Friday, October 22, 2010
Turns out it was a great year to go too since this year Ryan got it paid for so we lived it up and stayed in the new Trump hotel - one of the tallest buildings in the U.S. and super swanky. I think it was the reward for the one of the first winners of The Apprentice to oversee it's development. We even had super posh bathrobes and slippers - although with the monogrammed TRUMP right on my feet I sort of felt like I was sneaking into the slippers of Donald himself every night. It even had a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and everything. Tons of mood lighting (I was very fond of that since I always think I look nasty in fluorescent hotel lighting), buttons for everything, and $25 blinged out bottled waters available.
And I was just about to say, hmm, the only hotel I may have stayed in that was nicer than this was one in Malaysia that had tv screens inlaid in the bathroom mirror. Until I realized, oh, this one does too.
I did some good shopping the first day I was there until Ryan was off work and then we went out for some Chicago-style deep dish pizza and swung by some lounge with people from work for a while. The next day while Ryan was at a conference I figured it would actually be more economically efficient for me to pay 29 bucks to go sit on a sightseeing bus all day than for me to be roaming free....which would of course mean more shopping. I made the mistake of getting off at one little stop on the tour...on the Magnificent Mile of course with an H&M right there, and well, I'm only by an H&M once every few years. And then I was reminded that they have a maternity section while I was hunting around for a bathroom, and while a tiny maternity section, it packed a good punch, and well... my economic efficiency theory went out the window.
That night we went to a work party at the Ritz Carlton, then off to another dinner at some French Vietnamese place. And on to another after party at some other hotel after that.... Really, it turned out to not be as restful a trip as I thought it might be what with all the late night partying, early morning trips to the airport, and my aching body from all the walking.
The next day Ryan ditched the conference and we took an architectural boat tour (I loved both the tours I took and learned a ton of interesting facts).
A few of my favorite buildings were both right by our hotel - the Wrigley Building (left).
And the Chicago Tribune building (right).
This one was especially cool because inlaid around the building are various mismatched pieces - a piece from the Taj Mahal, a piece from the Forbidden City in Peking, a piece from Pompei, a piece from the pyramids, and on and on from various historical places around the world - even a piece from the moon.
We then ate our way through everything authentically Chicago that we hadn't tried yet - ate a Chicago dog, an Italian beef sandwich, and another version of Chicago-style pizza.
All the rich Chicago history made me love seeing pictures like this around too.
Then we stopped at at the Merchandise Mart - the largest public building in the world (just smaller than the Pentagon, but the Pentagon isn't a public building) and looked over the free Luxe home show that was going on. I've decided I love this type of kitchen:
While I really like the clean look of more modern-looking kitchens and I love dark woods the most, I've realized I love the ambiance created by a really warm-looking kitchen. To me it seems really homey and inviting and says come chat with me in the kitchen while we make dinner; bring your friends home and don't worry about getting your finger prints all over the stainless steel appliances.
That night we went over to the John Hancock building (another one of the tallest in the city) and went to a lounge up top with amazing views of the city. Even the bathrooms had the same views.
Then we had a 10:30pm reservation for dinner (I know, that's so weird to me) at a place called the Girl and the Goat - apparently owned by a girl who was a winner of Top Chef (Stephanie - maybe from season one? That's supposed to be her in the picture although I hear it doesn't look like her). Cool and chic place, with a totally funky menu:
That's right, roasted pig face. And lots of goat parts and tongues and livers and other strange animals and body parts that you don't normally eat. (And no, I wasn't a big fan of the pig face - strange now that I think about it, I really do love pig in most any form....)
Anyhow, it made for yet another very late night and a wake up call at 5am to get to the airport and back to my sick, disobedient and screaming children. Aaahhhh. Really, I have a hard adjustment getting back to real life. Either my kids get out of whack when I'm gone or I just forget for a few days how demanding they are and how much they can scream and cry and not listen to anything I say!! At least while we're away all we seem to remember is how cute they are and the funny things they say that we miss. I guess I should go away more often. :) (And yes, I realize I have a pretty good track record of this lately, with another childless trip to L.A. coming up next month.) Thanks to my mom who was brave enough to watch all three crazy kids. I'm sure she was reminded of how her life once was and wondered what she must have done wrong to have to be going through it again. :)