Sunday, August 21, 2011

Windy City Summertime

With just a few days left 
 before my daughter has to go back to classes,
she and I decided to spend
 one more day on the beach
and added some
back-to-school shopping
in Chicago on Friday.

So much fun to lay on a beach with the John Hancock Tower looming over you.

Lucky for us,
Friday was the practice day for
the Chicago Air and Water Show.
So while we were tanning,
we got to watch aerial maneuvers
by the U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds, the United States
Navy Blue Angels,  and various other stunt planes.

So loud but so much fun to watch!

These beaches will be completely
packed on Saturday and Sunday
when the show actually takes place.

But since it was only the day before practice runs,
the beach was not very crowded at all.

Lifeguard in a row boat with hundreds of boats in the background watching the air show.

We decided to go to our hotel
and check into our room.
Oddly enough, our hotel had a beach theme!
Took a photo of the room
since it went with the theme of the day.
(The lobby had giant adirondeck chairs for seating... forgot to take a pic.)

We stayed in the Gold Coast area,
north of the Loop (the city's center).
Our room had a southern view of the city.

The Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower) is off to the right in the distance with the two antennas on top.)

We got showered and headed off for appetizers
on the rooftop garden cafe at Barney's.
Great views and a
 most interesting open roof above us.

My baby girl.

Looking down onto nearby streets.

We finished our appetizers and headed off for some
evening shopping -- Friday night, stores open late.

We were making good time
and got a lot done until we
whizzed past Sprinkles.

Had to go in for a wee tasting.

If you get the chance to get to a Sprinkles,
you must go. Owned and created
by Food Network judge, Candice Nelson,
these cupcakes are KILLER!

The store was packed and the line was long, but people backed up and let me snap this for my blog!

For more information on Sprinkles or to find one of their stores, click here.

With a good suger buzz,
we shopped Michigan Avenue
until long after the sun went down.

Then in an attempt to walk off the cupcakes,
we walked nine or ten blocks to
one of our favorite restaurants.

Check out some of the views along the way.

Chicago's Water Tower.... famous water pumping station that survived the famous fire.

(All photos were taken with my cell phone.... forgot to bring the camera!)

Our final destination..... Quartino's
for a little snack
before calling it a day.

This is "my kind of town".
Great day full of great memories
with my sweet daughter.

Hate to see school start,
but this made it a little easier.
A perfect ending for a great summer.

If you haven't been to Chicago,
you need to visit soon.


Divine Theatre said...

I love going into the city! We have a favorite Moroccan restaurant , Andalous, in the Lakeview neighborhood!
Also, you NEED to go to the Noble Horse Theater to see the legend of Sleepy Hollow performed on HORSEBACK! Too awesome! They do the Nutcracker on horseback at Christmas. Nothing like it in the world!
Oh! ...and the Mity Nice Grill on the mezzanine at water Tower Place! Fun for kids. Russian Tea Time is a MUST! My brother's friend owns it! YUM!
Yes. I miss the city.
Grace and I will be at the Lincoln Park Zoo this week. Is there a restaurant you would recommend nearby? We usually go to Anne Sathers...
Now I'm hungray! LOL!


Divine Theatre said...

So hungry I can no longer spell! LOL!

Robin@DecoratingTennisGirl said...

Thanks for the visit to Chicago. As you know, it is my home away from home. What hotel were you in? Stayed at The Drake a few times with a view of the lake. Wonderful! Your baby is pretty like Momma :)

Robin @ Highpoint Circle said...

My daughter moved back from four years in Chicago recently and I really didn't think I would miss the city until I saw your post. It is a great place in the summertime, with friendly people and great restaurants. Thanks for making me miss Chitown. Hope you have wonderful memories for a long time of your trip with your beautiful daughter.

Divine Theatre said...

How did I neglect to mention that your daughter is ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!?

Richard Cottrell said...

One does not, at least me, think of the beach in Chicago. WOW! Your daughter is beautiful and looks like you had a great time. I am with Ms. Divine, I like Anne Sathers, in the Clark neighborhood. Thanks for sharing again, Richard from My Old Historic House.

Pamela Gordon said...

I have never been to Chicago but it looks fabulous! Your beach photos are gorgeous with all the blues. I had no idea there is a beach right there downtown! Your daughter is so beautiful. What fun you must have had! Thanks for the tour. Just beautiful!! Pamela


Gorgeous daughter, like her gorgeous mom, otherwise how! You girls had a great time, I love this post, I also love Chicago, it's like NY., I miss NYCity with this pics!snif,snif... I can imagin all the shopping you did, have to tell us. Those sweet things are yummy looking...thanks for this fun and great post! Lots of hugs to both.

Town and Country Gals said...

what a great time you had! The beach and the city all in one how cool is that! I haven't been there since I was a teenager but would love to go back! I've seen the Blue Angels preform, wonderful!
The food, the shopping and the cupcakes, what more could a person ask! Your daughter is gorgeous, glad you got to spend this special time together!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

You live near Chicago don't you? How fun to get a room in the city and spend it together. She is so pretty, Alison. Thanks for sharing your day with us. I have never been to Chicago.

Rachel Noelle said...

Hi Alison~ Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today~ I love your blog and am your newest follower too!! xo Rache

French Farmhouse 425

Linda said...

What a special weekend with your lovely daughter! I'm sure you made forever memories! Looks like so much fun!

Linda (Nina's Nest) said...

Great pics of Chicago! I've never been there, but it is on my list. Love it that the lake is right there - wonderful. Linda

⚜ ↁℯℬℬᴵℰ⚜@ Debbiedoos blogging and blabbing said...

Around 4 years ago we went to Chicago for a week, the family and I. It was hands down the very best vacation we had ever been on. I love Chicago, the food, the sites, the people, you name it. What awesome photos you shared as well. Glad you enjoyed your vacation

Vicki @ CurlyWillow said...

YAY Chicago!! How fun to go to the beach, eat and shop...and the best part is with your beautiful daughter! Thanks for including us in the fun, I always LOVE a great Chicago trip!!

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

My daughters and granddaughters took me to Chicago for Mother's Day a few years ago. Absolutely wonderful time with fabulous memories.

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Forgot to mention how much I enjoyed your photos!

Gypsy Heart said...

I LOVE Chicago! Such wonderful food everywhere and you can shop into oblivion on Michigan Ave. :-) Looks as though you and your daughter had a wonderful time! She is gorgeous too.

A little info re: the Sears Tower...I worked for American Airlines 30 yrs. At one point, I was fortunate enough to be able to "fly" a 767 via a simulator. I sorta flew through the Sears Tower ~ :-) The instructor laughed afterwards and we were both very grateful this experience was not real. I spent 1-1/2 hrs in the simulator and it felt like 15 min.

Glad you shared the photos!

Babs said...

It looks like you two had a great time shopping and eating and sitting on the beach. What a fun thing to do before school starts. I thought it was so unusual that the hotel has a beach theme. Great photos with a cell phone and your daughter is beautiful. She has such a sweet expression and I'm sure she has just as sweet a personality. Gosh, she's lucky having you for a mom.
Thanks for sharing your shopping trip.

Sarah said...

Definitely want to visit Chicago. Your photos make it very enticing. Great photos. Can't believe you used your iPhone. ;-) I never get good shots with my phone.

Blondie's Journal said...

I love seeing pictures of our hometown, Alison, and you got some great ones!! It's nice that you made the trip an overnite one...there is so much to see and do.

Sprinkles did the cupcakes for the shower I threw for my future daughter in law. They were so good it was almost obscene!! I've never been to a rooftop restaurant...I have to check out Barneys!

Your daughter is a beauty!


Ann from On Sutton Place said...

When I think of Chicago I think of 3 things: Anne Sathers, Michigan Ave. and my son. Sounds like you had the perfect day. Aren't daughters wonderful?

laxsupermom said...

Sounds like the perfect visit! What a terrific way to finish up summer with your beautiful daughter! Thanks for sharing.

Liz said...

What a fun trip and your photos are amazing! Your baby girl is just BEAUTIFUL, just like her mommy! =) XOXO ~Liz

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dearest Alison,

What a treat to see you are close by me; I am in Minneapolis! Thank you for visiting me...your home and environment look so INTERESTING and beautiful. I love horses, and lived in Wenham, Massachusetts where I got my fill of horse ranches. THANK YOU FOR COMING BY!!! Anita

Jane@Cottage at the Crossroads said...

Oh, it looks like you had a wonderful and special time with your baby. She is beautiful. I have never been to Chicago, but your post really makes me want to go. My husband's mother was from Illinois, and we'd like to visit the area where she grew up. Living on the East Coast, we go to NYC when we need a dose of city life.I always come back reinvigorated, don't you?

michele said...

what a fabulous getaway with your beautiful daughter. we're so fortunate that we can experience all that and it's just a short drive away!

water tower is so amazing...i never tire of seeing photos of it.

have a great week, beautiful lady. we are ready for more structure but i always grieve the end of summer and so i will keep myself EXTRA busy with creating!


CalypsoInTheCountry said...

Hi Alison,
I just love Chicago! What great pictures - looks like you had a lot of fun! I haven't been there in a few years but have fond memories of that city. My husband was working out there early in our relationship so I would fly out to visit him. Always a lot of fun! By the way - your daughter is so beautiful!

At Home in English Valley said...

Dear Allison, You showed off our city perfectly, and with your phone! I'm a suburbanite now, but love Chicago and the Lakefront, it's a beautiful city. Thanks for taking us along! Love, Penny

Anonymous said...

I am so not a city girl! It's almost overwhelming to me. Looks like ya'll had a great time. The cupcakes look yummy!!!

It's so different here in the south - we don't call anything a beach - except where there's ocean! Reminds me of Michigan.


Noe @ ADELLA AVENUE said...

Thanks for such a great Chicago post. It sounds like its a trip full of places to see, shop, and good eats. It's funny that I've visited the outskirts, but have never got to spend more time there. I do love Sprinkles.. from time to time I make a pilgrimage to the Newport Beach one and let me tell you, there is no holding back. YUM!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Ahh, love Chicago. Did you stumble up Ethel's Chocolate Lounge by chance? I always hope to accidentally get locked in there overnight :)

Such a treat to stumble upon your blog! XOL

Christie said...

Alison, I so enjoyed these photos of Chicago...very timely, as we are going in October to see our dear friend who is doing a fellowship for Cook County! My daughters are so excited as they have heard it has the largest American Girl store!! Thanks for the tips on where to go! I enjoyed looking at your LOVELY home! I had to show my daughter as she LOVES horses! We could just step through the screen and curl up on the couch in the tack room! Just beautiful! Oh, your 'baby' is just beautiful, too!! Thanks for stopping by Three Pixie Lane! Christie

Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

Alison, what a wonderful way to end the summer....memories to last a lifetime! My son was in Chicago last week, flew out Friday night. He also stayed in the Gold Coast the Ambassador. SMALL WORLD! He LOVED Chicago....I got a text from him that said....."I can see myself living here..." I told him he may want to visit in the winter! lol He is home safe and starts his SENIOR year in college next week....

Your daughter is beautiful....

Lou Cinda