Nicaragua Vacation!

Nicaragua is seriously the most beautiful place ever and we had a blast on our family summer vacation! Flew in with an inexpensive nonstop flight from Dallas to Managua and traveled by rental car from there to hotel Plaza Colon in Granada (I love that I’ve been to Granada Spain and Granada Nicaragua!)

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took a horse and carriage tour of the city-there were some awesome old buildings

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old hospital- it’s almost like nothing else new was built since the 1800’s-

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Also ate some good food (breakfast is where it’s at)

this is called a nacatamal and it was super good

from Granada we went on to our house on the beach which was so fun!

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Had amazing waves for surfers (which I am not) those guys are something else out on the waves! I did do some boogie boarding which was fun 🙂

Everyday was ocean, pool, eating amazing food that was hand made by our house staff, golfing, hiking, relaxing and repeat

heaven

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Unbelievable natural beauty- seriously I want to go back now…

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butterflies EVERYWHERE

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tons of hermit crabs

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we visited the Mukul resort and got some spa time in (hola madre!)- it was amazing

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The resort was gorgeous (had the beach -Guacalito de la isla -completely to ourselves) and the guys loved the golf course

There was also an amazing dinner on the beach which had the most AMAZING ribs ever

also had TI sitting at the table next to us which made us feel pretty cool

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then we drove over to Leon where we stayed in an old convent turned hotel

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seriously cool looking inside

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and we went volcano sledding!

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it was quite the trek to the top

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this was the hardest part of the hike- almost died

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and we went sledding down!

it was alot of fun- totally worth the pain of hiking up the volcano- it was also so cool to see a volcano up close! The rocks were still hot to the touch and the volcanic rock was also cool to see in real life-there were even geysers spouting up steam in spots

We had such a blast visiting Nica! Can’t wait to go back some day!

Fun fact: I’m 1/8th Nicaraguan! My great grandfather on my mom’s side traveled to Nicaragua from the USA back when they thought the (now Panama) canal would be built there- He married a local Nicaraguan woman (my great grandmother) and did a lot for the country including designing buildings, advocating for the people of Nicaragua by writing our government letters and running an ice factory (yes they had factories that made ice back in the 1800’s)- a pretty cool dude

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San Miguel for Thanksgiving

We had a lovely trip to San Miguel, Mexico for Thanksgiving this year and it was one of the best places I’ve visited so far in my life- tons of character, interesting finds and beautiful scenery.  It was AWESOME! Below are some photos

This was our breakfast spot- lots of yummy meals were eaten here 🙂

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The interior/exterior decor is everything I ever wanted in a house

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Seriously how beautiful!

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This was above the swimming pool

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Secret garden feel everywhere

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I guess everything blooms/thrives in Mexico- every type of flower was blooming

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Loved this cool bronze candle holder- with all the candles in this must be beautiful

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Want to eventually have pots on the wall somewhere- love the look

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beautiful marble sinks and cool fish faucets- everything was so unique

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love the exposed beams

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had to make a wine/beer run!

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love this photo of mi madre

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my sister took of the trip- she got a pretty cool new camera Canon EOS 6D that takes tons of good photos-

awesome horse riding adventure!

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La Parroquia- beautiful church- reminded me of the Spanish architecture I saw in Barcelona

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Loved the parade celebrating an upcoming wedding- we ended up seeing the wedding parade the next day- too cool

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pretty little sister-taken at the Rosewood at La Cava which is this amazing restaurant in a wine cellar-the food was amazing

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can’t believe this girl is graduating highschool already 😥

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The familia (minus papa)

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the hubby

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seriously everything was blooming and green-

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Had a bunch of good times- will have to go back sometime soon!

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Will show all of my purchases in the next post- got some cute items for the house!

Miami, Vegas, ACL, Wedding, 29th BDay, NYC (Fall 2014)

So these past weekends have been pretty eventful, amazing and exhausting! We went to Austin City Limits with my sisters/husbands and dear friends, traveled to Austin again to be in a beautiful wedding, went to New York City to celebrate one of Moky’s friends birthdays/he also beat cancer this year!!, squeezed in a trip to Vegas, I went on a bachelorette trip to Miami and also celebrated turning 29! Phew just typing that all out made me realize that we accomplished/attempted quite a bit this September/October- Fun times abounded- loved all of the good times and (hazy) memories 🙂

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my sis looking gorg at ACL

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people for miles (maybe too many people…)

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my wonderful friend and her husband- had such a fun time celebrating their wedding at the beautiful Villa Antonia!

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Wonderful moment my friend and I got to share with the bride right before her first look…tear :’)

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Birthday celebrations at Nick and Sams– best steak and lobster mac and cheese ever

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I really wanted a caricature for my birthday so hired a caricature artist (Suzworks)to come to the house- best decision ever-we had such a fun time with the pictures!

Tessa was a good doggie model 🙂

 

 

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gorgeous manhattan skyline-view from our friends balcony where we stayed

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stud muffin

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pretty decorations at a coffee shop called SweetLeaf that had the best Chia tea ever- also had an seafood dinner at Wild Edibles that was amazingly fresh tasting

hung out in K-Town for some Turntable Chicken

also had fun playing ping pong at Fat Cat 

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all in all busy and fun- lots/too much good food (probably too much Fireball) and good conversations-ready for some down time now

Spain Trip-Granada

So the last stop on my amazing Spain trip was in Granada! We had quite the overnight train ride to get there which might have felt a little claustrophobic! The train was pretty tiny- Once we got to Granada though it was beautiful! Love the south of Spain- has a totally different feel that is very unique and exotic.

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The streets were narrow and we were in the part of Granada called Albaicin which was super old and awesome

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This was the view out of our windowAirbnb is awesome and it worked perfectly for our trip

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We ate plenty of gelato- yum

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The city was pretty quiet and had a very romantic feel

But the main attraction is the beautiful Alhambra  which was originally built in the 1st century

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The garden’s were beautiful and there were so many types of roses it was awesome

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garden vistas

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This is the pic of us at the top- burned quite a few calories getting all the way up- it was pretty hot!

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Afterwards we definitely needed sustenance-

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ordered plenty of food 🙂

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Also ate tons of hummus in Granada

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Later that night we went back to the Alhambra to see the Nasrid Palaces

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It was a dark journey to the top- literally straight up a mountain

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It was so beautiful- I want a house that looks like this 🙂

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Although I didn’t see any cozy dens for cuddling up with a book so maybe I don’t want this palace!

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Loved this woodwork on the door

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Posing next to the amazing cured pork that is all over Granada

Crappy story: TSA took away all my cured pork products I brought back for the hubs 😥 moral of the story you can’t bring back in food from other countries (definitely not any meat products) unless you can hide it better…not condoning smuggling but maybe

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A bull fighting ring- wouldn’t want to go watch that though-

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Went on a final bus tour – Goodbye Granada!

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The last night we went to a lovely restaurant called Carmen Mirador de Aixa– lots of good food

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and that was the end of my Spain trip! Had an awesome time and already planning a trip to Europe for next year! thinking Italy/France or Scotland or Norway or everywhere 🙂

Spain Trip- Barcelona

Barcelona was such a fun city and was a wonderful stop on our trip!

So here we go-

Barcelona!

Our Hilton Diagonal hotel was pretty sweet- I love the Barcelona style

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Random pic of the bathroom- weird I know but I thought the mirror and general style was so unique (love the slanted marble sinks)!

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Our favorite restaurant Piscolabis was right across from the hotel

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And then on to my favorite stop- the gorgeous Sagrada Familia

It was seriously the coolest architecture I have ever seen and a must see wonder of the world by Gaudi

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The doors around the church had cool passages from the bible carved in them

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I want these stained glass windows in my house

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The stonework was really so unique, old, detailed and beautiful- I loved it

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Pretty colors and amazing ceilings

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more outside shots

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the inside was also gorgeous

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We got to tour the Nativity tower which was awesome- it was very narrow and the spiraling stairs went up to the top of the church

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It was a beautiful view

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We went to this cute bar in Barcelona called Old Fashioned and had some amazing cocktails

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the bartender was awesome and we had a great time!

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then on to dinner where we stumbled upon another cool steam punk style restaurant called Estel de Gracia

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it was one of the best meals I had in Spain! lots of good food to be had 🙂

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foie gras was everywhere and yummy

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next up Granada (via an overnight train which is quite the experience!)

check out Part 1 in Madrid right here

Spain Trip! Madrid

So I had the most awesome trip to Spain this year and I definitely want to share some photos! I got to go with two awesome girls and we had the BEST time.  Also I’m so glad I went ahead and just did it! Sometimes European trips can be kind of daunting (don’t want to use all my vacation days on this, expensive, etc..) but I’m so glad I just went for it! Next year I’m definitely going to Europe again- maybe Italy/France/Switzerland or something 🙂

So first we headed to Madrid where we got to meet up with my mom’s friend who was so sweet to host us in her home and feed us like queens!

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Madrid was beautiful and we definitely walked around alot of the city

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The city is pretty cool- The Paseo del Prado garden was beautiful as well-

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more garden pics

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We also saw the Royal Palace

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It was pretty hot-as in temperature hot but only typically during midday

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We spent alot of time at the Plaza Santa Ana which we were able to get to without getting lost and it had a lot of good restaurants around

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There was also a totally weird scary fun Hawaiian tiki bar that was in caves deep underground and might have had some illegal activities occurring in front of us as well… but the drinks were awesome!

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I also got to stop by Toledo when I went back to Madrid to catch my flight out of Spain

It was seriously so beautiful- looked like a fairy tale

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We enjoyed some cervezas’s while looking over the city

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it’s such an old and historic place- seriously cool

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Next up Barthelona! (and you have to draw out the name when you pronounce it)

January Catch up- Ski Trip and more

So it’s already March! agh! time is flying

So we had the best ski trip ever to Beaver Creek Colorado and here are the pictures to prove it! Also I popped my shoulder out of its socket (called a shoulder subluxation) so that’s more painful proof of my trip 🙂

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It was an amazing time!

We also did a flight over Dallas through Delta Charlies which was tons of fun (I did get food poisoning though) but the flight part was Amazing!

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Delta Charlies (flight amazing food iffy)

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Our more laid back activities have included puzzles 🙂 and eating/drinking 🙂

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4D puzzle from fab.com

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belly and trumpet restaurant in Dallas so good

It’s been a great start to 2014 and I’m excited for what this year has in store!

New Orleans- Dining, Drinks and a Bachelorette party!

We ate and drank quite a bit in New Orleans!

Also found some awesome places that were SOOO good!

one of my favorite restaurants in New Orleans is Domenica

It is a restaurant in the Roosevelt that we frequented often- the happy hour pizza/drinks special was awesome!

I got the gorgonzola, peach and spec pizza- yum

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Our waitress even gave us tons of free drinks!

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Another awesome restaurant we discovered was a crepe place called Merchant

so cute on the inside and the egg and coppa savory crepes were amazing

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loved the white chairs, light fixture and artwork

Then Moky and I went on an oyster spree at Desire Oyster Bar

and Acme Oyster House

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I also went on my own personal oyster po boy sandwich tour and found my favorite at

Cajun Mikes Pub and Grub

Killer Poboys was also pretty good (they had an awesome lamb po boy)

the muffaletta at Serio’s was pretty good too

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also had an amazing brunch at Surrey’s Cafe and Juice Bar

highly recommend their homemade bagels and lox plate

walking there was where I got to see these amazing doors and houses in the Garden District

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love the patina

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looks like this door saw some of the water from Hurricane Katrina

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love this house so much- beautiful entrance/porch and landscaping

had some drinks at the Sazerac bar

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then on to the bachelorette party for my sis!

had some delicious gouda beignets at Bouligny Tavern

the bride-to-be and some friends

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me and the sis

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then had dinner at Lilette which was good too

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then bourbon street, drinks, craziness, partying, fun times!

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haha

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and the beautiful bachelorette (can’t wait for your wedding!)

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New Orleans Trip-Mardi Gras World

So I’ve been gone for a bit in New Orleans and then recovering from New Orleans 🙂

It was for a work conference and then turned into my sister’s bachelorette weekend and it was so much fun!

Here are some pictures from our travels-

Enjoyed staying at the Roosevelt– love that hotel- so much CHARACTER!

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and we went to Mardi Gras world– loved seeing the artists make those amazing floats

showing us how they sketch the idea for the float and then start carving it out of styrofoam- after that they carefully paper-mache the whole piece and then paint it-

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This was how they used to make them back before styrofoam-pretty intricate

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Painting the scary werewolf face…

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These are HUGE

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we found a harp! (wonder what it was used for?)

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Hubs found his favorite ninja turtle 🙂

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Loved these old popeye and olive ones stuffed in the corner

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So tall!

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off to see the wizard!

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Cute giant panda

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the paper flowers that covered the floats were amazing!

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As you can see I loved touring the float making warehouse- coming up more posts about what we did the most (hint: eat and drink) 🙂

 

The Windy City and a Wedding

So my cousin had a wedding in Chicago and the whole fam made a trip up there- we had a blast!
BEAUTIFUL weather abounded as well good food and sightseeing-

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Amazing skyline pic taken from the top of the John Hancock building– so much better than the Sears (now Willis) tower

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The bean 🙂

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Weird japanese pig Tanuki sculptures…

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More downtown scenes

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 gift bags at the rehearsal dinner that had amazing Garret carmel and cheddar cheese mixed popcorn, root beer and other goodies inside

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sisters and brother in law

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me and the hubs

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really great food at The Bristol 

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love the blue mason jars

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Amazing drinks!

And most importantly the beautiful wedding- I loved so many of the details and the venue was killer!

ice cream truck after the ceremony-I got an oreo ice cream sandwich 🙂

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beautiful non-traditional black and white vintage gown with a beautiful black sash and turquoise pumps

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the Salvage One location was industrial and unique- also love the personalized wreath

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the garden in the back had the coolest Chicago sign

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Table seating was on the cutest miniature report cards

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All the tables and chairs were different and there was vintage china and an awesome band that played the ceremony, reception and even played as they left (also a DJ)!

we danced ALOT

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loved the centerpieces and the favors were oversized match boxes

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and handmade banners over all the food stations

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even adorable pics on the restroom door 🙂

We had a lovely time and Chicago is definitely on my list of cities I could possibly live in besides Dallas- but I haven’t been there in the winter so who knows if I could survive 🙂