Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Visit to Chicago... so Far!

So yesterday was a fantastic day for me here in Chicago - my first day out! Enjoy my 'photo journal' below!!
Yay! Time to go out and see the big city. Notice i'm not wearing my boot - yes - my foot is now normal size and tan again rather than purply red! I'm so pumped!!!! (not pumped enough to go to the hotel gym... but more on that later!)
So i'm staying at the amazing, amazing Conrad. Seriously - i love it here. I go to the concierge at 9:45 a.m. (stores open at 10 a.m.) and tell her I want to go shopping and ask for advice. She pulls out a map and shows me the different areas, but mostly she's like and if you get in that elevator (points 30 feet away) there's 4 stories of shopping just below us - if you hit 'Michigan Avenue' there's more... we're connected to Nordstorm. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Jackpot. I get on the magical elevator to my own personal heaven...
I land here, at a cafe outside Nordstrom. Love how you can see the city - so pretty!
This is the 4-story mall I walk through to get to Michigan Avenue.... awesome. I actually haven't even shopped in here yet, I was so ready to get outside!

My first picture outside in Chicago! I was still kind of trying to conceal my camera and look like a cool-non-tourist so it's a little low.... but yay - i've arrived!
Love it - a Gap on one corner and behind me is a Forever 21.... the FLAGSHIP. Oh no....
More pretty buildings and I LOVE the landscaping here. They're trying to make Atlanta more like this on Peachtree and i'm so glad - it's lovely!
So yeah.... the Forever 21 is HUGE. I mean two stories with elevators/escalators - EVERYTHING on their site in every color and every size.... DANGEROUS. I had a lot of luck here (who wouldnt'?) and just loved the store - LOVED IT. I just went out to Google to tell you guys the square footage and two bloggers reported that it's THREE stories not two... so I may go back during a break today! Can't find anything about the exact size, but it is like numerous rooms (some sunken) with their own personalities (some bright/happy, some vintage, some animal print, and clearly above I was in some twilightesque forest... love it). A sweet staffer told me to go around the corner to Luxe Cafe... loved it... might thank her if she's working when I go back to find this mysterious third level!!
Um, yeah.... here's where I was seated. 2-tops all along the windows at the corner of Michigan and Ontario. Fantastic.

Yeah it gets higher - it was at least 30 feet of windows.....

Up to this funky, fun ceiling! Love it! I ordered grilled halibut, asparagus and mushrooms (and a diet coke!). This is what they brought me....
HOLY POTATOES! I didn't order you. I JUST had to avoid a bread basket and now you're giving me 4 cups of carbs! So I tried to be good....
In the end I focused on the mushrooms, asparagus and fish... and had a few florets... and several bites of the sweet potatoes. NO regular potatoes though.... yes I know i'm amazing. haha
This is it from the outside!! I was in that circular thing.... and had no idea I was above Ann Taylor!! Wish i could shop but it's time to drop off the loot and get to the reason i'm here... the Folio Show!
One more shot of luxe...
And another random building shot. Now I don't care who sees me - hopped up on 2 diet cokes!

Look at my loot! Two sweater dresses (yes, same style different colors - one is gray and one purple!). Love them though - perfect length, have ruffles, have POCKETS (i'm dress-pockets obsessed), fit great. Now look at that sweater - it ties with a ribbon! It fits well.... i'm in love!
I did it... I bought skinny jeans! Figured investing $20 at XXI was better than $220 at Blue Genes by my house. IF I like them i'll consider going designer... but time will tell. I also got mustard and navy cute tees (only $12 each! a fab find) and I LOVE that top on the left. Can wear it to work and in the winter i'll layer a black fitted long-sleeved tee under it....
So the left is a purple knit/sweater dress- yay for color pops! The middle is that pretty purplu blue i'm all over - it ties in the back - great for work and out. The two to the right are again same style/different colors. One is blue for Auburn games and the other is gray/black for every other day. The fit so good - love the fitted bottoms and big cowl necks. And only $11.50 - I kid you not! Can't wait to wear them!
Time to go to the folio show!!!!!!! I'm on the editorial track to learn tips on how to engage readers, get user generated content, etc. The show was great and in my session was this guy typing all of his notes on a laptop.... a kindred spirit!! He (Paul) was super nice, from Lacrosse Magazine, just got engaged, had never been to Chicago, was traveling with two women, invited me to tag along because I was alone! Nicest ever! So we walk to the reception and meet his two co-workers Kira and Gabriella - LOVE THEM! They were all super chatty and fun. They were like "come on- we're 2 Greeks and an Italian - you're NOT eating alone!" haha I had a great time at the reception getting to know them. We closed it down and then set a meeting place for dinner (in 20 minutes!). I ran back to the hotel, changed dresses, brushed my teeth, talked to Sweet Austin and met them back at the Mariott (which they said didn't sound nearly as nice as the Conrad where i'm at... yay Austin you're th e best!)

They had their hearts set on Chicago style pizza and had heard of this place.... I didn't have the Chicago but did have the thin crust veggie and it was good. It's crazy here - our wait was 40 minutes but you pre-order your pizza so w hen you sit it's there in 5!
Here are two of my new friends! They live in Baltimore. Gabriella (on left) is an idential twin (people who know me know I love twins and always seem to cross paths with them!) and just celebrated her year-anniversary in August. She's so cute and tiny - i'd already noticed her at the conference because of her cute top, jeans and bag! Kira has been married for 19 years and has 4 kids - 3 boys and a girl. Her stories about them were awesome! She seems like a really cool, great parent. Below is Paul - how I got in the group!! He's Jewish/Greek and is engaged to Christine. He's editor at their publication and is totally this crazy organized, gets-everything-together kind of person. Him and Gabriella are like brother and sister - she calls him dad because he's so on top of stuff. Hilarious! They're all just awesome and i'm SO glad i had them!
Yay! Check out that Chicago pizza.... whoa.... see the little thin one off to the side... yeah - I had 4 pieces of it! (2"x3" pieces) - veggie! By now we had reception drinks in us and two drinks from the pizza place... but wanted one more!
We walked around and ended up at Pizzerina Uno because they had outdoor seating. Our waiter was SUCH an asshole, but thankfully we didn't have to talk to him much. I had one glass of wine here.
After that we called it a night at 10:30. They all walked me to my hotel - so sweet! I got upstairs and called Austin -he'd been playing poker with his best friend. He placed 4th in the tournament! He's really good and I was super proud of him!

K- I need to get in the shower now and pack and get to the Folio show!! My egg white omelette is coming at 9 a.m. (with a diet coke). I can't wait!!!!


Big Pissy said...


LOVE LOVE LOVE all the clothes!

I must say that sweater that ties with the big bow is my personal favorite. But it'll all look awesome on you! :)

So glad you had a great experience in Chicago. :)

fittingbackin said...

:) I love it, too! You can borrow if you want!!

Yes- such a blast - going to try to upload more pics tomorrow night!!

Big Pissy said...

Awwwww.....thanks! :)

can't wait to see the rest of the pictures! :)

fittingbackin said...

:) Of course! Yes - i'm on it!

fittingbackin said...

:) Of course! Yes - i'm on it!