We got fancy new phones for my birthday. I say we because they were buy one get one free so G got a pretty sweet birthday gift too. He did totally surprise me which was fun! Chicago was the only thing on his weekend calendar - NO WORK! yay!
Its a seven hour drive from Columbia to Chicago so we left mid-afternoon with the goal of getting in town in time for dinner and a drink.
And we did! We rolled into town around 830. Aren't the lights pretty? We scrambled into our hotel (got for cheap on priceline!) and got dressed.
We got some good Chicago style pizza for dinner and walked around downtown, got a drink and headed in for the night.
Saturday morning we slept in and walked to a breakfast spot recommended to us by friends. IT WAS DELICIOUS! Then we headed back to the downtown area to walk along Michigan Avenue and see where the day took us.
Well the day ended up VERY rainy and windy which forced us to do a little shopping and not as much sightseeing as we had hoped. In the end we decided to duck into a bar for a late afternoon drink and break from the rain. We ended up having so much fun there! We were sat at this 'community table' with several other patrons. Across from us was a couple that we started talking to. They were in for the weekend from the suburbs for a break from their kids and were lots of fun to chat with. Then we fell in love with a beer so we just stayed and kept talking to people. There was another couple who sat by us from San Diego who were telling us to just 'take the leap' to have babies. It was so fun!
After three beers and lots of good conversation we headed back to the room and got ready for dinner. Grant was taking a bit to get dressed so I entertained myself with pictures. I really like getting all bundled up and loved getting to wear my knee high boots!
Our only bad meal of the trip was to a Thai place for dinner. I wasn't impressed, but we still had fun and they made a great mango martini. We decided to walk down Michigan Ave again to see the lights at night and headed to the John Hancock building for a drink on the 96th floor. The view wasn't as great as you'd think because it was cloudy, but it eventually cleared up and we very much enjoyed being there together. The next morning we woke up to LOTS OF SNOW! This should have been a clue to us to start freaking out. It wasn't. We just went about our morning - heading to another AMAZING breakfast spot. Check out their food...it was so good and fun because we sat at the bar so we got to watch them throw everything together for the Sunday morning rush.
And this is the last fun part of the weekend. We were about to check out of the hotel and visit the Natural HIstory museum and get a classic Chicago hot dog before hitting the road. BUT then we started getting word about how bad the roads were and decided we should probably start our trek home. WE HAD NO IDEA what we were getting ourselves into....
There was lots of clear road for about an hour outside Chicago. Then we starting hitting whiteout conditions like on the left. It was fine... just go slow and all will be okay. Then there was a 5+ car pile up that left us stranded for two hours in the middle of the interstate. Then we got going again and were good for about 45 minutes. We should have took the advice of that road sign and stopped while we were ahead. Because before we knew it, we hit black ice, spun a few times and landed in a ditch on the side of the road. SCARY! luckily there were no other cars around and Grant is good at keeping cool in those situations (me..I was screaming). We called a tow truck. Waited an hour. Got pulled out. Started driving and went about 10 feet before we slid right back into the ditch. The roads were just way too bad. We had asked to be towed into town the first time we slid, but the tow guy wouldn't tow us that far (15 miles) which was frustrating. Luckily a cop had been right there when we slid again and told the tow guy to take us all the way into the nearest town. SUCH a nightmare. We ended up getting the last room and were able to settle down for the night. The next morning (monday) the roads were much better and we were able to weigh down the back of the truck with sand bags and made it all the way home safely. The bummer was that I had to work that night in STL! So I had an hour after we got home to shower, pack, and GET BACK IN THE CAR to drive all the way to STL. I was not pleased, but that is just life for us right now. Do you think we have a black cloud over our heads? At least three people I told this story to said, "its always something with you guys" WTF! I'm ready for calm, normal, easy!