Friday, September 05, 2008

Chicago Re-Cap

I'm back in Idaho and had a fabulous time in Chicago. It's hard to sum it all up, but I'll give you a quick run-down of the highlights. We certainly managed to pack quite a bit into less than two days. My flight out to Chicago went smoothly. When I landed at Midway Airport, I found the train station and hopped on the Orange Line to make my way to the Washington/Wells station. Once there, I emerged from the station, right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the busy city. It has been a long time since I have been in a big city. There is just something about all that activity that is so exciting to me. I also love being somewhere unfamiliar, and having to find my way to a destination. I walked a little over seven blocks in what turned out to be some very impractical sandals (a mistake I am still paying for...ouch!). When I arrived at our hotel, my mom and aunt were standing at the front desk checking in. We headed out for dinner at a wonderful Greek restaurant called Athena, where we enjoyed tzatziki, spanakopita, chicken Diana, and a round of gin and tonics. Jen arrived at the hotel a little after 11:00 p.m. and we proceeded to chat until after 1:00 a.m.

The next morning it was time to start seeing the sights. We began with a trip to Oprah's new store, which sits across the street from Harpo Studios. The store was full of great clothing, books, gifts, baby clothes, journals, etc., as well as many beautiful things from South Africa. There was a line of clothing from Oprah's Leadership Academy for Girls, and all of the clothing was manufactured in South Africa, which was nice to see! In one of the corners of the store was "Oprah's Closet", full of clothes and shoes from Oprah's actual closet, which were for sale. All of the proceeds from this go to the Angel Network. Anyway, after we were all shopped out, we grabbed a cab and headed to Gino's East for some Chicago deep dish pizza. Sooooo good. In case you aren't familiar with Chicago deep dish, the crust has quite a bit of cornmeal in it, as well as more oil than a typical crust, resulting in a wonderfully textured, crunchy pie (I've been scouring the Internet for the perfect recipe, and plan to make one this weekend). Next, it was off to the Magnificent Mile for some shopping. Oh, the stores. We managed to mostly look, and only really splurged on some Kiehl's lip gloss. Next, we hit the beach to dip our feet in Lake Michigan (check out all the bandaids). If I hadn't known any better, I would have thought I was at the ocean. The sand felt so good between my toes, and the water was warm! Next, we went to the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the Hancock Observatory. The view was amazing, and the martinis were very good! After heading back to the hotel, we walked over to Pegasus Restaurant to share some appetizers. Then it was time for some frantic packing and ironing, in preparation for our very early departure for Oprah in the morning. We arrived at Harpo Studios at 6:00 a.m., and waited in a hallway until a little after 6:30, when we were checked through security and led upstairs, where we waited until around 8:00 a.m., when we were let into the studio. We ended up getting really great seats in the center. It was fun to see the crew scurrying around, preparing the studio for filming. A woman from the audience team came out and told us that we would actually be seeing two show tapings, instead of one, so that was a great surprise. The first show was about the power of forgiveness, and was centered around this story. Lisa Ling was also there, as she did the reporting for this particular story. If you happen to see this show when it airs, it will really cause you to stop and think about any petty grudges you may be holding, and how much energy it takes to be angry and bitter. When the taping was over, Oprah ran and changed her clothes, the set got changed around a bit, and we started all over again. This time (be still my beating heart) was Dr. Oz! I was so excited because I really love when he is a guest. The show was about medical stories that made news over the summer, as well as viewer questions for Dr. Oz. Really neat to watch. Once the taping was over, I had to quickly grab a cab so that I could rush to the hotel to get my luggage, and then grab another cab to the airport. My mom and aunt were getting items from coat check, so I didn't get to say goodbye to them, unfortunately. Jen came with me back to the hotel, so we squeezed in a quick goodbye, and I was on my way! I arrived back in Idaho in time for dinner last night. It was so good to see all three of my boys, and they all did very well while I was gone. Steve, as always, did a fine job of caring for everyone. Thanks, honey!
With Jenny, at Harpo Studios!

After some massive Oprah shopping

With our old friend, The Soup Nazi, at Gino's East

My sweet Mummy, on the beach

Dipping our feet in Lake Michigan

View from the beach

Cocktails at the Signature Lounge

All gone!

***Stay tuned...I'll be having a giveway in the next few days with some treats from The Oprah Store!***


Kate said...

Sounds so fun. I can't wait until the shows are on and we can look for you. You are so fortunate to get away for a few days-those drinks would have knocked me out cold.

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

What a fun way to spend time with your mom and aunt. I did have to laugh at the photo of your feet. Those band-aids wouldn't have anything to do with the choice of sandals you wore would they? :D

Lisa said...

Wow! Looks like you guys had a great time! Do you know when the show(s) will air?

Cheryl said...

Oh my...the bandaids sure told your story about the sandals! Great photos of all and am anxious to see the two shows. Dr. Oz, oh my!

Margaret said...

Sounds like you all had such a fabulous time! I can't wait to see the show and look to see if I see any of you! What did you wear, other than band-aids - OUCH!!

Anonymous said...

Great recap and pictures!Jen is married to my nephew in Maine.Loved seeing her out this way! Feet in the water-how refreshing!
Great times-great memories with good friend,your Mum and aunt!Wonderful!
Mary Jane
St. Charles,Il.

kirsten said...

Great photos. Sounds like a FAB Trip! Can't wait to see those Oprah shows! do you know if you managed to get on camera?!

Mark said...

that is great everything worked out!! Chicago is a fantastic city, sounds like you were able to enjoy it on the first day, at least!

I will have to DVR the two shows to see if I see ya on TV.

Take care,


Joy said...


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