Will and I took our big vacation this year to Chicago!  Ever since I’ve had monthly phone conversations with my high school church friend, Valeri, I’ve wanted to visit!  She came to Illinois for college and never left.  I wanted to visit and see what the “next big city” (aside from D.C., New York, and Boston) would be like.  I came here when I was in middle school, but (from what I remember) we didn’t sight-see.  I was actually planning on coming here this past April.  I even had gotten flight prices and then Will told me he wanted to run the Boston Marathon which happened to be during that same week!  So, after much anticipation, we arrived on Friday, August 26!

Somewhere over Chicago!

We’re here!

Val and her husband Mark picked us up and we first went to Abyssinia, an Ethiopian restaurant.  My first time!  A fun and delicious experience!  Sorry, no pictures were taken of the food.

On the way to the restaurant, look what we found!

And if you closely, you can see Hooters right next door!  (Talk about a perfect mission field!)

The next day we explored downtown!

The “L”!

Went to Yolk for brunch.  They serve every breakfast item known to man, with a side of pancakes!  (Throughout this trip, we tried to meet up with everyone we knew.)

There was a huge line outside!

Caleb (friend from CBCGB) and Will

Me and Val

Then we walked to Chicago’s parks:

Buckingham fountain:

The bean!!!  Which is actually officially titled, “Cloud Gate.”  Go figure.

Very cool art!

Garrett popcorn!

We took Val and Mark to MK Chicago for dinner.  It’s an awesome restaurant that goes above and beyond!  I hope you ate before you look at these pictures, otherwise, you’re gonna be hungry!

This dish shows how much influence Will has had on me to try new things.  I had read about this dish on yelp, so I announced to the table, “This is going to sound weird, but I want to order the octopus appetizer.”  Glad I did.               Tasted yummy!

Truffle fries

This is one of the reasons this restaurant is awesome.  I had read about this dessert “Cake and Shake” and ordered one to share.  They brought out a sorbet for Val (who is allergic to milk) and brought out two extra shakes for Will and Mark!  I fully expected them to charge us extra, but nope!  On the house!  These are the little details that make people come back.  Too bad it’s all the way in Chicago!  Guess we’ll have to visit again soon.

Then to Navy Pier for fireworks!

Stay tuned to see our next three days in Chicago!