The Goodbye to Chicago

American breakfasts are so awesome. I can only eat a third of it…but still awesome!
I insisted I don’t eat breakfast but C and T took me out anyways before heading to the airport. Also, T gave me the breakfast-is-the-most-important-meal-of-the-day-Kaori speech. He never changes.
My stay in Chicago was really short but I’m so glad I came. xx

O’hare airport is so quirky.

Good-bye Chicago…I’ll be back. x

The Other Day in Chicago

Back in the city of Chicago.
Something about this city just makes me want to go shopping. It’s weird. Maybe it’s associated with all the shopping I did here when I was younger, or all the shopping I did just last year?
Either way, the minute I got back, I went straight to Starbucks to grab a drink (with my name on it!!!) and then ran over to my favorite store, Anthropologie. I literally want to live in this store, it’s so great. They have everything from kitchenware to shoes to books and I love them all. It’s probably a good thing for me that they don’t have this store in Tokyo. Ha.
After my short shopping spree, I met up with my friends T and C and we went shopping for dinner at the local grocery store. It’s sort of become a tradition to buy all the junk food I can’t get in Japan and eat in at their place. It’s the very best because we can talk and talk and talk, all the while petting Remy, their beautiful dog.
I always have so much fun with these two because they feel like family. The kind of family you really wished lived right down the street from you. x
Here are some pictures from that night:

My very first Starbucks cup with my name on it…chocolate chai is amazing!
Some of the buildings in Chicago are massive.
Remy has the cutest curly tail.
I’ve realized that walking the dog is also a great way to see the city!
Everyone takes a picture in front of this spot…as did we.
My aim is so bad when taking selfies but this is us playing tourists!
I love the pretty lights of The Chicago Theatre.
Having fun with Chicago street art.
How pretty is this skyline?

Did you know the name “L” train comes from the fact that it is “elevated?”

Chicago has a bike sharing system called Divvy, just like Amsterdam and New York!

My decadent carrot cake cupcake that I devoured.

So many types of cheese at the grocery store, it made me jealous.

The time flew by while we talked and Remy kept my feet warm by sitting on me. x

The Afternoon in Chicago

Chicago is my city.
It was the nearest large city for me growing up. We would take school trips here to visit museums. My family would camp along Lake Michigan and go to Six Flags Great America every summer. It’s just a city full of old memories for me. And now that I’m older I get to see it from a different point of view and I love it even more.
I get pretty excited about the fact that I know my way around Chicago a little more each time I’m there. I took the metro to my friend’s apartment, then found my way over to where he works all by myself. It felt so good (even though I did have my handy sidekick Google Map) that I almost wished someone would stop me on the street and say “Wow, you seem to know your way around this city!” Kind of crazy…but that’s how proud I was of myself. Haha.
Anyways, my friend T took me out to lunch that afternoon at the Water Tower Place. This is where my girl friends and I would beg our parents to take us in grade school and also where I first saw the classic movie Clueless (remember that one?) in sixth grade. I hadn’t been inside in years but it brought back memories.
We went to Mity Nice and I ordered their amazing veggie burger that is made from a blend of portobello, spinach, pumpkin seeds, parmesan cheese and covered in panko. It was hands down the best veggie burger I’ve ever eaten. Especially with the sweet potato fries on the side. So so good.
We spent our lunch catching up and talking about anything and everything. T and I stepped into kindergarten together and we’ve known each other ever since. He’s like the big brother I never had and has always watched out for me. I still feel like that hasn’t changed, even though we live hundreds of miles apart, and I really love that. xx

Water Tower Place
835 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60611 U.S.A.
Sun: 12:00pm-8:00pm
Mon-Thu: 11:30am-9:00pm
Fri-Sat: 11:30am-9:30pm

This was taken on T’s iphone but I loved it so much, I’m posting it here.
It was a rainy day but it didn’t dampen my day at all.

Architecture in Chicago is one of it’s charms.
The John B. Murphy Memorial Auditorium I ran past on my way back…isn’t it pretty?

The Good Bye in Chicago

Oh United.
Why are you always late?
I fell asleep the minute I got on the plane
so it took me a couple of hours to
realize that we hadn’t taken off yet.
We were on the plane for 3 hours
before they found a different plane and
asked all of us to get off and head to another gate.
Then they couldn’t find enough flight attendants.
So we waited another hour or so at the gate
before finally boarding began again.
6 hours later than the original time,
we were in the air.
The sky was still beautiful.
But I was so tired
I slept through most of it.
Bye bye Chicago.

The Night Out in Chicago

Our last night in Chicago.
We headed out to Wicker Park for some fun.

I love this picture of Ralph and Tennyson.

It was a fun night of drinks
lots of laughing and taking pictures!
(with 2 asians you have to expect a certain amount of pictures)

We ended up heading back around 2am
but the night was too short.
Wish we could do this every weekend.

Ralph, Erykah, and I all had flights the next morning.
But the night was so much fun.
And it felt so normal.
Like we would be seeing each other again soon.
So weird how that works.
If only.
Saying good bye always sucks.
Miss everyone already.
But already looking forward to seeing everyone again.
Thank you for the best time ever!
Love you all. xx

The Shopping Spree in Chicago

After the yummy breakfast
Tennyson and I headed out to shop.

Tennyson is the best shopping buddy.
He didn’t complain while I dragged him around everywhere.
Actually I didn’t know where everything was
so it was more like me demanding where what was
and making him guide me there. haha.

You will always be Marshall Fields to me.
(Just like Sears Tower will always be Sears Tower to me.)

The Afternoon with Ralph in Chicago

When we got back from Michigan
I met up with Ralph
who had flown in from LA!
Haven’t seen him since he came to Japan last year
so it was super duper great to see him!

You can’t be in Chicago and not eat deep dish pizza.
So we asked his iPhone and we ended up at Giodano’s.
It was all kinds of delicious
and so was catching up with Ralph.
Could have talked for hours.
But it was Ralph’s first time really seeing the city, too.
So we headed to Millennium Park.
(my new favorite park!)

Aaaaand more pictures at the bean. haha.
I love this place.

It was a gorgeous day in Chicago.
Later we met up with Ralph’s gorgeous friend, Erykah,
and went back to meet up with Tennyson and Cesar.
So much fun catching up with friends
and getting to meeting new friends.
It was a great day in Chicago.

The Tourist Day in Chicago

Starting off the day right.
(Tennyson knows what I like! haha)

Today was our day to do touristy stuff.
I love love love Chicago.
But I’ve never really done the touristy bit
so we headed out to shop, eat, and explore the city.

My first time at Millennium Park!
This place is great.
Because it has the Cloud Gate.
Best spot to take pictures ever.
(And trust me, we took hundreds!)

Isn’t this city gorgeous?
Maybe it’s because I work in real estate
but I love buildings and city skylines.
And this city has a ton of gorgeous buildings.

After walking around the city
we went back home so
Tennyson could get ready for his kickball game.

I thought it was going to be like
but we ended up at the beach!
Apparently their league does beach kickball!

Tennyson’s team didn’t win but
it was a close game.
And I had fun cheering them on 😀
After the game we met up with
Cesar and his coworkers.
At a Japanese restaurant.
Their servers were Thai…haha.

We had a fun day.
Can you tell from our expressions?

The Flight to Chicago

International flights are always really interesting.
Not that domestic flights in Japan aren’t.
But people are a lot more chatty on foreign flights.
On this flight from DC to Chicago
I got to sit next to a pilot in uniform.
He had just gotten off his shift in DC
and was heading home to Chicago for the weekend.
Always interesting meeting new people 😀

The flight was really short
and before I knew it
we were landing in O’hare
and Tennyson was outside waiting for me!

He was looking all handsome
because he came to pick me up after work.
Tennyson is the best.
He’s practically family the way
I can pretty much tell him anything.
Or maybe it’s just him.
I think he has that affect on a lot of people.
You know you can always count on him.

And I finally got to meet Remy!!!
Isn’t he so beautiful?
He’s the sweetest dog on earth.
And I don’t speak dog but…
I think he liked me, too.

When Cesar got back home
all three of us went to go get dinner.
Good ole American junk food!!!