My holidays in Chicago [a photo recap]

Since my photography portfolio was a little bare in 2015 (I have a decent excuse I think), I’ve been trying to make up for lost time and keeping Walter by my side. If using my camera on a daily basis is a sign that I’m on the right path, then my year is off to a great start. I promise to keep this blog current….but before more time passes, let me revisit a few pictures I took over the holidays in Chicago.

Chicago architecture christmas 2015

My husband and I have a little tradition of visiting a museum every Christmas Eve. Sometimes others accompany us. Other times, it’s just us. This year, we had the little one (LO) with us and weren’t quite sure how long he’d be kept interested for so we did something a little different.

skydeck Chicago Christmas Eve, glass ledge
We went to the Sears Tower!

As soon as he went onto the glass ledge, LO lost his balance and fell forward. Nothing out of the ordinary…except that it was on a glass ledge. All the tourists up who witnessed it all let out a huge “Oooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh!” But then all was fine. He got up and kept walking to to see more of the city. (My husband, on the other hand, was a little freaked out and tried not to think about the fact that he was standing 1000+ ft up in the air.)

sears tower skydeck

Skydeck chicago Christmas Eve

view from Willis Tower

I was surprised about how crowded it was (and we arrived at opening time). However, it all worked out as we were only there for about 45 minutes. That gave us enough time to experience the view (within LO’s time tolerance zone) and then head back home. (We did stop by JP Graziano on the way out of the city. Love their sandwiches. Also, if you’re a giardinera fan, my husband swears they make it the best.)

We spent the rest of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the suburbs, but the day after Christmas, we ventured downtown with my brother and his girlfriend who came in for the holidays. We started the day by introducing Jessica to Italian Beef at Al’s (I don’t think there’s a better introduction). I hope we didn’t hype it up too much for her as we kinda love Al’s around here. You’ll notice there aren’t any food pictures. I was all over Snapchat on this day, so I didn’t take any food pictures. Oops. (Jessica did though.)

Al's Beef Chicago
Squad. (This was the only picture I got at Al’s…and it was through Snapchat. Bad Diana.)

Afterwards, we drove downtown to see Maggie Daley Park. I feel like I’m the last person to visit this place (well, this and The 606 – I know, I need to get on that!), but wow, what a park.

Maggie Daley Park
Did I mention it was a cloudy day?

I cannot wait to come back when the weather is nicer.

From there, we took a slow walk toward The Bean by going over the BP Pedestrian Bridge. At this point, we thought it was a good idea to take the kid out of his stroller. He liked stretching his legs, but he kept bending over to pick up leaves from the ground (to put in his mouth, of course. Yum).


BP Pedestrian Bridge Chicago

The Bean Chicago

But don't worry, we managed to get a family selfie. :)
Of course, we captured a family selfie. 🙂

We took a quick detour to the Chicago Cultural Center to warm up before heading over to the West Loop to have afternoon tea at The Allis. It was a Saturday, and I didn’t think to make reservations. (Note: you should make reservations if you’re going on a Saturday. Duh.) But luckily, there was a cancellation so we were seated and had such a great time. I wish I had pulled out Walter, but I was occupied with Snapchat (The Allis and tea presentation were both too beautiful not to do an immediate share), stuffing my face and trying to keep LO entertained.

Afternoon tea at The Allis
Picture from my phone

A few things about The Allis:

  • The staff there was so nice, especially the hostess (whose name I, regretfully, didn’t get).
  • The Allis is a beautiful space. I want to come back one day and just pour over the photography books they have on the shelves at the front entry….while eating everything behind the glass display up at the bar.
  • I want to spend the night at the Soho Hotel one night and walk down to The Allis the next morning to drink coffee and stare into space. (Yes, I really like this place.)
  • The afternoon tea service here is simple but so great. It was fun to watch my 10-month old eat sandwiches (he never had them before) and a bit of scone. He loved everything that went into his mouth (even if they weren’t leaves). The kid is ruined. Thank you to The Allis for that. 😉

Do you get the feeling that I’ll be back? (Yes, I’ll be back.) So yes, that was my Chicago holiday in a nutshell. When my brother & his girlfriend (ahem, now fiancée) come back to Chicago, I honestly wouldn’t mind repeating this itinerary although I may just do this on my own sooner rather than later.

P.S. I pulled together another photo book recap if you’d like to see it [just click on the image below and it’ll take you to the ISSUU page).

Christmas in Chicago photo book

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