Wednesday, December 23, 2009

3 Days of Pampering, Exploring, and Winter Weather. . . Day One

Greg and I just got back from three wonderful days in Chicago. For Christmas, he got us a room at the Palmer House downtown, and arranged for his mother to come and babysit for us. It was a spectacular gift, and we've decided to make this a yearly tradition, if we can arrange it. The city is so beautiful around Christmastime. I loved the lights and the music and the food. Oh, the food. . .

It was, however, very cold. I suppose the actual air temperature was in the high 20s or low 30s (F), but the wind was strong and the sky kept randomly spitting us with rain, sleet, and snow. I react to this by walking a little more slowly so as to not irritate my asthma, but Greg speeds up. Thus we spend much of our time with me walking four to ten feet behind him down the streets of Chicago.
Backing up a bit, I started out Monday by going into the spa while Greg was at work. My mom and stepdad watched Nick, and I had an afternoon to myself. I received a generous Christmas gift from a family I tutor for, with orders to spend the money on myself. I had the best experience at a place called Prima Nails in Carol Stream. I had a manicure, pedicure, and an eyebrow wax, and it felt so nice to pamper myself a little. Then I went to a salon across the street called Gossip, and the stylist (Olga) gave me a new hairdo. She did a great job, but I'm not sure if I'll keep it straight or not. I have the kind of hair that is more curly than straight, and it took her awhile to get my hair to look like this. If you have an opinion on whether I should go curly or straight, I'd love some input. I took the above picture in our fancy hotel room.
I loved the Palmer House. It was classic and gorgeous and impressive. We got a really good deal on expedia. It was divine to get away and spend some time alone with my husband. Below you can see a picture of my husband enjoying a $14 glass of Pinot Noir. Hey, you've gotta enjoy yourself on vacation. And this was a mini-vacation for us. We didn't really go anywhere this year, what with having a baby and all. The whole experience kind of reminded me of our honeymoon in Paris. I had forgotten that one of the reasons I love my husband so much is that we both enjoy the same things when we travel. Good food, a little history, a little art, and an afternoon nap. Here are some pictures of our hotel room. It was comfortable and luxurious.

For dinner our first night, we went to The Berghoff, which was very close to our hotel. Our concierge recommended it as a Chicago must. I'm so glad we went, because it was so different from most restaurants we go to. Greg and I both love trying different types of restaurants and eating well. I can't remember the last time I went to a German place. The food was pretty delicious, and the decorations were grand. Greg had a sausage trio, and I had a roast beef with veggies. The service was lightning fast, too. We walked around the city more after dinner, and stopped at a fancy place called Trattorio 10 for dessert. It's nice to go into fancy places and just have coffee and dessert. We didn't have any place to be, and we could stay up late eating tiramisu and drinking coffee and Kahlua, knowing that we could sleep as late as we wanted. :)

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