Chicago… what an amazing city! Although it felt like the cold windy air was constantly slapping me in the face with a sheet of ice, I had an amazing time! This was the first time I met Mariah’s family AND the first time the “L-bomb” was dropped. <– More to come on that event.
I flew in early in the morning for the New Year’s Eve weekend. Mariah invited me to spend New Year’s with her family since she spent Thanksgiving with mine. I was picked up by a beautiful woman who I hadn’t seen in person since my random Louisiana trip for work…
(Quick side note on that and how God set this up: The first time we met was at Thanksgiving 2013 and when we were both leaving my parents’ house that Sunday to head back to Baton Rouge for Mariah and for me to Montgomery, we told each other that we wished we could spend some more time together the upcoming week and that we didn’t have to wait until we’d see each other in January at AdvoCare Regional Success School in Atlanta. Well, I NEVER in nearly 6 years of practicing law at that point have had to cross state lines for work. Well, that Monday morning I got into work and was told that I had to drive to Louisiana, of all places, to interview two witnesses. WOW! I couldn’t wait to call her and let her know and she was as blown away as I was when I told her the news and as equally as excited.)
Back to the trip…We had a long list of sights to see and saw many that weren’t on our list as well, but before that we had to go get a rental car, which was da bomb diggity! We immediately fell in love with the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
From the airport we headed to Portillo’s for an early lunch. I was starving at the time because I had to get up at 3:45 a.m. to make it to the Birmingham airport on time. – By the way, at 4:25 a.m. a man at the gas station a couple miles from the airport opened my passenger door, began to sit down, and proceeded to tell me I was taking him to the airport too. Negative. Ain’t happening at 4:25 especially when he didn’t ask. – Portillo’s was awesome and “Chicago cheat meal #1.” We had the chance to catch up and plan out our weekend activities.
After dropping off everything at Mariah’s parent’s and meeting her family, we were still hungry. So we decided to have a late lunch too. Mariah’s favorite past time restaurant is Top Notch Beefburgers, A.K.A. “Chicago cheat meal #2.” 😉 It was worth it. We both ate very clean leading up to this hyped up event. All I heard about this place was how great it is, and it didn’t disappoint. It was delicious! After our meal I understood the story Mariah told me of when she ate an entire burger one time and then ordered another burger to-go “for her dad,” which she then confided in me that she devoured it.
We weren’t there too long before it snowed… and when it started, it didn’t stop until we left. It was UNREAL! We watched the tables on her back porch stack up with snow each day. Driving in that snow was quite eventful. It was funny to see how everyone in Chicago drove normal with piles of snow on the road as if it weren’t there when people down south would’ve caused a 1,000 car pile up on the interstate from 1/10 of the amount of snow. We also unload the shelves of grocery stores down here when we hear there’s a chance of light snow because it’s clearly Armageddon when that happens down south. I also blame the snow for making my shoes wet, which caused me to slip at the top of the stairs taking both myself and Mariah out on the way down. #embarrassing That’s not a good way to impress your future wife.
Our first long trip through the snow was to see The Blue Man Group for a date night. If you’ve never seen them then you’re missing out. Whichever big city they’re performing in near, get there and watch the show. They’re incredible! They’re also hilarious! I saw them once in New York, but Mariah never had. It was a great date night!
Our second long trip through the snow was after we picked up Candice to head to the Chicago Cultural Center. Mariah’s Dad was working there at the time and brought us in to show us around. To sum it up… that place has some serious culture! The pictures below are all from the Culture Center:
The Chicago Cultural Center was followed by The Bean at Millennium Park and lunch at Ditka’s. The Bean was soooooo cool! It’s so big that it’s hard to take a picture and capture the entire exhibit unless you’re pretty far away from it.
This all lead up to New Year’s Eve at Navy Pier! That place is HUGE!!! Once we got inside I felt like we were walking forever! Mariah and I went a couple night’s earlier to catch The Hobbit on the IMAX screen, but hadn’t walked through the entire building as we nearly did on New Year’s Eve. That was one of the best night’s of my life and was also the night that Mariah broke her near silence of her feelings for me. Again, I’ll explain that story later… you’re forewarned that you’ll want the tissues for it.
We had such an awesome night at Navy Pier with Candice and Blake and even hit up a photo booth before we left to head back to the hotel downtown. I couldn’t imagine the trip going any better than it did.