Sunday, September 28, 2008


The view from top of the Hancock building.

Graham and I just back from Chicago yesterday.  We decided to go for a quick weekend trip to celebrate our anniversary.  Our first time ever to leave the kids and our first time to the windy city of Chicago.  The weather was fantastic we didn't witness any wind but the beautiful city made quite an impression on us.  We packed  our  2 full days site seeing, eating and exploring.  I am going to give you a review of our weekend so if you are ever in Chicago, maybe some of the places we visited might be of interest to you.
Our hotel

First, we got to Chicago Thursday at midnight.  We took a cab to our hotel.  We stayed at the new and beautiful Dana Hotel and Spa.  It's chic and modern and so very luxurious and comfortable. We stayed on the very top floor and I think we were the only guests on our floor.  The hotel is in downtown in the Magnificent Mile. We had amazing views of the city and the roof top view was breathtaking.  When we arrived at our hotel we were famished so we decided to go to the little bistro across the street called Bijans.  I was really surprised to see the place packed at 2 am.

The night we went to Wicked

Wrigley Field and the Navy Pier

The view from our hotel room and roof of hotel

On Friday, we woke-up fairly early (we are so used to waking up so early with the kids) and had a yummy breakfast at the hotel.  The best croissants I have ever had!  Then we walked down 2 blocks to Michigan Avenue (tons of shopping) and made our way to the John Hancock building.  The view from the Hancock building was spectacular.  It was clear so we could see everything from the 95th floor.  Then we took a short cab ride to the Navy Pier.  It's a long pier with shopping, eating, carnival type games and rides.  Graham and I rode on the ferris wheel.  Also, very good views.  Then we ate at the famous Billy Goat Tavern where we ate our delicious "cheezborgers."  I guess there is a legend this billy goat got kicked out of Wrigley stadium and that is why the Cubs haven't won the world series since.  When we got back to our hotel, Graham surprised me with a couples spa appointment from our hotel spa.  He received a swedish massage and I got the hot stone massage.  It was so amazing and relaxing, we both fell asleep. Then later that evening we ate dinner at the Chicago 312 restaurant.  It was very delicious.  Then, we went to see Wicked at the Ford Theatre.  Second time for me but first time for Graham.  He loved it too!  We walked back to our hotel.  By-the-way, Chicago is a very romantic city at night!  With all the hustle and bustle from all the cars and cabs, it still somehow felt so peaceful and dreamy with all the city lights and Michigan river flowing under the bridges.  Anyway on our walk home, we discovered the most yummiest treat, the Berry Chill frozen yogurt.  So delicious we went back Saturday night to enjoy it again.

On Saturday, we went to Lincoln Park where they have an organic Farmer's Market.  It's actually a beautiful park next to the river with lots of trails for running and walking.  We saw teams playing coed flag football, lots of birthday parties and lots of families hanging out.  We then took the bus to see the Wrigley Field where the Cubs play.  We asked around to see where the best pizza place was and everyone said  D'Agostinos Pizza was the best.  So we tried it and loved it.  Then we discovered another yummy place called Molly's Cupcakes.  A shop just for cupcakes.  What could be better you ask?  A sprinkle station with all your favorite sprinkles for your cupcake!  We took the bus back into the heart of downtown again which was a mistake.  I never want to take the bus anywhere again.  We should have taken the train, it would have been much faster.  We rode a water taxi to Sears Tower.  That was cool to see the city from the water's point of view.  That evening for our anniversary dinner we ate at an mediterranean restaurant called Alhambra Palace.  This was a cool place.  It had yummy food and also entertainment like flamenco and belly dancing.  It was loud, dark and crazy.  We loved it!
Eating at Billy Goat Tavern

Millennium Park & Hancock Building

The welcome home sign Emerson made

We loved our short stay in Chicago.  Chicago is beautiful with so many interesting buildings with wonderful architectural interests, it's clean and full of life.  I can't wait to go visit again. Maybe with our kids next time....or not!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

So, Graham and I are celebrating our 11 year anniversary this Saturday.  Wow, I can't believe it. I know everybody always says "wow, I can't believe we've been married for so and so many years," but when I think about it it does seem like we've been married that long.  We've done a lot in those 11 years.  We've moved 4 times to 4 different cities, owned 2 houses, produced 2 kids, adopted a dog, several job changes, owned 8 different cars, 5 traffic tickets and 3 jury duties.   Knock on wood but we've never had any hospital stays except for me giving birth.  I can't complain, life has been pretty good to us.  It hasn't been perfect.  We still have our ups and downs but as long as we have more ups I consider us lucky!   

I look at our wedding picture and think how incredibly young I was when we got married.  I wasn't even 21 yet.  I met Graham when I was 19.  I had just moved to Los Angeles to attend fashion school.  I moved in with 2 roommates who were strangers and didn't know anyone else in LA.  I decided I should start going to church, I looked up an LDS church in the yellow pages. I thought I was dialing the UCLA ward but accidentally dialed USC's student ward.  I met Graham at a family home evening that first Sunday.  He introduced himself to me but I thought nothing of it.  He, on the other hand says, "As soon as she walked into the room, a choir of angels sang and I knew she was the one."  I went out with him on a couple of dates but repeatedly told him I was not interest in him.  He thought I was playing hard to get.  I continued to date other people, he continued to find excuses to come over to my apartment. He won my roommates over immediately but I took much longer, I just couldn't shake him.  I don't even know how or why he stuck around for so long but I was finally convinced that he was the one.  To tell you the truth, I knew early on that I loved him but I was really trying hard not to admit it.  

For a long time, I thought how could I be so lucky to end up with such a great man but you know what...he's pretty lucky too!  We've made a beautiful family and a great life together.  I look forward to many more years ahead of us! Happy Anniversary, Baby!