Sunday, July 21, 2013

*Laughed Until We Cried*

This weekend Andrew and I went to Chicago with our friends, Jenny and Tony, for the Jason Aldean concert.  This trip has been a LOOONNG time coming.  Jenny and I bought the tickets back at the beginning of November (before Beau was even born).  Tony turned the big 3-0 this year and Jenny wanted to do something special for his birthday.  We thought a couples weekend would be the perfect way to celebrate. So Jenny and I bought the tickets and then she had to keep it a secret until just a few weeks ago! She is definitely a stronger woman than I am because I am terrible at keeping secrets.  Especially when the secret will make that person so happy and excited..I can not wait! But she did and PTL that Andrew and I didn't slip up and tell on accident!

Saturday morningAndrew and I dropped the boys off with our sweet friends and then picked up Jenny and Tony.  We were seriously like college kids on spring break.  No stress, no kids, and a whole weekend to ourselves! I am pretty sure that Jenny and I talked a mile-a-minute on the drive up.  We never run out of topics to discuss and the boys joined in.  I literally laughed so hard on that car ride.  We ran into some traffic due to road construction which would not have been a big deal except we all had to use the bathroom.  That last leg of the journey seemed a *little* long but we made it. Ahem.

Feeling much better and happy to have arrived!

I was in charge of booking our hotel (read: Andrew was too busy so I had to suck it up and do it myself). I was a little nervous because Chicago is big and there are like a million hotels so trying to figure out a fun place to stay that wasn't too far from Wrigley but not too expensive.  I mean, there are a lot of variables to consider.  So, I did a little research, set a dollar amount, and pricelined it hoping we would get something good.  AND WE DID! 

We stayed downtown at this little gem.
The Palmer House

It was such a pretty hotel that had so much character.  We got checked in and changed knowing that we would want to get something to eat and some drinks before heading to Wrigley.  We met back in the lobby and went outside trying to figure out where to go.  Now the Douglass' have the same mentality as the Bruces': no chains and eat somewhere different than home.  Some of the best places we have ever eaten are hole in the wall, off the beaten path places.  A gentleman working at the hotel gave us some recommendations so we set off to see what we could find.  

We stopped at a place called Rudy's Bar and Grill.  It was such a good pick.  We sat and talked there for about an hour before hailing a cab and heading towards Wrigley.  

We got inside, got some drinks, and found our seats.  The stadium was already buzzing.  I have never been to a stadium concert so didn't really know what to expect.  I can honestly say that I think stadium concerts are now  my favorite.  I love that they are outdoors.  I love all the buzz and excitement.  It just felt, I don't know, bigger somehow.  Our seats were ah-may-zing if I do say so myself.  We were a few rows off of the dugout (visitor's side, I think)  We had such a great view of the stage.  

The concert was set to start at 6:30 which seemed a little early to me but it was such a great line-up of people.  Thomas Rhett was the first opener.  He played all of his well known hits and we played picture time!

Next was Jake Owen.  I like Jake Owen.  I like his songs.  But- he was so fun to watch in concert.  You could really see his personality come out.  We sang along and danced a little and...took more pictures!

There was a little break before the next performer.  I have to say this was one of the highlights of the concert for me.  Being an avid American Idol fan (pre this last season..couldn't do another round of new judges. I was out) I am a huge Kelly Clarkson fan.  I bought her Breakaway CD in high school and my friend, Mindy, and I literally knew all the songs. So when I found out she was going to perform I was STOKED! And let me tell you- she did not disappoint! Girl, can S.I.N.G!! We were up out of seats dancing and singing (Jenny and I) like we were on stage with her! She seems so genuine and down to earth! She was awesome in concert! 

As they set up for Jason, we- you guessed it- took a *few* more pictures. :) 

 We noticed people checking their phones and then started seeing some crew covering the speakers with plastic wrap? What the world? So we checked our phones and sure enough rain was coming.  And rain it did, but did that stop Jason? No. And it sure didn't stop us! Last year the four of us saw Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan perform in concert literally feet from us.  I seriously thought that concert could never be topped.  I was WRONG! Jason was amazing!!! We decided today on our drive home that he played the perfect play list of old and new songs! And the rain made it even more fun somehow! We sang and danced the night away!!

The concert ended at about 11:30 and seeing that we had dinner at, um, 4...we were STARVING! We headed back to the hotel and right next door was a little pub called Millers.  Oh.mi.word, people! It is a stop I would make again.  The boys got burgers and Jenny and I got spinach and artichoke dip (our own, we were not about to share).  It was out of this world delicious! We rehashed all our favorite parts of the concert and how it will be hard to top.

The next morning we checked out and left our bags to see what we could find for brunch.  Another, uber helpful doorman gave us a restaurant recommendation. This man should be tipped for recommendation alone. If you are near Chicago, RUN don't walk to Meli's Cafe and Juice Bar. It was a 30 minute wait and after eating there, I would gladly wait that and more.  The boys got these amazing egg skillets, Jenny had this wonderful scrambler and I had a delicious egg sandwich.  It was so much food but I did not leave a bite.  It was too good!

After breakfast, we loaded the car and headed home to our babies.  I know that this weekend will be one that we remember forever.  Andrew and I are so blessed to call these two friends.  I can not wait for our next trip together, kids or no kids, it will be fun!!  

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Hi! Welcome to this crazy life! Thanks for stopping by! I love hearing from my readers and connecting with you all! Xoxo~Bekah