My Happy Place

3.31.2015

Where's your happy place?

You know what I'm talking about. That place that just gives you all the feelings. For me? That's Chicago all day long. I've read some recaps where other bloggers went to Chicago for the first time and came back all, "Eh, it's no New York." You know who you are.

Excuse me while I block you on all the socials. YOU ARE DEAD TO ME.
Now then. For those of you who are new around here, yes, the name of my blog is The Lady Okie, but in fact I have only lived in Oklahoma since 2008. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago and have spent many hours downtown with my friends and family going to Cubs games and eating pizza and visiting the Shed Aquarium on school field trips. Every single Christmas Eve for my entire life, my family would drive downtown, go to dinner, and then head to the Lincoln Park Zoo to see the Christmas lights.

Jordan proposed to me at the Bean the day after Christmas in 2010.

Basically what I'm saying is, Chicago holds a lot of my favorite memories.

As I mentioned in my last post, I wasn't having the best week, so this weekend could not have come at a more perfect time. Three friends from college and I had planned months ago to meet up in Chicago to celebrate my friend's 30th birthday. Honestly? This weekend--with my best friends in my favorite city--ended up being the most excellent "reset" button (aka a good reminder for me to chill the crap out).

Because good friends can't be replaced as easily as windshields. 
Someone needs to stitch that on a pillow.
^^^ I want to point out that the sun flare in this picture is not a filter. It's just my superior iphone photography skills. No big deal.

We all got in late Friday night, (from Oklahoma, Texas, and Minnesota) and then Saturday afternoon we took the train downtown. A cab took us to our hotel, and we started getting ready for our dinner reservations at RPM Italian, an Italian restaurant owned by Bill and Giuliana Rancic.
We were kind of hungry at this point, and our reservations weren't until 8:30. We noticed a Whole Foods down the street from the hotel, so Erin and I ran out for a quick snack run.

Truth: sometimes it freaks me out that I look like this. Not in a bad way but more in a "did I ever used to have abs because now I don't remember" kind of way. At least I'm looking more pregnant and less like perhaps I just need to chill on the Chipotle runs.
We got a lot of pasta and appetizers and dessert, but this is the only food picture I took. Who has time to take pictures when there's food to be eaten? Also, always, always tell the waitress if it's your friend's birthday! Free dessert, y'all. (p.s. Aren't my friends pretty?)
On Sunday we woke up early to catch the train back to the suburbs, and then we all headed to the airport. It was too short of a weekend, but we packed in all the girl talk and the hugs and even some tears that we could.

And of course silly faces. Because you know.

Where's your happy place?

38 comments:

  1. I have never been to Chicago but when my mom went she was really bummed I was not there so her whole trip she texted me exactly what she was seeing and doing!!

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  2. How did I not know you were a Cubs fan? That's awesome!

    I love Chicago. Love it! We really need to make an effort to get there more often.

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  3. I love that you got to go to your favorite city and spend some time with your girlfriends. I'm amazed at how time with girls is just so refreshing!

    Have I told you my Chicago story? My friend and I went there for a RnR. We walked 7 miles the 1st day, ran 13.1 the next day walked some more miles after that, rode bikes and walked again the next day. It was so much fun! We ran all over that city, ok more like downtown area, but it was one of my favorite trips ever!

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  4. Looks like a pretty fabulous friends' weekend! It's fun to have time to just talk with friends.
    We used to go there fairly frequently because it was a 3 hour drive away, a friend from high school lives downtown, and my uncle and aunt and cousins live in a suburb, so I had plenty of reasons to hang around . ;P Chicago would never be my happy place though. I'm not much of a city girl. I'm drawn to islands. Two, in particular, one in Lake Huron, and the other one in Malaysia where my family has lived since '04. Just the thought of those islands and being there makes me grin.

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  5. If it weren't for the winters (that are worse than Kansas) I'd move to Chicago in a heartbeat, I love it!

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  6. I was in Chicago this weekend, too! ...and you're right - it is the dreamiest place of all. You look so cute with your little baby bump!!!

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  7. So glad you had a fabulous wknd with your girls...definitely well deserved and perfect timing! And P.S. your little baby bump is A-DOR-able!

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  8. What a fun trip! Even if it was too short. Glad you were able to go! I've never been to Chicago, but it's on my list! It's really not that far from me, so I shouldn't have any excuse.

    My happy place is St. Louis. While I didn't grow up there, we visited my brothers quite often, and then we lived there for 2 years. Some days I'm still sad that living there didn't work out, but I love going back whenever I can for a visit. Lots of feels there for me!

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  9. I haven't spent much time in Chicago since I have only been for work, but from the little bit I have seen from a conference room window and a few quick strolls for dinners out, I absolutely loved it! Weekends like this are always a good reset. It looks like it was a blast!

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  10. SO super fun, and makes me more excited for my upcoming Chicago trip! First time, eek!!!! :)

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  11. What a fun weekend! I've never visited Chicago but I will someday and I'm certain I'll love it. (As long as I go during a warm month because I'm a big fat sissy when it comes to braving the cold.)

    So glad that you had a nice reset weekend with girlfriends. :) Looking fantastic with that bump, btw!

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  12. Ugh I feel like I say this a few times a month but I can't wait to go to Chicago one day! Just looks so fun!!! :) you girls look like you had a BLAST! Isn't girl time the best? You go girl on that iPhone photog skill!!! ;)

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  13. I have actually never been to Chicago but it is on my list to see. Silly faces are a must. That pizza looks amazing, but not as amazing as you look. I know you may not have abs right now but you look great, and it will be worth it, though you already knew that part. ;)

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  14. my cousin moved to chicago from DC a few years ago! i should visit him one day. it's like a treasure box, isn't it? a place that holds so many memories for you. also,,, you look awesome with the bump in that LBD :) can't wait to see Baby Bum!

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  15. good friends can't be replaced as easily as windshields, so true and i do want that on a pillow.
    i loved chicago. it was the first city i went to in the states. i had some issues there, but overall, i loved it. we were supposed to go again in july, but we'd just come back from Aus so we didn't. womp womp. one day! we're super close, so it's only a short drive.
    anywho. my happy place.... does disney count? sydney is my happy place. i miss it. but it makes it better and i appreciate it more now that i don't live there.

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    1. Anywhere counts! As long as it makes you happy, it totally counts :)
      I think I appreciate Chicago a lot more now that I don't live closer. It makes it even that much more fun to go back! I'd love to get to Sydney some day. We'll see!

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  16. how fun!!! you were by me! :) I didn't know you got engaged in chicago! and I want to go to rpm!

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  17. i've alwyas wanted to visit there!!! ANd you've made it sound that much more fun!
    p.s. you are GORGEOUSSSS

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  18. shoot no, I think it ate my comment. Seriously, me and blogger DO NOT get along!

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  19. Yay for reunion weekends like these! Sometimes that's exactly what you need after weeks where the world falls apart.

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  20. I know who I am! :X But with all the connections you have to Chicago, it totally makes sense that it's your favorite city! So glad you had such a perfect weekend there (and you looked beyond perfect whether you think so or not)!
    I have a lot of happy places...which mostly makes me glad to have so many, but sometimes it makes me sad when I want to be in one more than the other.

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  21. Chicago is on my list of places I want to visit someday! I hear great things!

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  22. First I tried commenting on my phone while waiting in the airport and I kept pressing Publish but nothing appeared…I was half worried you would see 7 of the same comments from me! So what I meant to say…
    I'm so glad Peter moved to a great city! It's fun obviously to go see him but even better that we have such a fun city to explore together!! Where did you stay downtown? And did you like RPM? I'm going there in a few weeks and trying to decide if we should get a hotel one night and/or go to RPM. I love Italian and Giuliana!
    I think girls weekends are just a necessity in life! Glad you had a great time and it kept your mind on good things :)

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    1. We stayed at Hotel Felix, which is just a short cab ride away from RPM. It only cost us like $6 total for the ride for 4 people. We definitely could have walked there if it weren't so cold.

      I really liked RPM. We had a really nice waitress and a table in the corner, so the atmosphere was great. It's really dark in there, though. I don't so much like eating when I can't see my food but whatever. So, just for reference, there were 4 of us, and we got 3 appetizers, a round of drinks (nonalcoholic for me, obviously!), 3 pasta dishes, and 2 desserts, and the total bill was $150.

      The menu is fun because it's kind of "family style," so we ordered pasta and appetizers and shared everything so you got to try multiple things! If you do go, the meatball appetizer is really good.

      However, if you are planning on going, I would definitely call for reservations now. We actually wouldn't have been able to get in but my friend knows one of the owners (not Bill or Giuliana but another one), and so he got us in. They were really busy! We went on a Saturday night, and our reservations were for 8:30.

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  23. Looks like a spectacular trip! Yay for fun with friends in an awesome city! We are headed to Chicago this summer. It's always a fun that time of year so I'm pumped :)

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  24. So glad you had fun in Chicago! I'll have to put RPM on my list of places to try. Somehow your picture makes the L look very romantic and quaint...dark magic, Amanda.

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  25. I loved getting to visit Chicago a few years back! I would never have guessed that pickles and hot dogs made such lovely companions. :) It's such a cool city.

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  26. Check out that baby bump! It's, like, real life! I'm glad you had a good reset. Sometimes you just need to get away and go to your happy place. I'm currently hitting my reset button in PHX and it couldn't have come at a better time.

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  27. Check out that baby bump! It's, like, real life! I'm glad you had a good reset. Sometimes you just need to get away and go to your happy place. I'm currently hitting my reset button in PHX and it couldn't have come at a better time.

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  28. Looks like you had a really fun weekend! And look at that lovely bump! :)
    I hope I'll get to see Chicago one day.

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  29. Basically any cabin in the mountains is my happy place. Also - super cute bump pic! You're adorable. :)

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  30. This just makes me want to go to Chicago even more than I did before (which was a LOT). I've heard really good things about RPM - when I finally make it to Chicago I'll definitely have to check it out. Also, don't hate but NYC is my happy place lol (remember that I haven't been to Chicago yet so I can't compare!)

    Completely unrelated: the massage therapist that I had yesterday was your twin and if it weren't for me living in Saskatchewan and you living in Oklahoma I would have thought you were leading a double life! hahaha

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    1. I don't hate! I like New York :) I just hate that people compare them in the first place. They're totally different! I think people go to Chicago expecting it to be like NY, and it just isn't. But it's cool in its own way. And of course I have major bias, so there's that.

      That is so freaky when you see someone who looks just like someone else! I've actually heard that about myself before, so maybe I have twins all across the world. Ha!

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  31. Gorgeous!!! I've been to Chicago a few times, but never actually did any of the tourist stuff. Think: airport and driving through on the way to WA state. I do want to stop someday though!!!

    I have a lot of happy places...The south east, Cape Cod, Mount Vernon, NYC, and pretty much any summer day surrounded by the ones I love! :)

    I'm glad you got some time away with your friends IN your favorite place!!!

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  32. You and all of your friends ARE so pretty! And I hear you on Chi-town! I love it! I need to add the RPM spot to our eats next time we go. That pizza looks amazing!

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  33. You look STUNNING in that dress and with your obviously-pregnant belly! Ahhh! So beautiful! Also, so fun to read about your weekend and I'm glad it was a needed reset button... we all need those now and then. You've got me thinking about what is my happy place and I'm not sure I know so now I'm going to figure it out! I've never been to Chicago other than through O'Hare and then once downtown for some pizza on a layover but I don't remember that much... seems like it might be worth an actual visit! :)

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  34. I'd love to go to Chicago! Never been, but maybe one day. Aren't weekends like this just the best? I had one a few weeks ago with my best friend and felt so refreshed afterwards. Love your black dress!

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