Our Visit Home + What I Ate

Summertime in Chicago

Leading up to our visit to Chicago, homesickness had really set in; The three rounds of infertility drugs I recently finished, while mild compared to some, took me on more of an emotional roller coast than I cared to admit. Our trip home came at just the right time. Jordan and I finagled our calendar to pack as much as we could into our week. Somehow we managed to accomplish almost all of our plans — including visiting grandparents on both sides!

Jordan and I stayed in Chicago on Friday night, the first evening of PitchforkJordan had a photography session scheduled for sunrise at Millennium Park on Saturday morning. Chicago is a magical place and it wasn’t until we walked the streets early in the morning that I realized how much I missed this city. Nashville is wonderful, but the cultural diversity, Lake Michigan, architecture, and FOOD Chicago offers is incomparable. Thankfully, we’ll continue to visit so I won’t have to ever say goodbye.

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^ My dad’s garden makes for a beautiful background!

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On this trip I decided to give myself a pass on adhering to my gluten and mostly dairy-free diet. My indulgences were few and carefully selected, but they certainly happened! After our photo shoot was over, we walked to Intelligentisa Coffee. We had to wake up extra early to ensure we were prepared for the sunrise, which was a struggle at first, but we also had plenty of time afterwards to enjoy our coffee and prep before leaving for Pitchfork.

Intelligentsia serves my favorite espresso and this vanilla latte was everything I remembered and more!

Shake Shack opened two locations in Chicago last fall. I forgot about it until we walked right past one! Jordan and I decided to eat lunch there Saturday before making our way to Pitchfork. I didn’t want to go too crazy with gluten and dairy (I wasn’t entirely sure how my body would react) so I chose a Chicago style hotdog and ate it without a bun. It was delicious!

My skin didn’t immediately freak out, but I currently have a few breakouts on my face from this trip.

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^ His and hers.

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On Tuesday, Kate (one of my favorite people!) took family photos of Jordan and I. I’ll share more about that later, but after the shoot wrapped, we had time before we needed to head home. At this point, we still hadn’t eaten any pizza. Chicago is synonymous with deep dish pizza, but most of the time locals eat thin crust cut into squares. Don’t get me wrong, deep dish pizza with a corn meal crust is something to seek out, but it’s a lot of commitment for an average Tuesday. To get the full experience, you really need to dine-in.

Our favorite pizza place downtown is Pizzeria Uno, but the cooking time is a solid hour — event dining at its finest. We didn’t have that amount of time, so we chose Lou Malnati’s instead. Their pizza isn’t as thick as most deep dish, thus the wait time is closer to 25-30 minutes. I do love LM. The sauce is sweet and their crust has just the right flaky texture.

Chicago

We celebrated birthdays and new beginnings, reconnected with friends and family over Dairy Queen blizzards and rounds of Scattegories. There will never be enough time to do it all, but I couldn’t have asked for a better visit.

Until next time, Chicago!

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*All photos (besides the one in the garden) taken with our iPhones.