Monday, August 5, 2013

Pretty Much the BEST Weekend EVER!

If you were to gather my family and closest friends in a room with a sheet of paper and ask them to list  all of my favorite things, I would be willing to bet you money that all of their lists included the following : 

Gopher Football // Travel // The Backstreet Boys // Family & Friends // Big Cities // Concerts
{among a bunch of other random things} 

My friends...this weekend included ALL OF THAT and so much more!

Friday morning at 6am I met my mom at the airport and we were on our way to Chicago! Once we landed we spent the morning wandering along Michigan Avenue. We made a pit stop in a pub for some Bloody Mary's, did a little shopping at Lululemon, and of course snapped some photos.

Then we had an impromtu lunch date with my childhood best friend, Kristen! Kris is getting married THIS weekend, so I figured she would be much too busy to meet up but I didn't feel right visiting Chicago without letting her know I was there. Kris was sweet enough to leave a super busy day at work in the midst of final wedding plans to meet up with us at The Walnut Room for lunch.
It was absolutely wonderful to see her and to get to catch up being for seeing her again this weekend at her wedding!!!!!!!!!!

After lunch we mosied around the city a little longer before returning to our hotel to shower and get ready for a night on the town! We started with dinner at RPM Italian (Bill & Giuliana's restaurant for those of you aren't stalkers like we are). IT WAS SO GOOD! I was really, really impressed. The decor was totally my style (all black and tan), the food was incredible, our waiter was very attentive without being annoying and I thought it was very reasonably priced. Needless to say, we loved it!
 For starters we shared the Prime Beef Meatballs and Roman-Style Artichokes (to die for!)
 Then for dinner my mom had the Eggplant Parmesan and I had the Carbonara. OH- EM - GEE, so delicious!
 Good work B&G, we are very impressed!

After dinner we went around the corner to an adorable little champagne bar called Pops.
I don't know if was the cocktails starting to kick in or the excitement building for what was next on the agenda, but my mom and I thought we were absolutely HILARIOUS when we "had champagne with Leonardo DiCaprio."
I know, we're special. 

Next up - the entire reason for the trip...THE BACKSTREET BOYS CONCERT!!!!!!!!!!

I don't even know what to say about this. I wasn't really sure what to expect since it's been a while since they've toured and it was at a smaller venue, but I should have known that the boys ALWAYS give it their all to entertain their fans. You guys - they looked better than ever. The all look amazing, sound amazing. They were up there dancing, singing, goofing around and really looked like they were having a blast. While the whole show was incredible there were two highlights for me. One being that Brian's son, Baylee, OPENED for them! He came out and sang two songs and KILLED it. The crowd was going absolutely ape shit.

The other is when they sang one of their new songs off of their new album called "Show 'Em (What You're Made Of)...they introduced the song by saying "So, we've got kids now. And so do a lot of you. This is one we wrote for our babies." And for whatever reason, I lost it. It's a great song but seeing the boys, thinking of Kenny and listening to the song just put me over the edge.
 Unfortunately there was a kind of bummer end to the concert, but I'll go in to that more later. Overall the show was absolutely amazing and we had so much fun! It's Monday morning and I still don't have my voice back!

After the concert we went to Smith & Wollensky which is one of my all time favorite restaurants for a late night martini and some much needed french fries.
you can  clearly see that I cried and sweated off all of my make-up. YIKES!

Saturday we woke up, went to Starbucks and set off on a nice long walk around the city. We started at Millennium Park...

 gratuitous "in the bean" shot and a giant zumba class in the park.

Next we walked to Navy Pier which neither of us had ever visited before. What a fun place!
 We just kind of wandered around and bought some souvenirs. After the pier we walked along Lakeshore Drive for a couple of miles right along Lake Michigan. It was such a beautiful day and a gorgeous walk next to the water.
I've been to Chicago several times before, but this trip really made me fall in love with the city. I could live there and be very happy.

Our time in Chicago ended with walking down Division Street scoping out the beautiful brownstones and then deep dish pizza at the bottom of the Hancock Building.

We packed so much in to the two days we were there and I really don't think we could have had any more fun! It was so special to share this trip with my mom. We are dang good travel and concert buddies but I think this trip is my favorite of all we've taken. I have some serious post-vacation blues going on this morning. L

We got home to Minneapolis around 4:30pm on Saturday afternoon and I literally got off the plane, walked in my front door, gave Kenley her gifts from Chicago
(don't worry Jason and Bailey got treats too) and then took a shower and was out the door again. Saturday night we went to our friend Jeff's for a BBQ celebrating his birthday.

Sunday morning we were up and out the door again for the Gopher's Practice! We went for the first time last year and had so much fun that we've decided to make it a tradition. We met my dad, step-mom, sister, brother and brother-in-law and watched about an hour of practice, had breakfast at our favorite restaurant Tony's Diner (where we had our Rehearsal Dinner) and then did some maroon and gold shopping at Gold Country.

After the practice we got home and all took a nice long three hour nap which left us with just enough time to grill a delicious steak dinner, unpack and do a load of laundry before going to bed.

It was a weekend for the books and I am not only sad it's over but am pounding this venti latte because I am exhausted but boy-oh-boy is it worth it! 
As always, I am linking up with the adorable Sami and you should too!
Sami's Shenanigans


Carolyn said...

Holy crap. Talk about cramming a weekend full of stuff! HAHA! It's all so perfectly Kristin though, so I know you loved it! :)

Miss Chelsea said...

Aw fun! I love mother/daughter trips... my mom and I used to do those so much!

Nikki O'Brien said...

Sounds like an awesome weekend! Jealous that you got to see the BSB - I used to love them :)

Becky Borgman said...

I lived in Chicago for a few years and actually got engaged in Millennium Park! Whenever I see pictures I always miss it so much! Sounds like an awesome time!!

P!nky said...

Looks like an amazing weekend. LOVE me some bsb and so cool you and your mom had a great trip together.

I'm dying to try RPM, looks so fabulous.

Kelly said...

Oooof!! WHAT a fabulous weekend!! You and your mom are TOO cute and love love love the Gophers photos!!

Jessica said...

Sounds like an amazing weekend friend! LLOVVVEE Chicago. Wish I could have met you there!!

Bridget said...

Sounds like a super fabulous time in Chi town. That pizza looks amazing...I want some NOW!!! haha. You must be exhausted today...I'm exhausted just reading your weekend :)

Christelle said...

What an awesome weekend, crammed pack for sure!! So jealous you ate at G&B (B&G? ha) and would love to go back to Chicago to check it out sometime. Glad you gave it a good review and y'alls food looks soooo yummy!

Hope you get some rest this week! :)

Kassi Mortensen said...

How fun to see the Backstreet Boys with your mom!!! Love it!!!

Ashley said...

Holy smokes girl, I hope you're taking it easy this weekend!!!

Angie said...

What a weekend! It isn't no wonder you needed a nap.
Looks like a TOTAL blast. I always love seeing Chicago pictures. I've never been there but for some reason I think I'd love it!

Anonymous said...

Very memorable weekend for so many reasons. Loved every minute with my concert buddy. xo m

Nicole-Lynn said...

Wow what a fun trip! Looks like you and your mom had a wonderful time! I'm itching to get to Chicago! We were going to go in July but we had to alter our plans to something a little more laid back while I'm pregnant, so we went to Charleston instead. When I'm able to walk a lot and DRINK some cocktails we'll be booking a trip! So glad that RPM was a great place-- I want to go so bad!