures with people. I totally got my shield signed by him and The Half-breed Swede and I took a picture with him. Unfortunately, she has that picture, so until she sends it to me, you'll have to wait with bated breath.
(I love the Half-breed Swede's face in this picture! Look how excited she is, people!)
New Year's Eve was another adventure. We planned a Classic Hollywood New Year's Eve party and that day, The Half-breed Swede, her man, and I all went to Costco to purchase party supplies. Then, we came home, and whipped this place into party shape. I wouldn't say it was my most successful party, but it was a lot of fun. In general, I don't like throwing parties on holidays because attendance is always low...too much competition. And...a lot of people dressed up! We told people to come wearing black or white (or purple if you're my mother and completely ignore directions). We even had a couple of people in tuxes! Wow!
We celebrated the new year by going to brunch at The Signature Room. I've always wanted to go to brunch there and figured what better way to celebrate the start of a new year (and to show off some daytime views of our beautiful city to our guests). Brunch was fantastic, but the views were what really blew our minds.
And that was pretty much our entire trip. That last night, we just kind of took it easy and hung out together. I am so sad that I will have to wait an entire year or two to see my friend again. We always say that if we lived in the same city, we're probably never stop hanging out together. The Half-breed Swede is one of my greatest friends and I'm so happy that she and her man got to come visit.
Here's one last picture before they left. Note that she is holding Ollie. That is because I suspect she was trying to smuggle him back in her pocket. ; )
(Photos by me!)