Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Favorite Christmas Tradition

I'm trying to get caught up on all of my holiday posts. I'm sorry I'm so behind!....I hope you don't mind me still posting them. Hopefully it's not too late to be annoying! ;)

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is my annual shopping trip on Michigan Avenue with my mom.

She rode home with us after our time at her house for Christmas {so it was about 12/21 or so}. We left early in the morning the day we came back because of snow predictions. We arrived right about lunchtime, so we took her to a place she & I used to go on shopping trips in the big city a little ways from where I grew up every year. She & I hadn't been at one together in a very long time. It was special. :) Love you Chick-fil-A!

The next day we went into Chicago on the suburban to city train {Metra} after a relaxing morning. With our CTA {Chicago Transit Authority} day passes in tow, we hopped on buses and trains getting us around, and we met up with my aunt for lunch.

Then we made our way back to the Magnificent Mile and our favorite building there. The Bloomingdale's tree is definitely a favorite and a must see! We always make sure we make it to this building!

It also houses one of our all-time favorite stores, Williams-Sonoma. I don't know what it is, but there's just something extra special about this store at Christmas time, and with the little peek-out views over the city. Be still my heart.

Another stop along the way, of course the John Hancock Center, their amazing train display, their wonderful chocolate store, the Chicago memorabilia store, and of course the North Face store!

Oh how I love this city!!

We walked around in the American Girl store mostly for the sake of telling my nieces about it. :)

The fountains at the Water Tower Place are pretty much the only reason we even go in here. There aren't really any stores of interest, but we love these fountains/water features! The look on mom's face here is just priceless! :)

The Presbyterian church on Michigan Avenue is just stunning. Their doors are always open, homeless people are sleeping in the pews {and I mean this in a kind way, I love that they are able to do this for them}, and it's just such a breathtaking place!

Another favorite stop is Crate & Barrel, of which I don't have any pictures. We could spend much of our day in there if we let ourselves.

We love going in the building that houses the Lego store & the Crocs store!

A couple pics of mom & I outside as the evening was winding down. The city all lit up at night during the Christmas season is just so spectacular, I love it!

Then a quick visit to the beloved Tribune Tower...getting me jealous I didn't have one of these nifty thing-a-ma-bobs to get around in...

...checking out the WGN Radio studios, crossing the plaza, and checking out the NBC studios.

I can't help it, I was a media communication minor. I get a little geeky around this stuff. :)

We were tired at this point and given that I wasn't even sure I could last several hours before we left home, it was amazing that we were gone from about 9 am to 7 pm. It did mean missing out on things like this really cool German outdoor market and a visit to the Macy's on State Street. But we were okay with that this year, maybe we'll get back to those places next year. This time I wanted to take it easy, not feel rushed or pressured to do to much, and just enjoy it as much as possible.

The next morning we drove mom to the Amtrak station early in the morning and saw her off. It's always hard to see her go after spending so much time with her! But we were also quite exhausted from a few very busy weeks and were looking forward to some down time together.

We decided to swing by one of my all-time favorite restaurants, Cracker Barrel, on our way home since we were so close to it and we rarely are. {Tim's "what are you doing?" face ;)}

In the midst of eating, I heard a familiar voice say "Is that Rochelle?!" I looked up to see my coworker Angie and her husband Carson! :) What a neat surprise! Sadly we were very out of it and exhausted, looking like we'd just rolled out of bed, so I'm sure we were quite a sight to behold but it was fun running into them anyway!

What a whirlwind of activity! I can't wait to bring you up to speed on everything else that happened over Christmas... and New Years... and Thanksgiving! I hope I can actually get to it. I'm so far behind on everything, but I'm trying, that counts for something right?! ;)

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!


Missy Schranz said...

You can NEVER talk tooo much about Christmas in my opinion! I loved your post. I love Chicago, too. My friend and I toured all their Museums. Sadly, she died of kidney failure in 2000 and we had one more museum to go to. I just never could make time for a vacation back east with work and all. Now I wish I could have!!!! Anyway, great post!

God bless!

Mrs. J said...

I love seeing family pictures of bloggers. Its so neat!!! And of the city etc. Very nice :)

blueviolet said...

I love Chicago! I was down in the same area you were in November and had a great time. I also can't get enough Cracker Barrel ever!