Chicago, Day 1: Sunday, July 10

We got up before 6 am so that we could leave by 8 am. Eric and I were both able to get showers and get ready before Anya woke up. After loading the rest of the stuff into the car and eating some breakfast, we were off. Unfortunately, our GPS did not know about the construction and closures right outside of Chicago so we drove around in circles for awhile until we figured out exactly how to get into the city. We finally pulled in around 3 pm. We got the car sent to the valet for parking and checked into our hotel. The nice part about our hotel room was that we had a 1-bedroom suite, meaning that we could put Anya to bed in her pack and play in the bedroom and then we could hang out in the living room until we were ready for bed. We also had free breakfast and free internet. We were on the 11th floor and had wall to wall windows in parts of the room so that we had a great view of other buildings. While we were there, Anya loved standing up at the window and looking out at the city below.

Once we got settled in, we ventured out to explore the Magnificent Mile, even though it was pretty hot out. We stopped to see some street performers who were dancing in the street, which was pretty neat to see. We were also lucky enough to meet up with Tricia, a friend of mine from grad school who lives in Chicago. She, her husband, and her son met us downtown and walked with us for awhile. Tricia was 9 months pregnant and her due date was the following day. (She actually ended up having her daughter the day after meeting us.) When we got hungry, we headed for Giordano’s for some Chicago-style deep dish pizza. We had decided that we were going to try 2 different pizza places during the week we were there and we kept hearing about Giordano’s and Lou Malnati’s. We had stuffed mushrooms, garlic bread, and deep dish pizza. The pizza was pretty good but not quite as good as I had hoped, though overall it was a good meal.

After dinner, we walked around a bit longer but then went back to the hotel. Anya was up really late because she didn’t want to go to sleep. I think she knew we were on vacation and wanted to stay up with us so she wouldn’t miss anything. We ended up walking her up and down the street at like 10:30 in the evening to try to make her sleepy. We walked around for about 15 minutes before the people started to look kind of shady and then came back to the room. Anya wasn’t completely asleep, but she had at least calmed down a little and was able to fall asleep. It was a pretty good day, other than getting Anya to sleep, and we were excited for an entire week to spend in such a beautiful city.

More to come about our week as time allows…

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