Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Anniversary Getaway to Chicago!!

Last February I saw that Dave Matthews was going on tour this summer with Tim Reynolds.  Last year, he had made a statement that after touring for 25 years, him and his band were taking a year off.  Now, you may not know this about me, but I am a HUGE DMB fan.  I've seen them in concert more times that I can remember (probably close to 20) and was so super duper excited when I heard this news.  Especially since we couldn't go to see them last summer due to a previous engagement.

So, when I saw he was touring, I told Jason that I didn't care which show we went to, but I wanted to go to one.  We normally go see him just north of Indianapolis but he wasn't playing that venue this year.  He was playing near Detroit, in Ohio, and in Chicago.  The Chicago dates were near our anniversary so we decided to make it a weekend trip to see Dave and celebrate our eighth anniversary!

And let me tell y'all.  We had the most amazing weekend!!  We did lots of walking, eating, and drinking.  It was the perfect weekend! 

We took off late Friday morning to take the train into Chicago and we, of course, arrived at the train station waaaaayyy earlier than we needed to be. 

(little fact about me: I am notoriously early for everything - I get anxiety just thinking I might be on time for something and not early.)

So, after I ran in and bought our tickets, we drove around to find a spot for some lunch.  We ended up at a "Mexican" restaurant.  I use " " when describing this place because it was the most Americanized Mexican restaurant I've ever been to.  I mean, Nelly was playing on the speaker
*insert eye roll emoji*

Anyhoo, the food was ok and they had margaritas so that was good.  Ha!  We just hoped that this was the worst meal that we'd have all weekend.  Thankfully, it was!


Many hours later, we arrived in Chi-Town!!!

We got off the train, headed to the hotel, unloaded and then headed out.  We were hungry and, more importantly, thirsty!  We walked a few blocks and found a great spot for a couple beers and some food.


We had learned on the train that it also happened to be Blues Fest in Chicago this weekend - which also happens to be the largest Blues Fest in the world.  Oh, and it's free!  It's held in Millennium Park so we headed that way.  Once we found it, we were thirsty....again!  Time for a pit stop :)


After our beer, we decided to walk through the park.  Most importantly, I wanted to see the infamous Bean.

WE FOUND IT!!


Okay, I'm probably going to get some haterade for this, but we just didn't get the draw to the bean....is it because it can make you look like an Oompa Loompa?


After the Bean fun was over, we decided to go grab a beer and enjoy some of the blues music.  Jason stopped by a merchandise tent and got a coozie and then we plopped down on the lawn and relaxed for a bit.  It was awesome!


After our beers were done, we headed out for a refill and to check out another stage.  There were so many different stages and things going on at Blues Fest!


Pretty soon, we were getting hungry so we headed out of the park to find a good spot to eat.  And, that's when I got it.  That's when I got the attraction to the Bean.  Just look at that skyline!


We found a little Mexican spot and enjoyed some delicious food and margaritas (have you noticed our margarita trend yet???)


After dinner we decided to walk to the Navy Pier.  The sky was beautiful!!

     


We made it to the Ferris wheel! 
No, we didn't actually ride the Ferris wheel.  Ferris wheels are not my idea of fun.  They're my idea of a panic attack :)

     

After walking around a bit, we were thirsty....again.  Time for another margarita!


After our margarita, we headed back to the hotel.  The sky was still gorgeous.  And after all that walking we really deserved a beer!

     

We spotted a little pizza joint and decided it was just what we needed!  Is there anything better than pizza after a night full of beer and margaritas?  The answer is no.  No there is not!


We finally got back to the hotel and, before heading up to our room, we stopped at the bar for a couple beers to go.  Once up at our room I took a (slightly blurry) picture of our view.


Then, it was time for tv, beer, and bed. 


Saturday morning I felt rough.  I may have indulged a little too much.  I didn't drink any water the night before and I know better!!  But it was nothing some fresh air, pancakes, and lots and lots of water couldn't fix.  After breakfast we decided to walk along the river.

     

After the river walk, we started heading back to the hotel.  We had heard chanting while down by the river so we figured we'd investigate.  Surprise, surprise.....it was a Trump rally.
(anytime we go to a big city we always seem to find a Trump rally.  We also saw one back in December when we went to Cleveland!)

     

The amusing part of it was that there was a MASSIVE group of anti-Trump supporters and maybe 6-8 pro-Trump supporters.  The anti group had a good amount of police surrounding them, but the pro group?  There was at least two police officers per every one supporter.  And the police had a blockade surrounding them.  Oh, and most of them wore bandanas on their face so you couldn't recognize them. 
Where is the eye roll emoji?  I REALLY need one right now.


After that excitement, Jason was ready for a....wait for it.....margarita!  I, on the other hand, was still recovering and was not ready for an alcoholic beverage.  So, I stopped at a Starbucks and got a Frappucino.  We got to the hotel, hopped up to the bar and sipped on our drinks.


We relaxed for a bit and Jason took a nap them we decided to head out for some lunch.  Thai food it was!  So yummy!!


We went back to the hotel to get cleaned up and ready for the concert.  I was finally feeling better so we decided to crack open the complimentary bottles of beer the hotel sent up for us for our anniversary. 


It was a long walk to the concert venue so we headed out and decided to grab a drink and a bite to eat.  I ordered a cocktail called In-Peach-Mint.  After what we witnessed earlier in the day, it seemed appropriate.  Haha!!


We had to walk through Millenium Park to get to the concert venue so we hung out there for a bit listening to some music.  Jason had a beer and kept chug-a-lugging water :)

While walking towards the venue, we walked by the Married with Children fountain!!  Complete with a rainbow.


We finally made it to the venue and oh my goodness.  What a perfect spot for a show!  Lake Michigan on one side, Chicago skyline on the other.  Awesome!




The show was incredible.  One of my favorites - hands down.  Jason even surprised me halfway through the show with a Dave and Tim beer coozie (which, somehow I completely forgot to take a picture of!)!!

We had lots of fun, beer, and, guess what!?  They even had a margarita tent at the show!  YES!!!!

     

     

     

After the show we started the looooooong trek back to the hotel.  I'll admit - the details of the walk back to the hotel are a tad bit fuzzy ;)  Thank goodness I took some pictures to jog my memory!


Once we got close to the hotel we stopped for - wait for it - pizza!!!  We found a spot that sold it by the slice and O-M-G was it amazing!


We got back to the hotel and, for some reason, thought we needed just one more drink to end the night.  At least I got a glass of water on the side this time!


We got back up to our room and I decided to check my Fitbit to see how far we had walked.  I'm pretty sure this is a new record for me!


It helped burn off all the beer, margaritas, and pizza :)

The next morning we got up, grabbed breakfast and headed to the train station.  It was such a great, much needed, deserved mini vacation with my hubby full of three things we love - good food, margaritas (and beer!), and good great amazing fantastic phenomenal music.

Until next time, Chicago!!
~ Sara :)

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