Thursday, December 8, 2016


Last week Ken and I went on a mini trip to Chicago!  It was my birthday gift and a way to celebrate my upcoming graduation.  Our main focus was to visit the Chriskindlmart that is held each year.  You see, I am desperately wanting to go to the Christmas markets in Germany.  Desperately.  We mentioned this to a friend, and he suggested the market in Chicago.  It is authentic German as you can get here in the States, so we had to try it out!

We left on Thursday and came home on Saturday.  That is the perfect amount of time in Chicago if you are not running the marathon, in my humble opinion.

This is how I will be rolling until further notice.

Apparently Ken wanted in on my NCLEX action and started reviewing questions.  He got more correct than I thought he would given the bizarre wording of nursing questions where every answer is technically correct.

We arrived in Chicago, dropped our bags, and made our way to the Chriskindlmart.  

A few of the darling stalls adored with Christmas goods

Many of the vendors come in Chicago from Germany.

We wandered around the market to get the lay of the land and then stopped for a little German fare.  We then made the most important stop of the evening, for gluhwein!  

Ken and his first experience with gluhwein.  Spoiler alert, he is a fan!

I adored the Christmas market and the gluhwein!

We did not stay long at the market, as our plans were to spend more time there on Friday.  We left the market and made our way back to the hotel with plans to stop somewhere along the way.

Beautiful Chicago

We ended up stumbling across CH Distillery and stopped for a few drinks.  This place was so adorable!  It was fully decorated for Christmas and the theme was all things A Christmas Story, everything from the decor to the drinks.

The themed menu.  All of the drinks were named after something A Christmas Story.

Enjoying my BB Gun drink, which was lovely.

We ended our night with a little deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati's.  This was Ken's first experience at Lou's and he was indeed a fan.  

We woke up on Friday and I went for a quick run around downtown.  I cannot possibly explain just how annoying it is to run around downtown Chicago with all the stoplights and people commuting to work.  I will take my suburbia running any day!

We got ready to go for the day and did a little morning shopping.

Macy's really goes all out with the decorations.

We stopped by Macy's so I could visit the Christmas Lane area and buy a few ornaments.  It was glorious.  

It is like a Christmas Explosion!!

After Macy's we made our way to Michigan Avenue and stopped for lunch at The Purple Pig.  We had both always wanted to go here for a meal, so I am glad we were finally able to.  This place is busy!  We arrived around 12:30 and still had to wait about 30 minutes or so to get a table.  Not to fret, we enjoyed cocktails on the heated patio and talked the time away.  

The seating arrangements are communal and we were seated with a group of ladies from Iowa.  They were a hoot!  We had so much fun with them.  We had no intention on staying for as long as we did, but we were enjoying talking and laughing (and sharing food) with our new friends.  

I do need to take a moment to speak of how wonderful and friendly I think people from Iowa are.  Iowa people are amazing and so is their loyalty to all things Iowa such as Hy Vee and Scheels!

With our new friends at the Purple Pig.  PS, the lady on the far left is a farmer.  

We shopped around Magnificent Mile for a bit before stopping off at the Kerryman for a drink.  We made our way back to our hotel and relaxed for awhile.  After that, we bundled up and made our way back to the Christmas market!

The Chicago Christkindlmart

All bundled up (I am wearing two scarves) and with our gluhwein!

Shopping around the Munich vendor to find my perfect ornament.

I really have this Christmas market thing down.  Who wants to go with me to Germany?

Festive shoppers

I bought a set of four nutcracker men ornaments to bring home.  I really want a nutcracker, but Ken and I both agree that this is best purchased in Germany.  We also snacked on some candied pecans.  Let's just take a moment to discuss how delicious the market smelled.  Yankee candle should definitely make one and call it Christmas Market.  It shall smell of candied nuts, schnitzel and gluhwein!  Seriously, the smell of the market was unbelievable.

Freezing, but having so much fun together!

Some of the hand painted ornaments I liked

We had a few refills on the gluhwein!

I enjoyed my gluhwein

Our first ever Christmas market was a success!

The market view from the street

The market was definitely a lot more crowded on Friday than it was on Thursday.  If you dislike crowds, I suggest a week night visit.  

We left the market and stopped at a little bar that ended up having last call at 8:50 pm.  Ken and I looked at each other in shock.  I mean, our local Talk of the Town in Leawood stays open until after 1:00 am.  Strange.  

We decided to go to a local brewery that was near our hotel for one last drink before wrapping up our trip.

Ken and me at Haymarket Pub

We left the following morning, just a day shy of getting to see the snow.  I can only imagine how crazy I would go if I got to walk around a Christmas market in the snow.  That might be too much joy in one place.  Alas, even without the snow, we had an amazing time.

Thank you Ken for taking me on a wonderful little trip!  I love our time away together.

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