Monday, March 15, 2010

After the first night of loving...Chicago loved me some more.

Well now that we all got to read about my adventures in Chicago on the first day/night let's talk about Saturday, shall we?

We woke up from the concert rendezvous at around 9am. Which seemed really early but you know- we had a day ahead of us. We ate dinner at the really nice restaurant in the hotel where Dena promptly stuff her purse full of the really cute jars of ketchup and jelly. Because hi- that's what you do. (AND we stole the Bath & Body Works shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and soap out of our rooms.) Breakfast was really good and we decided that we were going to see what was around our hotel.

That something happened to be the Magnificent Mile. Yes- it was rad. It was everything I thought it would be. I learned how to use revolving doors without getting your foot, purse, jacket or other limbs stuck and without running into the door. But I do think it's weird that EVERY place has a revolving door. I don't know. Are regular doors ghetto or something? Anyways. Before we could go anywhere we realized that we needed our jackets, I needed gloves and Dena wanted her hat. This all required a little walk to the valet parking garage where every floor is themed by an album.
Of course we got the most kick ass floor:

Neil fucking Diamond's "The Best Year of our Lives" album. Now this album is on REPEAT on this floor. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure the parking attendant job is a high turnover position because if I had to listen to the same album over and over again every single day- it sure as hell wouldn't be Neil Diamond. Or any of these other artists. Don't get me wrong, I love me some "America" "Sweet Caroline" "Love on the Rocks" and "Cracklin Rosie" just as much as the next person. But every god damn day?

No spank you.

So we get our winter gear. I'm going to post about the St. Patty's Day stuff and crazies tomorrow- but here are a *few* of the touristy things we saw/did.

Karl was a cowboy. I saw the bull and told Karl to hop on up. What I love about Karl is that I refer to us as the "family rejects" because we are the two that don't really belong in the Strand clan. Which is kind of funny since he's born into it and I'm just kind of there. So I love Karl. Karl is funny, spontaneous, and a god damn dork sometimes. But I love him. And this right here? Proves that he's awesome.

After getting lost and really having no idea where the fuck some place called The Gage was (which was recommended to us by the hotel guy who appeared to be on crack and maybe in need of some more because his shakes were BAD, but instead of just putting a star on the block where it is on the map- he circles a 28 block radius. Yeah- not really helpful) we stopped into the Chicago Art Institute because we figured maybe they would know where the fuck this place was. Because the police had no idea. Which again, handy.

We must have looked like lost white kids (which we would have because we stood there, all four of us, staring at this map like it was the Map from Dora the Explorer and we give us three step instructions) because some really nice guy offered to help. He also had no fucking clue what we were talking about, but gave us the instructions on how to get to the John Hancock building where he promised would have food and more importantly, more shopping. Love you strange guy who was super helpful. But since he worked at the Art Institute he practically begged us to see some Tiffany Dome exhibit thingie. So really- what can you do?

It was pretty. But we couldn't go in the room because it was roped off for some event. It's the largest in the world and I will admit--pretty breathtaking to think what goes into making a Tiffany thing.
But what I have pictures of and am not posting (I will some day, just not today) are quotes about books, libraries, etc that were etched or something into marble on the walls. I'm going to get them printed and framed for around my book case. They were that cool.

So after seeing the dome and discovering that the women's bathroom was closed, we walked the eight blocks to the John Hancock building. It should be noted that at this point, my socks and shoes were soaked and my pants were wet from the bottom to mid calf. It was really sexy. And uncomfortable.

We get to the John Hancock, which according to the postcard I bought is a really big black building. True to form, it's big and black. This picture also will get framed for my living room. Anyways- so we got there. Rode the elevator to the 95th floor to the Signature Room. Yeah- Dena used the potty while the rest of us checked out the menu. Guess who is WAY under dressed and broke to eat there? Us.

Plus the view sucked. All you saw was fog.

So we ended up eating at the Cheesecake Factory. Which was fine, I had never eaten there and I had a really good burger. My spicy chicken nachos were even better. We sat at the bar while I chatted it up with the bartender who is originally from Clearwater, Florida. Love you hot bartender guy. He was hot. Seriously. Dena thinks he was gay but there is no way. No way because he totally checked out my boobs. Three times. Because Matt counted. (WHAT?! I can't help I had great cleavage with my sweater/tank top combo. Sue me.)

After lunch we shopped a bit. NOTHING at Lush really pulled me. Like everything smelled like ass, dirt, minty burnt firewood, and urine. I mean really? People pay to smell like this?? Disappointing.

But on the way back I told the group I could not drive home in wet shoes. No way. I couldn't wear my boots because hi- they hurt. So I did what any self respecting shoe lover would do. I went to Nine West and bought a pair of $98 sneakers. Here's me proudly holding my bag. Which I still have. Shut up- you know you'd keep it too.

Here are my sneakers. Now these are the hotness for two reasons.
1. Bright colors
2. Jelly plastic on the toe
I love sneakers, especially comfy ones, and I love jelly shoes. I am past the age where it is socially acceptable to wear jelly shoes so this is the best I can do. I promise you they don't look as retarded on my feet. I'll post pics of that some time. But they are SUPER comfortable.

And you might be saying, "Sara- there totally is a payless right down the street" to which I say- Shut the fuck up. Matt does not need to know that. And who buys Payless shoes on the Magnificent Mile?? Huh?? LOSERS- that's who.

After I purchased my shoes, we went to the hotel and made the valet get the van. I totally forgot to tip the valet. Sorry super nice valet guy. :( SADS. But I did leave my new Ludacris cd in which I think he appreciated because it was on track 2 when I got out and it was on track 13 when we got in. The garage is like 2 blocks away. So there- that was nice of me, right??

Here's the four of us, holding our loot for the day. Matt got stuck carrying the Disney Store bag. He literally lugged that thing around for almost 6 hours. Which really- he had no choice. But I didn't get to put my shoes on until we got out of Illinois because the valet parked the van in the middle of the road and the taxis behind us really didn't seem to care that I couldn't feel my feet because they were soaked. So I was a trooper and waited the almost two hours to change my shoes.

And again, I have to say that despite the yucky weather (rain/mist, fog, wind) my hair and makeup is still holding up decently.


Angela said...

I hate to break it to you, but gay guys love boobs, it's true. Any gay friend I've had has always been fascinated by my boobs, and always wanted to touch them. BUT! You can still take it as a compliment, because it usually means that you've got a killer rack.

Also? I miss jelly sandals. I loved those things when I was a kid.

Jandy xx said...

oooh, i love your sneakers! how cute! glad you had fun in chicago hun! look at me getting my blog on (finally - ive been a slack commenter lately!) xx

Ashley said...

Those sneakers kick ass!

____j said...

It's only stealing if you don't pay for it. And technically, since you payed to stay at the hotel, everything should be yours. Is it weird that I am freaked out by revolving doors? lol

Danielle said...

Please please post the pics of the sayings and quotes you got off the wall and are going to put around your book case ... actually you can just post the final product of them hanging around your bookcase! :) Thats what I'm really curious about seeing!

I'm with ya on the sneakers girly! I love sneakers! LOVE LOVE LOVE! Yours?! Are super freakin cute! I loved jelly shoes when I was a kid ... unfortunately it wouldn't be socially acceptable for me to put JC in jelly sandals either, therefore, I'll have to wait to relive my obsession until/if I have a girl! Ahhh!

emily said...

Sounds like you had a proper Michigan Avenue touristy day. It's terrible that it was foggy because the view from the Hancock Building is my favorite. I think it is better than the Sear's Tower (even though it is the tallest building in the country) because it is right near the lake and in the center of everything. You must check it out next time you come.

As for the revolving is true that everywhere has them. It isn't a fancy city thing though. It is because it is cold outside in the winter. With so many people coming and going from stores it helps keep it warmer because the door never opens up directly to the frigid outside.

Anonymous said...

i want to visit chicago SO BADLY OMG. i've never been, but am hoping to visit someday... loved reading about your trip! :)

Sara Strand said...

@Angela- I do have nice boobs. *sigh* but I totally flirted with him anyways. It's good to make sure you flirting skills are still in working order.

@Ashes & jprp- You can't have too many shoes, that's for sure. Plus it's awesome because you can't buy these here. Bonus.

@___j- revolving doors ARE scary. I thought I was trapped until someone helped me. It was only slightly embarrassing.

@Danielle- the quotes will be their own post. :)

@emily- that's what I figured about the doors. It just sucks because you automatically look like a tourist when you can't work them. And the Hancock building was beautiful inside and out. I really would like to go back sometime just to see the view.

@giraffe- you should go! It was a TON of fun, and I seriously suggest you go around St. Pats Day. Come back tonight to see my post on how awesome that was!

SpiritPhoenix said...

Looks like it was a fun trip. Sorry your feet got wet, but then again, it was a great excuse to buy new shoes. (I'm a shoes fiend myself.)

Oh and I tagged you....

Sara said...

Love your idea about framing the etched sayings and putting them up around your bookshelf! Very creative!

The shoe situation makes my feet hurt. Comfy shoes are a must on vacation. Your vacation looks amazing.

What was in the disney bag?

Christy Ashley said...

Love your blog! Love your sneakers! Check me out on

JennyMac said...

My main gay hated boobs but he did tell me that gay men give the most sincere compliments. :)

And I heart Chicago and am going in 2 weeks for a crazy bday bash weekend. Love your pics!

Veronica M. D. said...

Oh, man! I knew the answer to your revolving door question and I was SOOO excited to act smart and tell you!

Also, my main gay in college loved him some titties, and he even had this skill where he could cup your boobs and tell you your EXACT bra size. I never saw him guess wrong, and I watched him do it to hundreds of ladies. It was pretty stellar.

Another David said...

Ugh. Still so unbelievable jealous you went to Muse.

Julie H said...

I love those shoes, so cute!

Anonymous said...

Yes, the infamous Michigan Ave. I have tons of memories there. Too bad you guys didn't go to the Sears Tower and look down at the city from the glass floor. But then again, I don't know how good you are with heights.