Chicago

Last weekend, we took a trip to Chicago and Champaign-Urbana for my husband’s cousin’s wedding. It was my first time walking out of Chicago-Midway airport and we had a wonderful time. Thank you so much to my in-laws for taking us along! I’m so blessed to have married into such a great family.

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An incredibly sad time for my Tory Burch flats. A walk around the grounds turned into this. So, so terrible. Trash the dress photo shoot? More like, trash the shoes. Luckily, they cleaned up well!

 

top five places I need to visit in the US

So, I know my previous list of places I want–I mean, NEED–to visit on this earth was ambitious of me and will probably take a lifetime to achieve, I realized, as well, that though I’ve lived all over this country, there are so many cities I have yet to experience. I feel like a lot of the cities in this country, though they represent one thing in the end (america, of course), they have so much definitive culture within themselves. So, I’d like to think of this list as “the top five most cultured cities I have yet to soak in.” Here they are, in order of importance to me as yet:

5. Boston, MA: I’ve heard Boston is a slightly slower paced New York. What bothers me about New York is the business and ultra-fastness of the city. If Boston truly is a slower Manhattan, I have a feeling I’d love it. Every time I picture autumn (a season that’s lacking where I currently reside), I picture Boston. It is the epitome of fall, my favorite season.

4. Chicago, IL: I have now been trapped in Chicago Midway airport twice in one-hour layovers in the last year. I have been bursting to escape out the doors and venture into the city, but having to go back through security again was what was stopping me. This city is interesting to me because Illinois isn’t well-known for much outside of Chicago, but yet this huge city with so much meaning sits in the middle of it. I love that the entire subway system is above ground and I love that its skyline is so distinctive with that one diamond-shaped building. I’m not a fan of the midwest, but this city is still on my list. A cheaper, midwest version of Manhattan perhaps?

3. New Orleans, LA: I’ve stayed in New Orleans once on a family road trip to, you guessed it, Florida when I was a child. We stayed in the French quarter but we were only there to sleep. New Orleans culture is unlike any other in this country I believe. So many things that are only found in New Orleans exist in this tiny city in Louisiana. Yes, I may be naive in still picturing the city is how it was pre-Katrina, but I’d like to think that its history and French culture is still thriving in this city.

2. Seattle, WA: I’ve never had a desire to go to Seattle until recently. I love that it is in the west coast, of course, and call me crazy, but I love that it rains all the time. I picture the city as so lush and green because of the rain. I’d never want to live in a constantly rain-filled climate, but I’d love to see a place that isn’t overly-saturated with heat and humidity all year long. I love that the love of my life, Starbucks, was founded there. To me, Seattle is Starbucks. I love the apparent “granola” tree-hugging culture I’ve heard exists in Seattle, because part of me identifies with that way of thinking. Please, take me to Seattle!

1. SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Obviously, obviously this is my number one choice. Yes, I know I am a lover of all things California and I’m clearly beyond obsessed with this state, but truth be told: I’ve only visited southern California, never been further north than Santa Monica. I’ve heard there is so much difference between northern and southern California–and I’ve also heard that if you love San Diego, you’ll fall even more in love with San Francisco. I would love to see the Golden Gate bridge for myself, experience the trolley, the extremely steep hills, and Lombard St. I’d love to actually know why there is a third, second, and first gear in my automatic transmission. And, last but not least, I am absolutely dying to visit Napa. It is beyond paradise. (Well, besides La Jolla)