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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Vaca-shee-on!!


(In defense of my title, I am a huge "King of Queens" fan, so the pronunciation is an homage to the humor of Kevin James.)

I know I’ve been gone a long time, but our vacation to Chicago was so great that I have to write about it!! We took a long weekend last Thursday-Sunday and spent it in the greater Chicago area. Matt and I have such a great time traveling together – I love making the hotel reservations, looking up the route, finding fun possibilities we can do in the area, etc., and Matt is the spontaneous one who finds things for us to do on the fly. So we drove over to Schaumburg late on Thursday night. We slept in on Friday, and then we headed to Woodfield Mall to get some warm gloves, etc. for my husband. Once we ate some lunch and were properly outfitted for the (freezing) cold weather, we then had to find the METRA station in Schaumburg. Asking for directions is pointless, so I scoured a gas station map until I was sure of how to get there (I didn’t want to buy it – it was $20!). We found the station, and we got on the train at 2:30 p.m. It was an hour-long ride, and we passed a HUGE train yard. Matt was salivating. We even saw the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train! It was very cool – Matt had read about it a little bit, but we had no idea it was going to be there.

Once we arrived at Union Station and headed outside, it was insanely freezing. We went about a block to the Sears Tower and decided to take the trip up to the Skydeck. It was an amazing view – it was around 4:00-5:00 p.m., and it was perfect lighting to get some incredible pictures. Matt has a few that maybe he’ll post someday. (Along with those wedding and honeymoon ones, right baby?) J It was a pretty frightening height, but it was worth the view. When we were done, it was really too cold to walk anywhere, which had originally been our plan. So we took a cab to Navy Pier. We put our names in at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and then walked around while we waited for a table. Navy Pier has a lot of fun shops – I had some cinnamon toasted cashews. Holy cow. I’ve had the almonds, but the cashews bring it to a whole new level.

After dinner, we took another cab back to Union Station and waited for the train. We had heard from the taxi driver that someone had shot a few people in a downtown office building, taken a hostage, and finally was shot by police. At the station, I was waiting for Matt in the restroom and a young man came up saying that he was stranded because of the shooting. (The METRA and other transportation had been shut down for about an hour because of it.) He needed to meet his girlfriend at a different place and had no money for the train. I am completely uncomfortable with being alone and having a strange man come up and speak to me. I kept looking at the bathroom hoping for Matt to come out. Finally he did, and I told him the story and asked him if we could walk over and buy the kid a train ticket. We did that and then got on the train. This train ride was quite an experience – a man was singing rather loudly to his crude hip-hop music for about half the ride. I was definitely looking forward to being done with that ride.

It was another late night, but our first day in Chicago was awesome. Read on for more Chicago fun!! (It’s too good, so it must be spread out in multiple posts.)

3 comments:

hannahjoy said...

Can I just say I'm sorry for not calling you since you were just blocks away? I thought about it on Wednesday, and was too caught up in finals to do anything. I wish I could have met up with you guys at least for a minute. I'm glad you enjoyed Chicago!

meLanie said...

how fun!! (as good as game night??) you should have joined in singing.. or better yet Matt could have played his guitar and the two of you could have rocked the bus!!

meLanie said...

not bus..train... trains, trains, trains!