July 19, 2016

Wonderful Weekend (Part 2!)

Be sure to check out the previous post to check out how the weekend started!

When Thomas and I woke up on Friday, we were still talking about the book tour on Thursday. We tried to focus on other things, like showering and making the budget, but it kept coming back down to Chris. I happened to be on Twitter at the time, and I caught a glance of his tour schedule... and he was going to be in Chicago that night! After some quick calculating, we realized that the trip would only take 6 hours. After frantically debating for awhile, we threw some clothes and our toothbrushes into a duffel bag, told the neighbors we'd be back the next night, and we were off!

The whole trip, we just kept looking at one another and saying, "I can't believe we're actually doing this!" We are not spontaneous people. We don't usually have the time or money for weekend trips, but it just so happened that Thomas had taken Friday off and we had just gotten paid, including my extra money for teaching summer school, so it was really like the perfect storm. 

While Thomas drove, I bought tickets to the event and booked a hotel via Expedia. The venue was about 45 minutes outside of the city and the hotel was just a bit further, so it wasn't terribly expensive. We tried to stop as little as possible, because we knew we were cutting it close time-wise! Luckily, there was a 1-hour time difference that we hadn't factored in. 

When we got there, about 50 people were already standing in line. These people weren't nearly as friendly as the girls from Columbus, but that may also be because we were exhausted and much less chatty ourselves.

The doors were supposed to open at 5:30, but they didn't let us in until about 6:25 or so. We were lucky and got great seats!

To put it shortly: Chris was just as wonderful and charming the second night! Of course, we heard many of the same questions answered, but Chris read a different excerpt from the book and a different fairy tale story at the end.

I think I said this yesterday, but it needs to be said again: I was absolutely blown away with how Chris interacted with the kids in the audience! Most people, whether they realize it or not, tend to talk down to kids... and Chris doesn't. He answers their questions in the same way he would answer questions from an adult. He was teasing some of the kids onstage (asking a 9ish-year-old boy dressed like the Masked Man, "You're dressed as Red Riding Hood, right?") and really seemed to genuinely enjoy interacting with them. Speaking as a kindergarten teacher, that really stands out to me and makes me love Chris even more!

Here are some more pictures-

Isn't Glasses Colfer just the cutest?

After the event, Thomas and I walked around the building because, you know, we had spent 7 hours in the car. It was a beautiful night, and the school was huge! When we had done a lap, we got back into the car and went to the hotel. 

I'm gonna drop some knowledge on you: I LOVE HOTELS. Some people think they're gross, some people think they're creepy, some people hate sleeping in a bed others have slept in... but not me! 

(Well, unless the hotel is gross and creepy... but ours was nice!)

I love hotels for two reasons: temperature control and continental breakfast! I love sleeping in a freezing cold room. The more blankets I can pile on top of myself, the better I can sleep! In fact, the first thing I did when I got to the hotel was turn the air conditioner down to 60 degrees. It was frigid and wonderful! I also really love hotel breakfast. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and getting a buffet that I don't have to prepare myself is always such a great treat! It's also nice that Thomas, the vegetarian, and I, the meat-and-potatoes girl, can both eat something we really want without having to worry about the other being fed, too. It's a win-win!

When we left the hotel, we stopped at Starbucks (duh) and then at Target to get some sunscreen for our big day out in the city! Waiting in line, though, Thomas discovered that the Cubs were playing a home game that day. We realized we had to get out of there before that happened, but we were determined to enjoy our morning!

We looked at the pamphlets we had taken from the hotel lobby and decided to try to go to the free Lincoln Park Zoo. After finding a parking lot, we got out and began our tour. For a free zoo, it was really nice! I really couldn't get over the fact that there were huge, towering city buildings right next to the zoo. It was 

After the zoo, we walked the half-mile or so to the beach to see Lake Michigan! It was so beautiful. The water was such a pretty color and the breeze felt phenomenal. It was a great way to end our unexpected weekend away!

I would love to go back to Chicago soon (you know... actually plan a trip there)! What are some things we should plan to do there? Let me know! :)

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