{chicago adventures}

Thursday night I returned from a week long work trip to Chicago, what an exciting city! A few years ago I had the opportunity to go to one of the suburbs for a weekend conference, but didn’t get the chance to go into the city so I was greatly looking forward to seeing Chicago for the first time! A direct flight from Manhattan to O’Hare makes for a very convenient and efficient travel experience. I arrived and hit the ground running!

Upon travel to my first destination in the city, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my event was right by Wrigley Field! I love seeing different baseball stadiums, so this was such a treat.

wrigley fieldUpon arriving at my hotel for the night the next evening, I decided that a Chicago pizza delivery would be the perfect dinner while I sat down to watch the new season of The Amazing Race. Fast forward 30 minutes later, there was a Giordano’s pizza at my door. So tasty!

pizza

Saturday brought a trip to Navy Pier for an event. What a neat place! I intentionally gave myself an extra few hours before it kicked off so I could enjoy breakfast on the Pier before the crowds arrived. I am so happy for this, it was nearly empty! I snapped this view about 8:30 AM as the Pier began to come alive. I could’ve sat on the bank for hours.

skyline navy pier

navy pier sign

After I was done with my planned schedule for the day, it was time to head out to explore! I hopped in a cab and left for 360 Chicago at the Hancock Building. I purchased my ticket the day before and selected the FASTPASS option. If visiting this attraction, I’d recommend this option as it allowed me to have virtually no wait time to get to the top. A quick elevator ride to the top brought me to the observatory.

lake view 1 lake shore drive city view 2

As the name suggests, you get a view of the city from all angles, so cool! I was thankful for a clear day to get to see everything. After enjoying the view, I ventured back down to Michigan Avenue to continue my adventure. I walked down Michigan Ave. for the next few hours, meandering through shops and sights. This beautiful church is right outside John Hancock Center, I had to snap a few pictures of the lovely architecture.

church 1 church 2 church 3

I made my way to The Shops at North Bridge on Michigan Ave, stopping in Charming Charlie and Nordstrom. After several hours on my feet, it was time to take a break! I grabbed a bite to eat at Nordstrom Cafe and strategized my plan for where the rest of the day would take me. Knowing that I was near a Garrett Popcorn, I thought I’d swing by. Gosh, it is the best!

garrett

I knew there would be a line, but wow! There was definitely a line. I pondered if I wanted to wait, and decided to just go to the Navy Pier location instead. I walked a bit more and decided to head back to the Pier. This girl was beat! I drove back to my hotel as the sun set over the city.

Sunday brought a trip up to Milwaukee for an event. It was at the Wisconsin Center in downtown, a very lovely building.

wisconsin center

On my way back to the hotel at the end of the day, I kept seeing signs for this place called “Mars’ Cheese Castle.” I decided “Why not!?!” Boy am I glad I stopped. 1) I was really hungry. 2) I love different cheeses. 3) See #1. When in Kenosha, Wisconsin, add this to your must-stop list!

mars

The upcoming week flew by, and before I knew it, it was Thursday and it was time to come home. Unfortunately, between Mother Nature and a recent issue with area airports, it made for a long day/night at O’Hare! With flight traffic problems, all flights being grounded due to lightning and waiting for crew to arrive, my flight was delayed several hours.

I found a few wonderful members of the K-State family to spend the wait with. I was so thankful that through the delays and frustrated surroundings, we were able to find laughter and humor in the situation. K-State is a special place, even in an airport.

popcorn

Remember that Garrett Popcorn I mentioned earlier? It became my go-to snack during the wait!

takeoff

About 10:30 PM, we were in our plane and homeward bound to Manhattan. With flights getting cancelled all around us all evening, I was so happy to be on the plane, no matter what time it was!

What a fantastic week it was! I am really looking forward to going up to the city again with my family, there is so much to see and do! As I expand on my “Chicago to-do” list, I’d love to hear your suggestions. Where are some of your favorite places to visit, eat at or explore?

best, courtney

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