12.07.2012

love, architecture, and heartbreak in Chi-Town

chicago

Before Thanksgiving we took a weekend trip to Chicago for our friend Sarah's wedding, who we hadn't seen in ages. And while we were in town we made the most of it, packing in as much as possible in 2.5 days, rekindling a forgotten love of the city.

chicago

We hopped off the plane at 9 a.m. Friday morning, were reminded how just plain nice Midwesterners are as we rode the rental car shuttle, and by 10 a.m. were on our way to Wrigley Field. After a few photos and a walk around the park we headed downtown, where we spent the rest of our day hitting architectural high points (Millenium Park, future site of the Sasaki riverwalk project, the top of Sears Willis Tower..) as well as gastronomical high points (Frontera Grill).

chicago
chicago
chicago

Sarah and John's Saturday afternoon wedding was beautiful. Sarah, who converted to Catholicism a few years ago, made sure it was Protestant-friendly. I loved catching glimpses of Sarah and John's relationship from the viewpoints of friends and family, since Sarah and I have been maintaining our now long-distance friendship solely via email correspondence for the past several years.

After the ceremony we had a few hours to kill until the reception. Based on a helpful local attractions list provided by the happy couple, we headed towards the All Chocolate Kitchen. Ian, however, upended these plans after glimpsing a Frank Lloyd Wright house out of the corner of his eye. He yelled, pulled into the next driveway, and turned around so we could take a closer look.

the ravine house
the ravine house
"That's a Frank Lloyd Wright!! We're stopping!" #notacreeperjustanarchitect #forsale @scherling200

We made a slow journey around the exterior as Ian examined every detail. Thanks to our handy iPhones, we ascertained it was the Mrs. A.W. Gridley House, aka Ravine House, which had been on the market for almost four years and was sitting unoccupied. (I just found out it was sold less than two weeks after our visit!)

While we are confessing nothing, we might have discovered the doors were unlocked. And we might have regretted not taking advantage of the opportunity to examine an architectural gem up close. And we might have wandered around the house (after several knocks and yelled hellos generated no response) while I panicked about possible silent alarms and imagined the police were descending upon the house while we were oblivious to our impending trespassing arrest.

After Ian had his fill of architecture history, we continued on to All Chocolate Kitchen and sipped hot cocoa and ate chocolates while glancing over our shoulders.

Finally, we headed to the reception. After a minor setback thanks to Siri misdirecting us to the middle of a quiet residential neighborhood, we were congratulating Sarah and John. We made our way to the Chronicles of Narnia table (loved the book theme!), where we swapped Sarah stories with her Chicago friends. I can't express how much I appreciated seeing Sarah, meeting John, and catching up in person. We wouldn't have missed sharing in their big day.

chicago

The next morning, Ian wouldn't allow me to wallow in our beloved Wildcat's loss to Baylor and dashed national championship hopes, which we had witnessed via ESPN iPhone app on our drive back to our hotel. (I am baffled we couldn't pick up the game on AM; we weren't that far away from EMAW land. And fellow Wildcats, I fully accept my share of the blame: we weren't watching in Boston, and I wasn't wearing my Powercat necklace.)

So we headed back to the city for a morning at Navy Pier followed by deep dish pizza. It did the trick, getting my mind off our purple heartbreak.

chicago
one last Chicago photo from today. #navypier #ferriswheel #aaaaaaaahhhhhh
chicago

We were cutting it close, but after lunch we detoured to Eli's Cheesecake. A box of Eli's cheesecake dippers sent on dry ice for my 19th birthday was the first gift Ian ever gave me (my dad pronounced "he's serious."). We shared a cheesecake bite then raced to the airport and just made our flight.

chicago

We were back in Boston by 8 p.m. Sunday night. I still can't believe how quick and easy it is to get to Chicago, and now that Ian remembers it's one of his favorite cities, we might find our way back more often. (That's a warning, Sarah and John!)
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