Scenes From: Chicago 2014

Scenes from Chicago 2014

I am a self proclaimed photo hoarder. I have hard drives full of photos that have never seen the light of day. I ran across these photos on my older laptop this morning and realized how much I love them. I remember looking at them right after I took them and criticizing the lighting, the weather, my frizzy hair, etc. But months later they remind me of such a sweet and perfect trip to Chicago. They remind me of feeling newly pregnant and thinking that EVERYONE could tell – can’t everyone see my BUMP? LOLOLOL No. They remind me of the comfiest bed at the

On Tour: Say Anything & Saves The Day

Several weekends back we took a mini road trip to see some of our favorite bands. It was a total blast and kind of a dream come true for the teenager in me. I still love the music I listened to as a teenager, even if I’m not full of angst (most days) and I no longer believe that ‘no one will ever understand me’. ;] Pop Punk bands will always have a special place in my heart.
Saves The Day / Say AnythingSaves The Day / Say AnythingSaves The Day / Say Anything
We got to follow Saves The Day and Say Anything around on tour for two of their dates – Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Our good friend Matt tour manages/runs sound for several different bands. He happened to be on tour with them and invited us out, so we made a little weekend trip out of it! I had no idea what to expect. I assumed we would just attend the shows both nights and be out in the crowd as per usual. We found our place in the back (pregnant girls don’t get to crowd surf or be in the front – lame) on Friday night and got comfortable. Saves The Day started their set and there was no sign of Matt- but he was working so I didn’t expect we’d see much of him. After a couple of songs Matt swooped in and said ‘follow me’. Next thing I know Nate, Jackson, Kristie, and I are all running behind Matt between the banner and the curtain that is directly behind the band on stage. We popped out on the side of the stage right next to the band, wide-eyed and ecstatic that we were going to actually get to watch from there. Both Saves The Day and Say Anything killed it! After the show we hung around and waited for Matt to finish up what he needed to do. Once he was done he invited us to hang out on Say Anything’s tour bus. Hilariously enough I was more excited to sit on a couch and be comfortable after standing and dancing that long than I was to be on one of my favorite band’s tour bus! Some of the members of Saves The Day came over and then not too long after that Reliant K showed up! It was definitely a full bus! The only person missing was Max’s wife, Sherri, from Eisley. I follow her Instagram and love all of their family photos – they are the cutest people ever. I would have loved to have met her (and Lucy!) and it would’ve been nice to have had another pregnant lady around! ;]

Saves The Day / Say AnythingSaves The Day / Say AnythingSaves The Day / Say AnythingSaves The Day / Say Anything
We made it back to the hotel super late that night and fell into bed. The next morning I woke up ridiculously early with one thing on my mind – free hotel breakfast. I managed to shower, do my makeup, and get dressed by the light of one tiny lamp. I went downstairs and ate two plates full of food before the rest of them even made it down. Nate was totally shocked since everyone is usually waiting on me- but I don’t mess around when there is free food involved! After breakfast we went over to a local coffee shop that someone had recommended to Jackson. It was the best coffee I have ever had, though admittedly, I have not traveled much. Haha. But it was GOOD. If you’re ever in Pittsburgh – go to 21st Street Coffee and Tea! I got a half calf mocha and I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. Delicious. Our next stop on our way out of town was to the Andy Warhol museum. It was really interesting and I’m glad we went! I wanted to take pictures so badly but they had strict rules against it, of course.

Saves The Day / Say AnythingSaves The Day / Say AnythingSaves The Day / Say Anything
We made our way to Cleavland, found our hotel, and got settled in. Jackson booked a room with two beds but the hotel overbooked. We all stood around the giant king bed in the hotel room awkwardly. I laughed and said if we had a late night like the night before, I doubted that anyone would be opposed to all of us sleeping in it together. ;] We headed back out and grabbed some drinks at an authentic tiki lounge in downtown Cleavland. I had a virgin drink, of course, and it was probably the most delicious little juice drink I’ve ever had! After killing some time there we made one more stop so I could get a bowl of tomato soup and then we made our way to the show. We walked to the venue and encountered the most frigid strong wind any of us had ever felt. By the time we got there I was kind of like…. well… I hope we can sleep here because I’m not walking back! The line was ridiculous and we went in search of Matt to get us past it because I was not standing outside one more second. House of Blues was completely sold out and the place was PACKED. The stage was a lot smaller than the one from the night before so we were a lot closer and the sound was SO much better. We had the perfect spot in the corner of the stage to watch from and I danced like a maniac up there! I didn’t even care that the whole crowd could see us (I’m sure they didn’t care about us anyway). It was such an amazing opportunity to take photos that close. I love being in the crowd, being up front on the barrier – but I’m always so jealous of the person running around with a press pass taking photos! I felt so lucky! After the show we found out that there was going to be a secret show at a little venue called the Grog Shop. Kristie and I debated as to whether or not we should go because we were pretty tired, but I convinced myself that a secret show was way too cool to pass up. Plus, how many late nights out do I really have left at this point? Haha. So I went. We ended up picking up some of the members of Say Anything (Max and Parker) and Matt to take them to the private show. We squeezed into my backseat like we were in a clown car! We only got to see Saves The Day because we were a little late getting there but that was all I really cared about! We had a total blast and I was so glad I went!

Saves The Day / Say AnythingSaves The Day / Say AnythingSaves The Day / Say AnythingSaves The Day / Say AnythingSaves The Day / Say Anything

The next day we were all completely exhausted. Nate slept on a cot, Jackson slept on the floor, and Kristie and I took the bed. We finally made it out of the hotel room a few minutes past checkout and piled all of our stuff into the car. As we started to leave the parking garage Nate realized that we had a flat tire. Hooray! Once the guys got the donut on the car we made our way to Wal-Mart to get it fixed. Low and behold – I have a car that requires all 4 tires to be changed when one tire is replaced. We were behind several people and knew it would take quite a while. Thankfully we were in a shopping center with plenty of shops and places to eat. It was pretty late by the time we finally got on the road. We made it back Nate’s car just a town over from Lexington around 8:30PM and when we arrived he realized that he had locked his key in it on the day we left. The set backs of the day were pretty comical at that point. We waited a while for a pop-a-lock service and finally around 9PM we were on our way back to Lexington. I think we finally got home around 10PM or so. It was such a long trip back but all of the fun we had over the entire weekend made it worth it. I know a lot of things will change once Nate and I become parents, so I’m soaking up these mini trips with friends while it’s still all about us! This is one that we’ll definitely never forget!

The Chicago Marathon 2014

The Chicago Marathon 2014
Our trip to Chicago was wonderful! Sunday was marathon day so Nate got up bright and early to complete his normal pre-race rituals while his mom and I slept in a little longer. He was able to walk to the start line from our hotel which was perfect. Ann and I were ready by 7:30AM and on our way out the door to grab some coffee and a little something to eat before we tried to head to specific places on the course to look for him. The city is so beautiful and it was so much fun to walk all over it. The weather was cooler but felt great while we were moving. We went to mile 3 first and quickly became overwhelmed by the sheer number of bodies running past us. We tried to look for Nate but it was downright dizzying to even try to focus on a face in that sea of people! We realized pretty fast that there was no way we would ever spot him there and moved on.
The Chicago Marathon 2014The Chicago Marathon 2014
Nate was mostly interested in seeing us at mile 21 for encouragement, so we slowly but surely made our way there after stopping at a few other spots along the way. The hike to mile 21 was long and we stopped several times to discuss whether or not we would make it there in time. We decided that we would and continued on. I’m in pretty good shape but my feet were pretty over it by the time we got there. Nate text me to tell me he would be coming through China Town soon (which is where we were) but we still managed to miss each other in the crowd. Deflated, we moved on to mile 25. Once we got there we found a perfect spot with no barrier and waited. I text him to tell him where we were. When he came through he hugged as he ran by and went on to the finish. Ann and I both cried knowing he would make his goal time. He finished in right under 4 hours!
The Chicago Marathon 2014The Chicago Marathon 2014
Then came the great adventure of trying to find him after the race. We finally asked someone after walking a long time but not finding any signs or information on where to meet the runners after the race and the man said, “OH you’ve still got to go about 7 blocks in that direction.” I must have looked like I wanted to hit him. We eventually found Nate but why on earth they would put the “meet and greet” area that far from the finish line is beyond me.
The Chicago Marathon 2014The Chicago Marathon 2014The Chicago Marathon 2014The Chicago Marathon 2014The Chicago Marathon 2014The Chicago Marathon 2014The Chicago Marathon 2014
We visited the bean and walked around a little more before heading back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. It was a lovely, wonderful, completely exhausting day. As was every day we spent there! I will be sharing more photos from the trip over the next few days. Now that I’m finally all rested up, I wish we could back. ;]

Chicago Bound

127/365 Days of Marriage
Nate and I are heading to Chicago today! The above photo was taken on our last trip to Chicago in May 2011 and man, do we look different or what? We look like babies! And my hair! But anyway – yes, we’re headed back and I couldn’t be more excited! In 2011 we went just for fun, but this trip has a bit more of a purpose. Nate is running in the Chicago Marathon on Sunday. He has been training like crazy and I’m looking forward to being on the sidelines to cheer him on! His Mom is actually coming up tomorrow so we will have some girl time and I wont have to navigate Chicago all by my lonesome while Nate is running. I still get lost in downtown Lexington, you know … where I live. So uh.. that wouldn’t have gone well. ;]

Nate is going to be focused on eating all of the carbs and resting, but we’re going to work in some time for sight seeing and walking around a bit too. We’re staying downtown so we’ll be close to most every thing we have an interest in seeing (THE BEAN). Once his Mom gets in she and I will be able to walk around a bit more and shop a little bit while he hangs out at the hotel. But honestly, as much as I’m looking forward to the sights and the fun of being back in Chicago – I’m also looking forward to rolling around in a plushy hotel bed, eating lots of delicious food, and forgetting about all of the house chores for a few days. Ohhhh yeah. I don’t care where I am as long as I’m in a hotel bed forgetting about cleaning.

It’s supposed to be a little on the chilly side while we’re there so I’ve got all of the warm layers with me! I’m hoping to hit up a few sales at some of my favorite stores on Michigan Avenue because honestly, my fall/winter wardrobe is pretty bare. My poor little wardrobe has been lacking for a long time! I’ve been the queen of remixing for the last few years, but it’s starting to feel a little stale. I’m ready for some changes – slowly and on a budget, of course!

Let me know if there are any shops, attractions, restaurants, etc. that you absolutely recommend that we visit!