I realized that I never posted about the trip I took to Chicago a few weeks ago! I put all of my pictures on my computer today, so I figured better late than never.

I’m not big on visiting big cities, so while I was excited to stay with Alicia, part of me wanted to spend my two days off lounging around at my own house doing nothing. I’m glad I went though-it was so much fun (and I’m basically a CTA pro…hah). I think the last time I was in Chicago was for the NRHH retreat and before that would probably have been with my family when we lived in Joliet many moons ago.

I took the 7:30 train from Bloomington. I sat next to a girl that had a cute backpack (I figured the cute backpack meant she would be nice). She probably was nice, but we didn’t talk on the way up. I started a book on my ipad and the two-hour ride went by pretty quick. It was rainy on that Wednesday, which kinda ruined the Chirstmas spirit, but it wasn’t freezing out, which was nice.

Alicia met me at Union Station (I [jokingly] asked her if it was like the Mattoon station). We rode a bus to Macy’s so we could see the big tree.

Outside of Macy’s (boo rain)

Alicia & big tree inside Macys

Me & big tree

I couldn’t believe how huuuge this Macy’s was! We went into some other shops (bought some cute gloves and tops at Old Navy all for like $8!). Then we went to the Christkindlmarket and looked at all of the little booths. We shared some potato pancakes and I drank the best cup of hot chocolate everrr. It would have been so pretty if it had been snowing, but again, I can’t complain that it wasn’t freezing.

Big tree


It was probably about two in the afternoon when we decided to head Alicia’s place in Lincoln Park. We picked up a few sandwiches at a little coffee shop right down from her place and then took them back to her apartment. We also made velveeta and rotel. Yummm. We ended up sitting around for the rest of the night. We talked about going out to dinner and going out to do something, but I was tired from getting up that morning and she’d just gotten back from a trip to Mexico, so I was fine with just hanging out and watching TLC! Out of all the pizza places in Chicago, we ended up ordering Papa Johns haha. Again, fine by me! I love Papa Johns and there really isn’t one around us, so it was so good. We also watched Elf before we went to bed 🙂

View from Alicia’s apartment

One of the shows we watched on Wednesday afternoon was some food challenge show on the Travel Channel. We watched one that was two Chicago restaurants to determine the best italian beef sandwich (can’t remember what the show was called). We decided to try out one of the places for lunch on Thursday! It was called Mr. Beef. It was very quaint. The guy that took our order was really nice and it was busy the whole time we were there. It was also quick and the food was made right there in front of you. Alicia went for the italian beef. I’m sure I would have liked it, but I went the safe way and got a cheeseburger and fries. It was sooo good!

Mr. Beef

Alicia & her famous italian beef sandwich

After lunch, we headed over to Navy Pier just to wander around a bit. Santa and Mrs. Claus was there.

Santa & Mrs. Claus

We decided to follow the signs to the Winter Wonderland. We had no idea what it was, but we kept going. We walked into this huuuge ballroom and it was like a carnival in there! There were rides and inflatables AND an ice-skating rink!!

Huge tree at Winter Wonderland at Navy Pier

Skating rink

We grabbed a coffee and then walked around some more. At the other end of the ballroom, there was a stage set up. We saw that the next show started in about 20 minutes. The show was…Elfis! hahaha! Alicia didn’t get it at first 😉 It was us in the crowd and then a bunch of little kids and their parents and I’m pretty sure the two of us had the best time. The parents were looking at each other like “What is this guy doing?!”, but we laughed the whole time. He juggled and told goofy jokes and it really was kind of awkward, but we loved it.


After the Elfis show, we headed to the mall. We walked through the American Girl store and Legoland and then just browsed.

Lego Woody

We went to the mall across the street to look at another big tree.

One more huge tree!

While we waited for the bus, we went into one of the shops where everything costs like a million dollars. Still don’t understand why someone would spend $2,000 on an ugly shirt, but whatever! We took the bus back to the train station since it was time for me to leave 😦 There ended up not being many people in my car, so I got a window seat. The ride home was way more peaceful than the ride up.

The whole reason I went (well, a big part of it) was because my dad told me I should. I took the night train home so that I could look at the Christmas lights in the small towns that we passed, which was great!

Christmas lights in Dwight, IL

I had a fabulous time and was sad that I couldn’t stay longer. I didn’t have a chance to visit any of my other friends who live up there, so I’m hoping to go back sometime soon. My train ticket was only $26 round-trip, so I will definitely be visiting again!

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One Response to Chicago!

  1. John "Bingo Jacket" Plevka says:

    Good stuff, Makes me wanna do that trip next December.

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