Photo Diary: Chicago at Christmastime

Short but sweet.  I was in Chicago for less than 24 hours, but it was packed with activity and a great getaway.  And all at Christmastime (with surprisingly good weather for Chicago)!

We started our night at the Skydeck in Willis Tower.  We paid $24 for each ticket and zoomed up the 103 floors in a speedy elevator.  It was a bit dizzying but worth it.  Tall buildings are neat, but they’re all pretty much the same, right?  Wrong.  I enjoyed the Skydeck more than the Empire State Building because you could look right underneath your feet.  We had 60 seconds to get pictures in the little cube overlooking the city.  Although the photographer took professional photos we could buy for an outrageous price, he also took some on my phone, which was much appreciated.  The walls had facts about Chicago and the building, which attracts 1.6 million visitors per year!

I’d read about this spot on Moderately Excited, and my interest was piqued.  I sure do love France and all things French, but I’m weak for Italian food.  The sweet aroma of bread met my nose and tastebuds the moment I stepped inside this Italian market-meets-grocery store-meets restaurant.  We dined at La Pizza & La Pasta, and this is sincerely the best gluten-free pizza I’ve ever had.  I ordered the Margherita Rustica Pizza .  The sour crust, soft crust and rich flavors meant it was gone in a matter of minutes.

The rest of the establishment had different counters for meat, cheese and pasta.  It reminded me of the markets I shopped at in Toulouse.

I haven’t been to Chicago for many years, and most of those memories center around Michigan Avenue.  It was all aglow for the holidays, and I was giddy as a child as I took in the storefronts and lights.  I took a waltz down memory lane when I walked into the American Girl Place just minutes before it closed.  And that easily was one of my favorite memories from this trip.  At age 8, I made the pilgrimage to buy my first doll with my good friend and our moms.  We ate with our dolls at the Doll Cafe and dressed them in hotel robes.  We’ve spent an astounding amount of money on American Girl dolls over the years, but I’ve also spent a large amount of time playing with them.  Ahh, sweet nostalgia!

The Nob Hill Chill shake I ordered at the Ghirardelli store satisfied my addiction to fudge.  (My mouth literally just salivated writing that sentence.)  Dipping into Zara reminded me of my summer in France.  (Note: this store is way less expensive in France.)  This trip wasn’t long, but I take any and every chance I can to travel.  

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