Chicago, continued.

Well, gee, it only took me an entire week to get through all of my Chicago pictures. I enjoy editing and uploading and all that fun stuff but sometimes it gets a little overwhelming. I don't know how the pros do it, for reals.

But anyway, I thought I'd show you more pictures of our fabulous trip and spice it up with a few stories as well.

First of all, the 90 minute train ride from Milwaukee to downtown Chicago is freaking amazing. $22 one way and avoiding Chicago traffic/parking makes it one of the best ways to get down there and I think we'll be using this transportation service a lot more often. Plus, train tracks are one of the coolest things to photograph. Here we are, arriving in Chicago:
da train

After dropping off our bags at the hotel, we were immediately on the hunt for a Starbucks. On Michigan avenue we passed the Apple store and I half-jokingly told Nate to pose for a picture in front of the logo. He begrudgingly obliged with a scowl on his face, then said to me afterward, "This is so embarrassing. NO more touristy pictures." Which, of course, caused me to roll on the ground laughing. Really? You didn't think I'd forget to take pictures on this trip, did you?
"this is so embarassing."

After the Apple store episode, we found ourselves rather lost....or at least, without a Starbucks. I mean, come on. Aren't there about 64,230 in every major city? And especially downtown'd think there would be about 4 on every corner. But apparently we could not find the elusive S.Beezy near our hotel. Which made Nate very annoyed. And that made me want to take pictures of his annoyance. It's like a vicious cycle, really.
if looks could kill, i'd be dead. so would my camera

Eventually we found one and all was right with the world. Until I took a sip of the black gold and scalded the entire contents of my mouth....tongue, throat, roof of my mouth were all fried. I was quite upset and said, "That wasn't even pleasurable," which made Nate laugh for a good two hours. You know what they say about payback, right?

Walking around with a numb mouth, we discovered the Chicago river. I know it gets a lot greener than this for St. Patrick's day, but it still looked a little aqua to me.
river runs through it

More Millennium Park fun:

Nate was throwing down a gang sign here, obvi.
nate threw down gang signs

We found a stranger to take our picture, which of course made me a nervous wreck. Please don't drop my camera, dude. have to actually look through the viewfinder. OMG just hurry up already. You can tell by the tension in my arm that I was holding my breath for it to be over.
us in chicago

Nate is king of Millennium Park, while a little Asian man points in awe.
king of millenium park

Then there was the creepiest thing ever: this talking head of sorts, randomly placed in MP, with water shooting out of it. I hated when his mouth moved and didn't take the time to read about WHY there was a giant talking head, or who he was. Just plain odd, right?
creepiest thing ever

But the water made for some fun pictures and lots of kids seemed to enjoy splashing around next to the giant head.
splish splash

During the State Street parade, I became obsessed with these Police horses. Even their butts were cute.
horses asses

This one was my buddy who got really annoyed with my camera. Either that or he's a total show boater who wanted me to capture his best side.
can i help you?

One thing I love about big cities is there is always something happening, and street entertainers are found on every corner. I loved these silver men because they danced like robots then stood still like statues. Again, I guess it was borderline creepy but cool at the same time.
urban entertainers

Random flowers outside of our hotel that were truly this yellow. LOVE.

You all know about my love affair with narrow depth of field, right? Well, interesting metal fences are always a fave, too.
depth of perception

After eating some awesome pizza we found the cutest little cupcake store with the most adorable to-go boxes.
cutest cupcake box ever

My 'black and white' cupcake was the most beautiful thing I'd seen all day. Nate ate his right away but I withheld just to take a few pictures, of course.
artwork meant to be eaten

Then we were off to Navy Pier where my tripod came out to play. Love this entryway.

My new favorite picture from the entire trip, with the colors, the bokeh, and my favorite subject:
soaking it all in

The beloved carosel and ferris wheel:
carosel lights

There was a water fountain inside that had random shoots of water spraying in different directions. Made for a cool picture, of course.
water spout

Looking at the 50 fireworks shots I took, I think I like the crazy/blurry ones the best, like this one:
grande finale

Then came Sunday, when we walked by Buckingham fountain on our way to Shedd Aquarium:
Which, of course, we did not enter because of the two hour wait. But we headed to the Lincoln Park zoo instead and found this little guy:
And this one:
here, kitty kitty
And this one:
what you looking at?

More eating and walking and drinking followed that night. And then it was Monday, the day we left:( We headed to the Chicago sign first to satisfy my desire for shots like these:
Then took the ride up to the top of John Hancok, for shots like these:
lake above
It was after our ride to the top when we almost got into a fight with some crazy lady in the gift shop. You see, we get a magnet from every trip we take and found the perfect Chicago magnet in the gift store. So we stood in line to check out and waited our turn as two little girls went in front of us. It was kind of a hectic place and the line had to curl around the side because of all the merchandise.

When it came time for us to check out some crazy hooker appeared beside us and said, "Must be nice to cut in line," or something obnoxious like that. I thought maybe she was joking and tried to be nice to her, smiled, and said, "Oh, we only have one thing to buy," thinking that she'd just drop it. But no---she grinned a sarcastic, nasty grin and said in a mocking tone, "Oh, so since you only have one thing to buy you get to cut in front of us? That's great." Immediately my biyatch radar went off and I realized this chick was not kidding around. She was obivously a miserable lunatic who saw us standing in line first, but believed she deserved to go ahead of us anyway.

She mumbled something under her breath and had the world's worst attitude and finally I couldn't take it anymore and said, "I have no idea what you are talking about, or why you think you can just create your own line but we were here first and you're just going to have to deal with it." She seriously thought that we were standing 'outside of the line boundaries' as we waited our turn, so she made her own little line off to the side, which obviously makes perfect sense if you are a total moron. I felt like we were arguing with a four year old and yet she was easily 50. And short. And not cute. And we totally could have taken her down if needed:)

As she spouted off more idiotic claims I turned to the one lady behind us both in line and said, "Make sure you are in the right line or things could get very ugly, apparently." Moron-lady didn't like that too much. Nate told her to have a fabulous day as we left and it took every ounce of my willpower not to get really nasty with her. I just don't get why some people are so miserable in this world, making a huge deal about standing in a freaking gift-shop line? Come on. Get over yourself.

Nate lovingly referred to her as my 'best friend' from that point on because she clearly got under my skin and irritated the heck out of me. All for a freaking magnet. I'm glad I didn't have to drop 'bows on her or display my mad Taekwondo skills in front of all Chicago. Then she'd be really sorry she messed with me:) Has anyone else had run-ins with crazies who are generally miserable people? Ugh. Annoying.

So there you have it, a condensed version of the 114 pics I uploaded to Flickr. I could very easily make another 3 posts about our trip but instead, I'll send you off to Flickr if you want more. And now I have to calm myself down about 'my best friend' again, just thinking about her gets me irritated.


  1. love all of the gorgeous photos! but that one of the horse that turned towards you is just fab. next time, you + me + chicago!

  2. We always get magnets, too. :)

  3. hey! no making fun of short people :) For real though, people like that clearly have issues. I learned that working in customer service while in college. There will always be people who feel like they are a victim and need to complain. So annoying.

    We get magnets also. Such a good souvenir that actually serves a purpose!

    Have you wondered when it will get old to take an incessant amount of pics? Because I have. Like, when will I not think of every moment as a photo? Hmmm.... For now I dont care though - It's so fun! (like I actually just thought I should take pics of our magnets. ahhh! the girl can't stop!)

  4. Your picture taking skills are so amazing! Great pics.

  5. Thanks for sharing your pics! My husband and I are heading to Chicago this coming Friday for our belated honeymoon. Seeing all your pictures has gotten me super excited to go! I just hope we don't run into any crazies! Off to check out your pics on Flickr.

  6. Love the cupcake, absolutely gorgeous!

  7. I want to visit Chicago so bad. It's definitely on my summer to do list!

    Loved the story about crazy gift shop lady. I would have totally thrown it back in her face as well. Jim would have been utterly embarassed but I'm bold like that. Good for you for standing up for yourself!

  8. What was hauling your tripod around like? I've never done it before.

  9. I only mention the short thing because Nate and I are such giants....we could have easily karate chopped the top of her head, or held her forehead away from our bodies with our long arms, as she took swings at us. Nothing against my shorties in real life....just this horrid one in particular.

    I love that others get magnets, too!

    And I was allowed one evening to haul the tripod around....just to Navy Pier. It really wasn't too bad since it's fairly compact and lightweight. But I could not have handled it for one of our 6 hour walks during the day. Also, tripods are apparently illegal at Navy Pier, b/c some security dude asked us to stop taking pictures with it right after we got the skyline shot. I guess they want you to buy their pics, not create your own! He was nice about it though. So really, only the beginning misty shots, the ferris wheel, and the skyline were with the tripod. The others I just had to hold my breath.

  10. Love your pictures, as always!

    Gah, what a jerkface that lady was. Some people just supersuck.

  11. You might appreciate a jerk story I have from a half marathon.

    I was at a water stop and I was continue running through it while getting a drink, some dude cut in front of me and stopped, so I had to stop.

    The dude behind me ran into me (not a big deal), spilled his water on me (not a big deal), but then proceeded to SHOVE ME trying to get me out of his way! Which would be half way okay if it was me that was the reason I had stopped, but I wasn't it!

    I automatically yelled out "DUDE!" And he said, "What? You stopped! Whatever, sorry." I was like, "Um no, the guy in front of me stopped. Not a big deal though the water felt good." He said, "I SAID I was sorry" in this condescending attitude.

    That is the last thing I needed during the race was this negative idiot! Oh well, such is life during races. I was ready to kick his booty though!

  12. That cupcake is INSANE. I totally want one. Your last post about cupcakes made me drool too.

    I am so proud of you for standing up for yourself. I am usually too scared that people like that are going to rip me a new one if I say anything to them. I wish I had a shrewd tongue when people dis' me.

    My new favorite pet peave is people behind me in grocery store lines who have to creep their carts up right against me when I am trying to pay for my groceries. It is so rude and annoying to me. Of course I never say anything, but if looks could mame...

  13. Great pics Julia! Oh how I heart Chicago. That cupcake looked amazing.
    I sometimes have a hard time holding myself back too when someone is being a total idiot. It makes me wonder what is wrong with people??

  14. i'm with ami... a chicago meet up is in order. it's my fave city and y'all are two of my fave bloggers.

    your photos are so beautiful! the first one is amazing!

  15. Loved looking at all your pictures of the city!!

  16. love these...all of them!! what a great trip. that cupcake looked ambrosial! delicious!

  17. Happy 2 year!! Love the pics!! Every trip I take I always get a Christmas ornament... every city seems to sell them year round and I love getting them out every December and remembering what a kickin time I had there.

  18. Such amazing photographs! Thank you for sharing your trip with us! Chicago looks like THE place to visit and nab some great shots as well!

  19. People like your "best friend" irritate me too. I would have done the same thing you did.

    That first photo is my favorite. It's incredible!!

  20. Your Chicago photos look fantastic! We're going for a weekend in September and I cannot wait.

    We're heading out on vacation next weekend, and I've been tossing around the idea of renting another lens to take with us. Which did you use the most for your vacation shots? I have the Canon Rebel XT, and I only have a kit lens (which I really have grown to dislike), and the nifty fifty. I love the 50mm, but clearly it is not appropriate for a lot of things, especially architecture/skyline shots and such. Just wondering which lens you had the most luck with in Chicago. Thanks!

  21. As usual, gorgeous pictures (yawwwwwwwn....j/k :)
    LOOVE the first one in the subway. You TOTALLY need to get that blown up and framed in your place.
    Chicago is what I miss the most about the midwest....oh, and of course my family. :)
    Next time be sure to visit Hot Doug's on California Avenue!

  22. Hi! I can't remember how I found your blog but I love reading about your life adventures and your love of photography. I share a bokeh thing, too!
    Also, I am passing on a blog award to you, details here:

  23. Great photos!

    Here's a crazy lady story for you: I was getting on a plane to go on our honeymoon in Hawaii. I'm happy, newly married and on my way to paradise. As the guy in front of me attempts to put his suitcase in the overhead bin, I hear a loud sigh from the lady a couple people behind me. She turns to someone behind her and mumbles something about the guy taking "their" space. I check my ticket - I have the window and my new husband has the middle seat. We sit down and this NUT JOB says that she has the window seat. I say, "Okay, whatever, no big deal" trying to be pleasant. I don't care where I sit as long as I'm with my honey, right? She proceeds to complain and say she has the window seat, it's on her ticket blah blah blah. So, we move over, letting her have the window seat when she realizes she is ALL ALONE over there on a six hour flight.
    Then she starts in with: "I have the aisle seat - I have to sit on the aisle to be near my daughter because I am a diabetic!" Of course, she doesn't know that I am a nurse and my husband a doctor.
    I let her have it about bitching from the moment she got on the plane. Her daughter was saying something like, "Mother - don't get us kicked off another flight..." TOTALLY NUTS!
    Anyway, we let her have the aisle seat, I sit by the window because I want to knock her lights out and I'm shaking because I am so mad! Then, she proceeds to eat candy bars and drink full sugar sodas the entire trip.
    Yeah ~ lots of nuts out there...

  24. Hey, I just saw this contest on Fodors web site: where you can submit your best shots and potentially get your photo published in their Chicago guide and win tickets to the Shedd Aquarium. The fabulous pictures you posted of Chicago immediately came to my mind, so I wanted to pass this on.


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