For a month or so, my husband has been planning a secret two-night getaway for just us while we’re home for the holidays. Only a week ago did he let slip (because of tiredness) our destination city — Chicago. He planned our entertainment, our lodging, our eating without any input from me. That was difficult at first, but the string of surprises was fun as we walked through the city. This post will be the first of four about our trip, including pictures and commentary about food, a photo page of us in Chicago, and my impressions of the Garfield Park Conservatory. Not since our honeymoon 3 1/2 years ago have we taken an overnight trip without children. Long overdue. Much needed.
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency because my husband found us a couldn’t-pass-it-up deal on Hotwire. My first overwhelming moment of the trip. We’re not exactly Hyatt material, in my mind, so I immediately felt out of place. I got over it and enjoyed the downtown views, the river traffic, the amenities. It was the perfect location for walking everywhere we needed to go.
Night and day views from our hotel room window:
The Christkindlmarket, a German Christmas celebration in Daley Plaza (above). It was this busy. And the nearby Chicago Christmas tree. We saw it at night our first night in the city but didn’t have time to stop and take a picture.
We also strolled the street to read the “Yes, Virginia” window stories. I’d never done this before and was amazed that the construction was all made from paper and takes 35 weeks to complete!
Next stop after Macy’s was the Bean.
Our second evening, we saw “A Christmas Carol” at The Goodman Theatre.
My husband bought us box seat tickets, which was another surprise. Even though our view of some of the stage was obstructed, we felt super important sitting all by ourselves. We had an up-close view of most of the production, which was moving and captivating.
Hold on to your hats, ladies, when I tell you this next part: We spent two evenings in Chicago and the Bulls and the Blackhawks were playing each of those nights. Yet my husband chose to take me to The Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker one night and to “A Christmas Carol” on stage the next night. Some of his decision involved money and seating, but let me tell you, I felt loved and blessed. The ballet was breathtaking and stunning, something I’m not sure I would have chosen and expected to enjoy, but I loved it. And it’s been years since I’ve seen a professional stage production.
My husband knows me well, and he did a fantastic job planning our getaway.
If I wasn’t already, now I’m totally in the Christmas spirit. At every stop, since I didn’t know where we were going, my husband would stop and say, “Merry Christmas.” It’s definitely a Christmas to remember.