Stange Family Vacation Summer 2017 | Chicago

September 2, 2017

If you've already been to my Facebook page, you've seen that I spent an entire 18 minutes and 20 seconds describing our family vacation and sharing some stories from the amazing three weeks! That, and some of my UNBELIEVABLE Xanadu vocals. ;P

Our first stop was Chicago! Andrew served an LDS mission there back in 2007 and 2008 so it was really neat for him to be able to go back and visit his old stomping grounds. We even ran into some current missionaries and they were able to update him on the status of the mission today. That actually might have been my favorite part of the trip... Had it not been for the deep dish pizza.

We did the tri-fecta of deep dish Chicago Pizzas and I can definitely say that it completely lives up to the hype! We tried Gino's East, Giordano's, and Lou Malnoti's. My favorite was Gino's East for sure. The crust there is PERFECTION. It has the texture of a cookie, but tastes like pizza dough. Uh-may-zing.

Sunday was probably my favorite day. We got in that morning and spent the rest of the day exploring the city together, mostly walking up and down Magnificent Mile and experiencing the big city life.

Monday was our anniversary and I spent the day exploring and shopping (that's when I found FOUR curtains for $10!) Then that night we went out to probably the fanciest restaurant I've ever been to, Smith and Wollensky, which is right on the river and had the most DELICIOUS Shrimp Bisque ever. Soooooo good. Then our waiter bought us dessert because it was our anniversary (New York Cheescake. Mmmmm...)

There are SO MANY PEOPLE in the city! Businessmen, consumers, tourists, hobos, performers, and monks who will approach you with a smile and bracelets in hand that they give you in what seems like a sweet gesture of kindness until they give you a clipboard with a paper on it that says "donations." Sorry Alexa. There goes your $5 birthday money.

These guys were my favorite street performers!

The entire trip was FILLED with walking and one thing I regret is not having brought tennis shoes because by the end of day 2, my feet were KILLING me! Lucky for me, I had just purchased a pair of red Saltwater Sandals and they ended up being the most comfortable shoes of the trip and held me through! #notsponsored The weather was pretty good, too! I managed to stay mostly cool with jeans on every day. I think as long as you're in the shade, you're good.

Another highlight of the trip was the Cubs game we went to! I bought a Cubs hat that I eventually surrendered to Andrew because it was a size Large and looked better on him (it was on clearance!) It was really neat to be in one of the most iconic baseball stadiums in the world, even if the Cubs lost 2-0. :(

The "last" day in Chicago (I'll tell you why the quotations in a minute) I walked to Willis tower and took the elevator up to the top floor where I stood in a glass box and nearly died of terror! Haha! Then I did it again because I couldn't leave Willis Tower without even looking down while I was in the glass box!

Shortly after that, Andrew and I checked out of the hotel, hopped on the train (just kidding. The L-train is WAY scarier than Willis Tower), and made it to the airport where we discovered that our flight had been delayed a couple of hours due to inclimate weather. A couple hours passed and our flight was delayed again... Then cancelled. We had no where to go so we slept at the airport that night (not a pleasant experience) and planned to take another flight the next day. We got a flight to Houston that connected to San Diego (where Andrew's parent's were watching our children) but as soon as we got on the plane, we learned that it was having technical difficulties and we had to de-board. Still, it could've been worse. We could have had all our children with us! We finally caught a plane straight to San Diego about 28 hours after we arrived at the airport the day before. It felt so wonderful to be back and be reunited with our children and be out of anything with the word "air" in the title!

Chicago was a totally unforgettable experience. From the walking architectural tour where I saw the Iconic Chicago Theater to the Nutella Cafe, I'm so glad I got to experience it all with my main squeeze.

I'm so glad we chose each other 7 years ago and have been able to make so many memories together. There's nobody else I'd rather do that with than you. Love you, Andrew!!!


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