We Cheesed up Chicago, Part I

We did it.  We met up.  We did a cheesy, fun-filled weekend in Chicago.
And it was amazing.

Lucky me I'm a Midwest girl and was able to drive in.  My first time making the 2 1/2-3 hour drive into the city ALONE.  I felt like a big girl.  A grown up.  I only swore at construction zones and bad drivers maybe 10 times. I didn't get lost.  I owe it all to GPS and an IPASS allowing me to breeze through the tolls........

I parked at O'Hare and walked in, waiting to spot my Marianna.  My long lost Canadian soul sister.  I'd waited for that moment for a couple years.  I knew I'd spot her immediately.  I was prepared to cry.  But I didn't really cry.  I smiled all over when she leaped up and ran at me full force into a tackle/hug.  She's small but mighty that girl. And there may have been teenage girl squealing.  That's to be expected.

Oh, and she's also a uterus wizard.  Cuz I immediately went into the bathroom where I discovered I got my period.  Welcome to Chicago.

I took her on the scenic route through the airport and out to the car (okay, I was fucking lost) and we drove into the city.  The Loop.  To the Palmer House Hotel.  If you ever go to Chicago, I can't recommend the Palmer House enough.  AMAZING place.  Great rates.  Wonderful staff.  BEAUTIFUL.  Every square inch is gorgeous and historical.  And at night?  Well, keep reading to see what comes out at night at the Palmer House...... (spoiler alert: semi drunk bloggers thinking they're ghost hunters come out at night at the Palmer House.)  

Click on all photos to enlarge for a better view.  Trust me.

This is their lobby?  Really?  I so don't belong in this kind of beautiful classiness.....

After a flawless (not. I'm a moron) valet ditch of my car and check in, as well as a look-see over our awesome room (which thankfully had big closets to hold ALL of the shit I packed. Plus?  My closet had a tiny little gnome/goblin/fairy/Coraline door in it.), Marianna spoiled me with a huge gift bag from Canada, thereby bestowing upon me the privilege of being an honorary Canadian.  I've just gotta work on my "accent" apparently, eh?  Yeah, yeah.

We had lunch at Flat Top Grill on Wabash.  It was delish.  There was enough edamame to feed a small village. Marianna likes her immature soy beans a LOT.

I fell in love with a cherry lime mojito and ate CARBS. It was fucking lovely. We took our first in real life pic together.
We wandered around bit, discovering just how freaking many Walgreens and CVS stores and Starbucks joints Chicago contains, I bought my first pair of super kickass boots at the paradise called DSW, grabbed a bag of delicious Chicago Mix at Garrett Popcorn Shop, and then needed to get back to the hotel to meet Sarah (LACE).  She's also from Canada, so thankfully we were here in the US or I would've been TOTALLY outnumbered by Canadian awesomeness.

The agenda for our first night in Chi Town was dinner at Pizzeria Due where we were super psyched to have Amy (Coffeeluvinmom) drive in to join us. How sweet is this girl?  She knows the ins and outs of Chicago and was so fun....glad she could make it.  We were late meeting her because someone, ahem, Marianna, happened to somehow make her glasses lens literally fly out of her glasses, causing a hands and knees, nonstop giggle search party in our hotel hallway......
Guess who found the lens y'all?  ME.  Winner, winner chicken dinner.
We made it to the restaurant and what a fantastic place!  The deep dish pizza was heaven in a pan, and the restaurant was super sweet to us...we were treated like we were important, even though we totally aren't.  There was an abundance of food, wine, singing Jann Arden songs, and Hey Mickey verses in honor of the coolest waitress ever, Mickey. Just look at this food you guys:

I fully admit here in front of the Internets and the baby Jesus that I loved the big sausages in the first pizza.

Amy took us out on the town to a super fun piano bar called the RedHead.
I love people watching, and drunk people watching is even better.  Especially when people don't realize how ridiculous they look, all middle-aged and making out in a bar.....  The piano guy stole my heart when he played Paradise by the Dashboard Light.  CLASSIC.

What fun, sweaty, music and booze filled night!  A fantastic foursome of bloggy girls :)

Saturday brought us sleeping in a bit, grabbing a light, late breakfast, and hitting the town tourist-style.  Being Sarah's first time to Chicago, she wanted to do Millenium Park.  GORGEOUS.  I'll let the photos speak for me:

The infamous "Bean."  Or as I call it, Giant Shiny Clitoris.  And yes, I flicked the bean.

It's like some alien vaginal ultrasound, no?

We then hit Navy Pier for a ton of walking, food, exploring, and souvenir shopping.  What an awesome place the Pier is!

We were even treated to a Snappy Surprise hat show.......

And apparently to some people (Mickey the wondrous waitress), Marianna looks a bit like Sarah Palin.  I disagree.  Marianna is too pretty and smart and educated for that.  But we did take a moment to poke fun. "I can see Russia from my house!"

There were some fun cab rides with crazy cabbies and of course, some more shopping/browsing (Charming Charlie, what a GREAT store) and then we hit the river for Chicago's Architectural Boat Tour.
Us in a cab. Livin' the dream.
This city has got "IT" when it comes to architecture.  WOWZA.

The Shoreline Boat Tour was awesome and educational and Jeff the tour guide was super cool.  The only thing he didn't do was play the harmonica.  That seemed to be a sore spot when another boat cruised by with a guide jamming it out blues style.  It's okay tour guide Jeff.  We aren't hating.  I personally would've hated the harmonica.  Although it *would* have drowned out the constant chatter of the bachelorette party girls in front of us.  SHUT UP WOMEN GEEZ.  Also Shoreline people?  WAY TO GO ON THE DRINKS.  That was a LOT of vodka in that vodka lemonade.  For only $5.00.  I freaking love you for that.

There's seemingly a crazy rumor going around that I did a random somersault in the middle of the city.
It just felt right at the time you guys.

Alright, alright kids. This has gotten WAY too long.  I'll be back with the second and final installment of Cheesy Chicago.

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