Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tales from The Windy City

Tomorrow I am off to Chicago, and I couldn't be more excited!

Living in Des Moines, we are very spoiled. We're perfectly centered around four major cities, one of them being one of the biggest cities in the world! DSM is about five hours west of Chicago, three hours north of Kansas City, two hours east of Omaha and four hours south of Minneapolis. This makes it so easy to get to things that we couldn't normally get to at home. I love it!

Growing up my family was not a "let's go the big city for vacation!" type people, we were more of the "let's go to the mountains and camp!" type of people. Both of my parents were raised in the midwest and almost as soon as they possibly could, they skipped town and headed west. Both ended up in Spokane, WA (heeelllo, mountains!) and then I magically appeared. Yes, magically. (ew, guys!)

So, that is the long winded way to say that growing up I did not visit Chicago once, even though we were SO CLOSE. Not once. The first time I visited Chicago was when I was 19 and freshly finished with my freshman year of college. That was when I met all of my best girlfriends that are still my girlfriends today. We were bored one summer, so, we decided to take a road trip to The Windy City!
{Us taking a break from shopping on Michigan for a quick photo opp with Abe.}

None of us were 21 and we hit some speed bumps upon arriving to Chicago and our pre-booked hotel. The very stoic hotel hostess (is that what they're called?) refused, absolutely REFUSED, to let us stay there because we were too young.


We looked at each other and didn't really know what to do. Chicago, you weren't impressing me.

Luckily, we found another hotel that gladly accepted the four of us (and our money) and we were no longer homeless in the big city. After that, we shopped. And ate. Then shopped some more. And I bought fake hair. Remember the fake hair craze? No, not extensions. The clip in kind. I kind of went gaga over that.

{This is a picture of a picture - excuse the flash! ;)}

I loved that thing. I wore it till it was too frizzy to wear anymore. One guy I was dating even thought it was real. (seriously?)

I did not correct him. (teehee)

Fast forward about three years later and I am graduating college and I've accepted a job with a company that had headquarters in Chicago. Each year we would have annual meetings there called The Princess Ball. Yep, you read right. An annual meeting with the entire company (probably about 150 people) called The Princess Ball. You know I was all over that.

The Princess Ball, was basically a week's worth of meetings, but one night we had dinner and an actual BALL. Yes, a ball. We dressed up and watched our colleagues get drunk. It was greeaaaat! I can safely say that I was NOT one of those colleagues. I enjoyed watching them!

In all fun, we were a great group and I miss them all very much!

{We always had the event at the same hotel, the Knickerbocker, and that light up dancefloor was enough to get everyone dancing - even me! }

Since that company closed, I have not been to Chicago. In fact, I was trying to remember the last time I was there and it was over five years ago!


Here's the last time I was there... five years ago and many different shades of hair color ago...

{That's me in the middle with the brown hair and being very theatrical... I cant tell I was about to laugh, if the picture would have clicked half a second later, I'm positive I would have been laughing. ;)}

So, on top of being excited to see some of best bloggers-turned-girlfriends, I get to visit a city that I really enjoy and has sentimental meaning to me!

Tomorrow, I will have a guest post from one of my very best friends, Miss Oakley! She's an IRL friend turned blogger and she couldn't be funnier! You all are really in for a treat, so make sure not to miss it. She is HILARIOUS! If you'd like to check out her blog, visit her at Observations of Miss Oakley!

What's your favorite city to visit? Have you ever been to Chicago?


Ashley said...

Ahh, have so much fun! I love Chicago! My first time visiting was Spring Break my junior year of college, so almost 7 years ago! It was March and still freezing cold, but I loved the city and had so much exploring!

Have a great weekend and tell the girls I said hi!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I've never seen you with darker hair like that - you can wear that color well, too! And my friend totally had the clip in hair piece as well!

I did'nt go to Chicago until my brother moved there. Then we would visit him on a yearly basis (usually) but wouldn't go into the city sometimes because he lives so far out in the suburbs. But I've spent more time in the city the last 3-4 years and absolutely love it. I was there 3 months ago and am so excited to return. I think it's such a fun city that is easy to get around/navigate (for me, at least). If I ever moved anywhere, it would be to Chicago!

See you in 1 sleep!!! :)

Stephany said...

Chicago is one of my "must see" cities. The biggest city I've been to is Orlando so I REALLY need to make my way out to more big cities. It's kinda ridic, ha.

Have the best time!!!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Have a GREAT time this weekend. Who am I kidding, I know you will!

I am hoping to come to Chicago in 2013 for the marathon!! I can't wait to visit, seems like an amazing city!

Nikki said...

I only live 2 hours away from Chicago and I don't get there nearly enough myself. It's been 3 years since I've been..eeek!

I hope you have tons of fun this weekend!

Anonymous said...

Have fun this weekend! I don't go there enough, and my family lives there! Stay warm, my mom says is super cold...but it's super cold here too so what's the difference??

This Miss Oakley character sounds like a mess.

TheUrbanUmbrella said...

Very cute post! Love the hair clip-in, it looks like that perfect barbie hair!! =)

The Urban Umbrella

Wiz said...

Watching coworkers get smashed is always great long as you dont end up the one smashed...which happened to me one time. Not too bad thankfully but I did catch hell from one of my managers for a few days until I think he took pity on my beet red face everytime he teased me!

Becky said...

Yay Chicago! (And P.S. - I'm leaving this comment while we're here - ha!)

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Oh I LOVE Chicago!!!!