Cheezborger. Cheezborger. Cheezborger.

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Over the weekend, a tradition continued when I met up with four girlfriends in Chicago. We grew incredibly close during our husbands’ deployment to Afghanistan back in 2006 and despite having dispersed throughout the country in late 2007, we’ve made it a point to get together whenever we can (usually about every 18 months).

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I flew into Chicago late Friday morning and by early afternoon, we were reunited and ready to get the show on the road. Our hotel was located in the River North Gallery District and we couldn’t have asked for a better location – we even had a great view of the Sears Willis Tower.

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We squeezed as much as Chicago in as we could during our brief time together (about 48 hours). We ate deep dish pizza, visited a piano bar, shopped sans children (very luxurious!), had fancy meals and Chicago-style hot dogs. Most important, we enjoyed each others’ company and acted as if 8 years hadn’t passed since we all lived in the same area.

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While at Navy Pier, we rode the Ferris Wheel and took a boat tour along Chicago’s shoreline. Chicago’s number one tourist attraction, Navy Pier is a 3,300 ft. long pier on Lake Michigan that is home to a variety of restaurants, public spaces, a small amusement park, and other attractions. I am not a fan of Ferris Wheels (like at all) so it took a little prodding to get me onboard but I was glad I did – the view is quite wonderful.

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We opted for the 40 minute boat tour because our time was so limited. It was the perfect amount of time to be out on the water and soaking in the skyline, which is certainly impressive.

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 And we couldn’t have asked for better weather – mid-70’s with a slight breeze (of course).

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Absolutely perfect!

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I visited Chicago once with my family back when I was in high school so this was my first time in the city as an adult. I’ve always heard great things about Chicago so I suppose it isn’t surprisingly that I loved the city. Chicago is actually one of the places that is on our short list of possible future duty stations so there is a strong possibility we could end up there someday.

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I was very excited to finally have the opportunity to visit Cloud Gate (affectionately known as The Bean). It truly is a spectacular piece of public art and I could have spent the entire afternoon gazing at it from multiple angles. But alas, there were other things to see and do in the Windy City.

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Like go to the Skydeck on Willis Tower (formally known as Sears Tower). At 108 stories (1451 ft.), Willis Tower earned the title as World’s Tallest Building upon it’s completion in 1973. It is currently the 2nd tallest building in the United States (One World Trade Center/Freedom Tower in New York City is taller but the Willis Tower has the highest occupied floor) and the 8th tallest structure in the world. The wait for the Skydeck was quite ridiculous but we knew we couldn’t leave Chicago without getting to the top. Our little group was funneled to the freight elevators, which made for a quite a shaky ride up 103 stories. We were then funneled into an interior hallway with no windows were we could feel the building swaying in the wind. Let’s just say that the feeling wasn’t the most pleasant. But once we rode another elevator up one(!) floor to the Skydeck, all feelings of uneasiness were replaced with absolute amazement as we gazed at panoramic views of up to four(!) states.

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It’s funny – I was more uneasy while on the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel than I was standing in a glass box 1,353 feet above Chicago. Yup, I went out in the infamous Skydeck ledge. The glass boxes extend out 4.3 feet from the Skydeck and offers an extremely unique perspective – after all, you’re looking down close to 1500 feet…crazy!

Upon putting the finishing touches of this post, I realized that all of my pictures were from Saturday. I promise we did other cool stuff too but I managed to only document the times we played tourists. I am incredibly thankful that we have the opportunity to have these weekends every so often. The nurturing of friendships is yet another aspect of a full and rich life – these girls will always hold a special place in my heart because of what we went through together.

My reunion with my little family at the airport was everything I’d hoped it’d be and more. After leaving the airport, we went to look at cars and then out to dinner at Dogfish Head, where Clay enjoyed a {well-deserved} flight of beer. This past weekend capped off a summer of travel so I am looking forward to staying put for a little while and exploring areas more local to us because we’ve received notification that we are definitely PCSing next summer. And no, we don’t know where and won’t know for quite some time. C’est la vie.

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6 thoughts on “Cheezborger. Cheezborger. Cheezborger.

  1. I am glad we lived in Chicago for a couple years – the city was neat and the food was amazing! But ultimately the sprawl of the suburbs up there was a bit much for us, and we headed back down south. Sounds like you had a fun weekend!

  2. Beautiful! I have been to Chicago only once, in 2002, with a girlfriend to visit her sister whom lived here. I really liked it, and it was Thanksgiving, so it was collld! I loved the vibe of the different neighborhoods.

    I think it’s great you ladies make the effort to still reconnect in person and have a weekend together.

    btw, if you stop at Dogfishhead again on the way back from the airport, call me, we are literally a mile away 🙂

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