How long has it taken me to put this up? Too long! But I've been really busy working on a lot of really great things, and I wanted to do this justice because this trip really meant a lot to me.
So in October I traveled to Chicago to watch my best friend get married. A little background for those of you who don't know (or don't remember): Sara was my flatmate in Dublin. We went to UCD together, explored the country together, and ultimately liked each other enough to remain friends to this day.
I arrived in to Chicago in the evening. Which let me tell you, is the most amazing thing ever, because I'm used to the reverse where I arrive into Dublin at 8am and have to stay up allll day long to get used to the time zone. This time around, I only had to stay up for a few hours! Heck. Yes. In the end, I stayed up until nearly midnight because I was so excited to see Sara and meet her family for the first time. The next morning we explored Chicago city. It was so different from any city I've been in before. The skyscrapers just didn't end. And we were always close to some body of water. Which I'm a huge fan of.
We of course had to play tourist. Along with the hundreds of other tourists at the bean.
The weather was insanely nice while I was there. It was in the 70's and 80's most days with off and on sun. It was like a summer vacation, coming from Ireland!
There were so many hidden little nooks and crannies that were to die for gorgeous. I could've spend a whole week just walking around finding fun places in the city!
Since it's the two of us, we had to stop for food. We got some nachos and snagged some seats with a view to people watch while we ate.
Something I really loved about Chicago was how recognizable brands were made ornate and extraordinary. I mean, how gorgeous is the Macy's ceiling??! Or this McDonald's sign of all things?!
I even stumbled across this old abandoned building. Just my cup of tea. ☕️
It also came with some of the most cheerful graffiti I've ever seen!
Now to the good part: the Riverwalk. It was the perfect weather for a walk along the river.
Until we came across this monstrosity. ☹️
Next up was a trip to the Navy Pier. Through the creepy underground.
The jet lag was strong. So we laid out on a bench and got a little sun. This seagull watched us the entire time.
Also on the list for Chicago was deep dish. Holy moly. It was so good but so so filling.
Then it was time for some more walking.
And, as a little treat for all of the walking, some Garrett's.
Then it was time to head back. This time we sat on the top of the train. They were pretty old-fashioned, which was fun as a novelty, but strange to think that it's used by so many commuters.
After a day of fun, it was down to business getting ready for the wedding. I tagged along to to her hair appointment, where we made friends with a very scrappy looking dog who just wanted love. She kept jumping up on my lap, keeping me company during the haircuts.
We also had some DIYs- wait til the end of the post to see the finished products!
In between all of our hard work, we took some walks to get our legs moving and take a few breaks. The town was like Stars Hollow. So tiny and cute and everyone decorated for Halloween.
Instead of regular street lamps, they had old gas lamps. Super cute? Yes. Practical? Heck no, it was nearly pitch black at night!
They also had a lot of historical houses, marked with numbers on the sidewalk, like this one with the funky roof.
This house was my personal fave:
The time flew, and it was quickly time for the bachelorette party. Sara opted for a spa day in the city, which was the perfect treat.
We grabbed some brunch, then headed off for some time in the steam room and hot tub before our manis and massages.
When we were all relaxed, we of course had to find some yummy food. So w went to Cheesie's for some gourmet grilled cheese.
It was finally time to check out the venue and get ready for a WEDDING!
It was bright and early, but there were donuts and tunes to get us through the morning.
The glam "after" shots:
The head table was gorgeous & smiley. I'm so glad to have met & spent time with all of these wonderful people!
Now, just a few photos from Sara's wedding photographers, Nate Dotson and Mack Julion, so you can see the beautiful finished product.
I may not have gotten to make a formal speech between Danes, but I'll say this now:
I met Sara on my first day in Dublin. Admittedly, I hated her for the first few hours, because I woke up to a lot of banging on the door, only to open it and find Sara impatiently waiting behind to barrel through. It says a lot that years later, she's my best friend. Sara has provided me with so much encouragement, wisdom, and inspiration since we met. Before her, I hadn't even considered the possibility of living in another country. That seemed like something in a movie, not something that was within my realm of possibilities. She's given me courage to conquer my fears and take life on full-force, even when I feel like napping instead. And best of all, she's always there to throw on a comfy t-shirt, pop open a bottle of rosé, and laugh our butts off. I'm so glad that I was able to be a part of her special day. We've explored 3 countries together so far, and I can't wait to see what's in store for our adventurous future.