Chi-town 4 life

We're back. And it was fun. The end.

No, just kidding. You'll have to forgive me, I'm just a teensy bit exhausted after our big weekend but I did, in fact, take exactly 430 pictures to commemorate the trip. I planned on showing you just 10 of my faves tonight but somehow I had to pick 25 right off the bat. I hope you don't mind.

My feet are still pulsating from the insane amount of walking we did. I am not joking when I say we walked for at least 6 hours each day around the freaking fabulous city of Chicago, and because I am stubborn and 'didn't want to look like a tourist' I insisted on wearing ballet flats the first day and flip flops the second. By today, the third day, I caved and wore my running shoes....because let's be honest: wearing a giant SLR camera around my neck pretty much gave away my tourist self way more than a pair of tennies would ever do. And besides, my feet were too blistered to don the cutesy shoes again. I'm just that stubborn, you guys.

So many stories to share, including but not limited to: us almost getting into a fight with some lady at a souvenir shop, me burning my entire mouth with scalding hot Starbucks--resulting in a partially numb tongue for the remainder of our trip, sightings of amazing/drool-worthy SLRs, classic Nate quotes galore, and did I mention....I took freaking 430 pictures. Geesh. I may have to do another post sometime later this week but for now, let's get started:

This is 'Big John', aka The John Hancock building. We stayed right across the street from this beast and even took the ride to the top for some great views. I am in love with this city, you guys.
Big John

Then there was this totally random sculpture of the classic painting. It reminds me of Nate and me in about 40 more with a really annoyed look on my haggard face, and Nate with a pitch fork. Random, yes?
Flash forward 40 years

Ah, the river, buildings, Star-beezy, and my hubs. Yes, it was a good trip.
Perfect day in Chicago

Millenium Park is the freaking bomb. So urban, industrial, and modern. Can you spot us in the magic bean?
Silver bean/Cloud gate

Totally psychedelic, dude.

I took this shot and when we got to our hotel room later that day, they had a nearly-identical shot framed in our room. I was so excited about unknowingly copying a professional shot I nearly peed myself. I quite like it, with the reflections and all.
magic sliver bean

We saw the State Street Memorial Day parade and the Police horses were in full force. I've always wanted a horse shot like this, just to be like Pioneer Woman with her earthy/vintage horses. Love.
observant horse

Saturday night I toted the tripod along with us to Navy Pier and boy, it was worth it. Please note the awesome misty nearly no light. Love you, tripod!
Navy in the mist

Again, I've always admired ferris wheel shots like this but of course, a tripod is a must. After a few takes we got it...and even captured the carosel, too!
ferris wheel with tripod

Night shots are my new favorite thing. And so is the Chicago skyline.
Chicago by night

Oh, hello, f/1.8. Lovely bokeh you're bringing these days. And the subject isn't too bad, either.
The hubs

pondering with bokeh

Then there's me, surrounded by bokeh. Love.
Yours truly

Carosels have always fascinated me, but now armed with a nice camera I took about 50 shots of this baby.
Carosel by night

[sidenote: can anyone tell me why I'm getting those odd reflections of light in my shots? Does it have something to do with my lens filter or what? Confused.]

Then there were the fireworks. Yep, about another 50 here.
Navy pier fireworks

I demanded to get a 'street shot' like this on our way back to the hotel, despite Nate's growing annoyance with the tripod. Worth it? I think so.
Night scene of chi-town

Sunday we walked another ridiculous amount, and stopped at Buckingham fountain for a classic 'touristy' shot.
Buckingham fountain

After walking all the way to the Shedd Museum, we discovered a TWO HOUR wait just to get inside. We decided it wasn't worth it and instead, went to Lincoln Park for these babies: mini-burgers!
Mini burgers

Also, we went to the zoo where my telephoto lens came out to play.
On the prowl


Tripod hotel shots are the best way to fully capture the trip, don't you think?
Tripod in hotel

Monday: the day I vowed to get shots of this awesome sign.
One of my must-have shots

And from the top of the world [Big John] we got to see all of Chicago's glory. Seriously, I love this town.
Urban delight
But it feels fabulous to be back home with this little bugger, too. Although we shopped all over Michigan avenue for ourselves, we came back home nearly empty handed. Well, except Henry got a new pimped out collar from a little doggy boutique. Of course we spent more money on our little man than we did ourselves! I'm digging the red preppy stripes, aren't you?
Chicago souvenier

So that's just the tip of the iceberg and it will do for now. If I regain my strength perhaps I will tell more stories and share more pictures. But seriously, Chicago is the bomb. The next time we go just might be marathon weekend....we'll see if I love Chicago after that. :)


  1. seriously.... i completely envy your photog skills. i have a rebel and i have no clue what i'm doing! i also haven't practiced much...

    i'm so glad y'all had a great trip!!! happy anniversary!!!

  2. Beautiful pictures, Julia! I think that we just might have to take our anniversary trip to Chicgo also. Italy and Napa are out of the question and I still haven't been to Chicago in the summertime. A crime, I know!

  3. Looks like you had a great trip. I love Chicago. Your photographs turned out awesome!

  4. Glad you had a great time. Nice pics :) I absolutely love Chicago too. Happy anniversary again!

  5. Your pictures are seriously awesome! I love them. Looks like you had a great time!

  6. Great pictures Julia! I especially love the night shots...even if carousels freak me out. :)

    Can't wait to see the rest!

  7. great pics! We are headed back there in July and we can't wait.

  8. Amazing shots Julia!! It looks like you guys had a fabulous weekend! And now I am missing Chicago! :)

  9. I'm drooling. The pictures are fantastic! I especially love the Chicago skyline at night. Oh, how I wish I had an SLR!!! Glad that you had a good time. Chicago is a great town!

  10. What a fun trip! I too love Chicago. And I always shop Michigan Ave yet never come home with anything either. I think its just sensory overload. Makes my brain shut down, perplexed with too many choices. Way to tough it out with the cute shoes. You're a stronger woman than me!

  11. your pictures are great! Happy anniversary again! :)

  12. Looks great! Seriously, it makes me want to visit Chicago, and that is huge. I haven't been there (outside of O'Hare) since I was in my early teens and never thought of it as a place to return to.

  13. Glad you had fun - LOVE LOVE LOVE your pictures!!!!!

    Happy anniversary tomorrow. :)

  14. how fun! Chicago is so great. I love your ferris wheel shot too! I've been wanting to try that out this summer...but I dont have a tripod, so it won't look as nice. I'm proud of you for busting out the tripod so much! Top notch!

  15. Your pictures are amazing! It looks like you two had a great time. Happy Anniversary!

  16. New reader here...just wanted to say that I LOVE your Chicago pictures! You're talented! Plus, it's such a beautiful city. My sister is planning on moving there when she graduates, and I'm excited to have an excuse to visit often!

  17. Fantastic shots of Chicago!!! The Ferris Wheel one is my favorite. :-)

  18. I LOVE Chicago! These pictures make me want to steal my dad's DLSR and throw caution to the wind and take it with me. I've always relied on my point and shoot. Seriously, fantastic, professional quality pictures. Love them.

    And happy anniversary!!!

  19. next time you are here we HAVE to get together! and did henry's new collar come from tails in the city? that's charlie's FAVORITE place (besides day care of course).

  20. Congrats on your anniversary! Glad you enjoyed Chicago- beautiful shots! And if you didn't make it to Dog-a-holic definitely add that to your list- that is my pups fav place (next to Lincoln Park of course).

    I am going to have to get less nervous about busting out the tripod in public after seeing your shots!

  21. I just sent you an email about a chicago photo contest on, I'm sure you will win!! Love all the pics and Chicago :)


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