Saturday, March 18, 2017

Trip to Chicago

This past week was spring break here in Ames, my family and I went to Chicago to visit my brother and explore a bit of the city. This post is kinda long. We left Tuesday morning about 7AM, a bit too early for me. Saw this interesting giant golden ball in Clinton, IA:
 I don't know what it is.
We stopped in Aurora, IL at an outlet mall. We went to a Lindt chocolate store:
I also picked up four Lindt chocolate bars that I do not have a picture of, it was a dark chocolate for my roommate, a dark with pomegranate for my friend's birthday at the end of the month, a dark chocolate with lychee (I didn't know which my friend would like) and a milk chocolate with pretzels.
Next up was a stop at Wilson's leather:
I had brought my debit card and a bit of cash for the trip. I tried my debit card at Wilson's and it didn't work, that freaked me out, especially since I had a dream about it not working. Thankfully, I had enough cash to cover it. I called my bank and they said they had seen a lot of fraud with Wilson's leather so there was a block on their store. I've been wanting another leather jacket for awhile, they were having a 70% off + another 40% off the entire store. I got this for a bit over $40.
Next up was Dress Barn
 This is a wrap dress that I really liked. I loved how it looked on me (how about those socks?), but it wasn't a real wrap dress, if it was I could have cinched it a bit more because when I bent over I showed off a lot.
I also tried on this dress:
 I really just liked the arms and that drapey look. It also had some really neat trim on the arms. Now, I'm on the lookout for a shirt with sleeves like that.
 That night we stayed over at Aurora and ate at a Cracker Barrel.
 This is the first time I've been to one. It was really good, I got pecan catfish with marmalade sauce. My doctor says I need to eat more fish, though I believe the dumplings I had as a side may have erased the good effects of the catfish.
I loved this wall of soda:
 I picked up this cute mermaid there:
I didn't sleep very well Tuesday night on account of my dad snoring and my mother waking me up at 6:40 to take a shower.
Wednesday morning, we headed into Chicago. This church seemed to be in the middle of the road:
 After we got to my brother's condo (here are some views from his windows):

We headed down the street to a pub for lunch, I got a grilled chicken wrap. Afterwards, we went to the Shedd Aquarium:
 I took a ton of pictures, these are just a couple:
I bought a book, Lost Chicago for about $20, a glass octopus for $10 and a reusable bag for $0.35
 That night we had deep dish Chicago style pizza. I'm not a fan of this pizza, I had ordered a cheeseburger off the menu, but they never delivered it. My brother had some pasta in the fridge so I had that.
 Thursday morning, we didn't really have a plan, my brother got up late. I wanted to go to the Michael's that I found while wandering around Google Earth in preparation for the trip:
 My mom didn't understand why I wanted to go when we have one about 40 minutes away. I don't think she quite gets that the bigger cities have more stuff in their stores. The first set of stickers are shaker mason jars, they were $2.49, the two sticker books were $1 each, the coloring stickers were on clearance for $0.99. I love shaker stickers, I don't really see them at Hobby Lobby. I also love these cheap sticker books (like I totally need more stickers). The coloring stickers are for a swap. The note cards were in the $1.50 bin as were the words and the paper clips, those are also for a swap. The ephemera was 50% off, so I got it for $2.50. Again, shaker stickers. The sticky note pads were on clearance for $1.79 each, I thought it would be fun to put them in pocket letters. The pom pom keychain was the most expensive thing for $4.99, I loved how it looked with it's glasses, I'm not quite sure where I'll put it. The washi was $2, I talked myself out of the $10 tubes and got this instead. The ribbon was $1, also for a swap. The wooden tags were $0.59 and $0.79. I spent about $33 there.
 We headed back to my brother's condo and headed downtown and ate lunch at Eataly:
 I got Moscato pear and ricotta ravioli with walnuts (I'm not really sure), it was soo good.
After wards, we walked to the Rookery and another building to look at architecture. We headed back to my brother's condo on the bus and had Thai food delivered for supper.
Friday, we also didn't have a plan. The weather was rainy, so we stayed in for the morning and then went to La Creperie for lunch. I had a ratatouille crepe, I've wanted to try ratatouille since I saw the animated movie, it was great. We had a nutella and strawberry crepe for dessert.
 Mother and I wandered around and visited a few stores after lunch. We found this interesting sculpture:
 And this cool castle looking building:

We found a shop called Foursided that was pretty interesting. It was a lot of paper and gift things. I picked up a $10 grab bag, a $5 grab bag, a llama eraser for $0.50, a tiny pin for $1.25, and some pencils.
 A close-up of the pencils:
 They say: the princess, the brain, the athlete, the criminal and the basketcase. I'm not a huge fan of The Breakfast Club, but I thought they were cool. They were $1.75 each. The unicorn eraser and pencil are for a friend, it was $3.
Here's the $5 grab bag
 I like the cards, the stickers and the bunny/cat thing.
The $10 grab bag:
 Again, I like the cards, the cat/bunny thing and the keychain. A few of the things I'll take to work. If you want me to buy something at your store, make a grab bag, I would have loved to buy all of them. Unfortunately, I bet they'd all be about the same, and I probably wouldn't have bought most of it.
The next store was called Inkling, it was almost the same store. Here's what I picked up:
 Some stickers for $2.50, a card for $4.50, a coin pouch for $4.50 and a sheet of unicorn paper (not shown) for $4.50. I spent about $18 there. Mom and I were looking for a bakery, we struck out, but I did find a grocery store, I picked up some croissants and cookies for about $9.
We passed through this interesting looking bridge crossing the Mississippi River back into Iowa.

 Mom wanted to stop at Hobby Lobby and I wanted to stop at Dollar Tree in Clinton, IA just to stretch our legs a bit, we were about halfway home at this point.
Here's what I picked up at Hobby Lobby:
 This Hobby Lobby made me feel exactly like I was back in Ames. I picked up the word stickers for 90% off, $0.30, the gel pens were on clearance for $2.08. I also don't need more gel pens.
Here's Dollar Tree:
 I thought these were unicorn stickers, I will still probably send them to my friend. Critter stickers, the first sheet I got for the owls, the second for the mice and hedgehogs, the third for the underwater. The bubble stickers are unicorns. I haven't seen these layered stickers yet. And I've been searching for the bows, so I got two sheets.
I've been needing some markers. A few things I learned are: I love hot showers, I love water pressure and nowhere is quite dark enough to sleep. I can't do much about the first two, but I picked up this eye mask for the next time I go on a trip. The thing under it is a pencil pouch, the blue bag was in the cosmetics aisle, I thought I could use them both for swaps. I just liked the coin purse. The cross I picked up for a swap. The pick-up pairs, I've seen Crafty Girl haul and I love those whack a balloons for Valentine's Day.
Three hours later we were home. I've been trying to catch up on email, blog reading, Youtube watching and other online stuff since I got home. I also didn't get very many good nights' sleep because of the light factor and I kept waking up early because of the light. I'm hoping to sleep in tomorrow and watch YouTube.

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