Monday, October 21, 2013

10 Days Away: Chicago Part I

Greetings and Happy Monday!  I had a fabulous getaway with my mom, sisters, and sisters-in-law!  Time by the ocean was just what my soul needed.  But more on that later - I'm so behind on life and trip recaps, I need to share my Chicago experience before moving onto my Myrtle Beach getaway!!

Since I spent almost a full week in Chicago, I decided to break this up into two posts!  When I last left off, I had left Minneapolis after 4 fabulous days there.  I flew into Chicago on a Tuesday night, worked Wednesday and Thursdays and then had Friday-Monday morning to enjoy with my friends that were flying in to run the Chicago marathon.  This trip was a long time in the making as Amber, Lauren, Anais, and I decided that our next big marathon would be the Chicago marathon.  The trip obviously ended up being a very different trip for me than I imagined, but I still had a wonderful time.  To be completely honest, there were some very difficult moments on this trip for me, which is to be expected as I am still mourning the fact that running isn't part of my life, probably won't be for awhile, and the fact that it's pretty much out of the question for me to run another marathon.  But - I still had an amazing time as I was surrounded by good friends and in one of my favorite cities!

Anyways back to the recap at hand - I worked Wednesday and Thursday and was able to meet up with different friends that live in the Chicago area both nights.  After meeting a friend for tea on Thursday, I headed out for dinner and ended up checking out Rick Bayless's quick-service cafe, Xoco, which was SO good.  After a string of busy work days, it was nice to have a quiet dinner, read a book, and walk around Chicago.

The view walking along West Wacker Drive.

Chips & salsa, a delicious seafood soup, and a walk along Michigan Avenue
Amber & Anais got in around 10:30 on Thursday night and were starving so we headed to a local pub.  We were so excited to all be together, we totally forgot to take any pictures!  We were all pretty tired at this point, so we headed back to the hotel as we had a full day on Friday!

On Friday morning we got up, grabbed lattes at Starbucks, and headed to the Nike store to catch the shuttle to the marathon expo.  It was a beautiful fall day!


Stripes + lattes all around = a good morning

We hopped onto the shuttle to the marathon and met up with Lauren and Pete.  The expo was MASSIVE but so well organized.  It was definitely the best race expo I have been to.  Even though I was not running the marathon, I picked up my packet as I figured I might as well get my t-shirt.

What is not but might have been

Honestly I had been doing pretty well with the whole not being able to run the marathon emotions.  Until I got to the expo.  It was hard and there were some tears.  Luckily I had good friends around me to offer up hugs and words of encouragement.  They didn't make me feel bad for being so sad about not being able to run.  I rallied fairly quickly, though, and still had fun walking around the expo.

After the expo, we grabbed a quick lunch and headed over to the Chicago River for the Chicago Architectural Foundation architectural riverboat tour.  This is something I had wanted to do for years, but the weather has never cooperated or I haven't had enough time on past trips.  Luckily, the weather was perfect on this trip as it was sunny and 75 degrees!  

View from where we started the tour
 I highly recommend this tour as we saw so much of the city and I learned so much about the various skyscrapers and buildings.  Also, as a person who is considering a future move to Chicago, it was interesting to learn more about the different neighborhoods and see them from a different perspective.

After the tour, we grabbed some tea and relaxed a bit before heading up to the Lakeview area for a Thai dinner and the Blue Man Group show, which was very entertaining and a fun thing to do while in Chicago.  Our first full day together in Chicago was amazing, but the days only seemed to get better and better!  Stay tuned for more...

Have you been to Chicago? If so, what is your favorite thing to do there?  I loved the architectural tour, but also love just walking around and of course checking out the bean!

18 comments:

Lisa-Marie said...

Chicago looks amazing. So glad you have fun, and had a wee trip to marathon world. :)

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

This looks like a great trip- I've done the architectural tour twice now and I love it. Chicago is a beautiful city.

I can't even imagine how you must feeling about running/marathoning (or not) at the moment. Running has never been as big a part of my life as it is yours. However, I have made the decision that for my body running a marathon is not a good plan. I know I could probably do one, but I have a feeling my knees would get bad to a point that I would then have to take a long break (possibly forever?) from running and to me it's just not worth it. That being said, being surrounded by people who run marathons with no difficulty can even be hard for me at times so I can imagine it would be triply hard for you since you have been involved with the running community and marathoning for several years. Sigh- our bodies should really just do what we want, when we want.

Luckily you have lots of fun trips to distract you though! :)

Abby said...

You did so well going to the expo, period. I cannot even imagine! I couldn't go to he expo, and I refused I even talk about the marathon I was registered and never ran. Glad you had supportive, loving friends by your side!

That tour sounds awesome!!! I hope you can make your move to Chicago or Minneapolis sooner than later! Can't wait to hear more about your trip !

Becky said...

I love Chicago! I've been there in the summer when it's hot and in the winter when it's cold, but never a "transition" season like fall or spring. That boat tour sounds fabulous!

So glad you are recapping your trip like this!

Marlys said...

Your trip to Chicago sounds amazing - can't wait to hear the rest of the story! And I also am excited to read and see pictures from our Girl's trip to Myrtle Beach! Lots to look forward to on your blog! And also your upcoming trip to Paris!

Nora said...

An architectural tour sounds so fun! The last time I was a true tourist in Chicago (not just popping in for a quick visit) was 2005! That trip didn't end too well for me, but I do remember finding a really yummy hole in the wall burger place, doing a little shopping on the Magnificent Mile and hanging out along the river. When I was younger I was obsessed with the boat tours, FAO Schwartz and this amazing Italian place (no longer there) called Papa Milano's.

Nicole said...

Hi Lisa - I don't comment on here nearly enough, but I just love reading your blog! I am bummed for you that you weren't able to run the Chicago Marathon, but am glad you were having fun with your friends!!! Has your RA diagnosis also impacted your knitting? Are you working on any new projects?

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I've only ever been in the Chicago airport ... I miss Anais' blog!

Crystal said...

I am also a fan of Chicago and lived there for a year before moving to South Florida...and then Charlotte. My husband grew up there so we visit at least once a year. I've always been a fan of Navy Pier, the Shedd Aquarium and the bean, of course!

Amanda Louise said...

I love Chicago! I haven't been since 2006 though, I'm really due for a repeat visit.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I love Chicago! I want to do one of the boat tours but I haven't been there in the right weather/enough time yet! ;) I like walking around and just looking at everything. Oh and a little shopping.

Raquelita said...

I really do love Chicago! I hope I can make it back sometime soon.

I can definitely understand how aspects would be difficult and how frustrating it can be to be sidelined because of a health issue. I hope you're able to incorporate some running again here before long!

Amber said...

Yay! Love your recap and loved our trip! I really enjoyed our time there and I hope I can make it back there one day - you moving there would be the perfect excuse for me to visit again :)

My favourite part of our trip was renting the bikes and biking along the lakeshore path. It was so so pretty and I loved the contrast of the big lake and the beaches with the skyscrapers in the background!

Jeanie said...

Oh,. Lisa, I'm so glad you had a wonderful time -- and great weather, too! I love Chicago -- it's a great place to visit! I love the art institute, of course, and all the museums. But just walking about and people watching, soaking it in is fun, too!

Carolina John said...

that is sooo cool. Chitown is supposed to be a blast, one day I want to get out there too. Fun times!

Alli said...

I want to write, "looks like a great trip" or "sorry it was tough for you at the expo," but the truth is that all I can think as I read this is, "I miss Chicago so much!!"

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

I wished I had made more time to chat with you girls, but was so happy that I got to spend some quality time with all three of you and catch up a bit. You did a great job despite not being able to run. I'm sure it was hard being around all of that and all the running talk. I'm really looking forward to hearing about your beach trip as the pics on instagram looked amazing and peaceful. Hope all is well!

Shoshanah said...

I have not been to Chicago, but I've heard great things about it. And after seeing everyone's posts over the weekend I was dying to be there with everyone! Maybe, next time!