Friday, March 14, 2014

AG Place + John Hancock with Mary

Last weekend my dear friend Mary came into town and stayed at my apartment Friday night. A lot of my friends have slept over at our place since we got married, and I love it! We get to stay up late talking and Frank always whips up a fabulous breakfast (blueberry pancakes, in this case).

Mary's been to Chicago many times before so we didn't feel the need to visit any of the major attractions. Instead we took the El to Michigan Avenue on Saturday and spent a few hours browsing the stores, in particular the American Girl Place. Have I written before about my love for that place? Besides their great cocktail selection at the restaurant, it's just so much fun to take a little trip down memory lane in their "doll museum" and see all the latest doll accessories.

One of the great things about having a husband who was homeschooled is that Frank read all the American Girl books growing up, and he has absolutely no problem expressing enthusiasm for them. He says they're great historical fiction for either boys or girls, and when we go to the American Girl Place, he points out his favorite of the new dolls—Caroline, because she lived on the Great Lakes during the War of 1812 and one of her accessories is a boat. Every time we see it, Frank and I talk about how awesome that is. What little girl doesn't want a boat for her dolls? We look forward to the day when we can get a Caroline for our someday daughter (who may or may not be growing inside me already—we'll have to wait and see!).

Anyway, after browsing the American Girl place and Macy's, we still had a few hours to kill before our dinner plans, but I was out of ideas. We could go to the Ghirardelli or Hershey's store, but... Lent... Then I remembered that the John Hancock Tower is right across the street from the American Girl Place, and there's no charge to go up to their lounge or restaurant (unlike the pricey Sears Tower).

I asked Mary if she wanted to go up and get a drink in the John Hancock, and she told me the sweetest story. When her parents were dating as twenty-somethings in Chicago, they used to end their dates with a ride up the John Hancock building and enjoying a Bailey's on the rocks at the bar. It was inexpensive enough for her dad, a law student, to afford, but still classy and fun. That story had us sold. Frank went home to start dinner (Mary's sister Rose and Rose's boyfriend were coming over in a few hours) while Mary and I traipsed off to replicate her parents' Bailey's dates.

Well... kind of. A Bailey's for Mary and a tall cranberry juice for the pregnant lady.

The wait was a lot longer than we expected, even for 4:30 pm on a Saturday, but the views were spectacular!

Can you see Navy Pier?

It was awesome. And when we headed home, I was really glad Frank decided to be responsible and go home early, because Mary and I rolled in just 10 minutes before our guests showed up. Whoops. Fortunately he'd already made dinner. That guy is a champ.

Thank you for coming to visit us, Mary! Come back again soon!


  1. Huh, I have never actually been to John Hancock, but yes, American Girl Place for the win! That is my younger sisters' favorite place in the entire world. And how awesome that Frank appreciates the books :)

    1. Maybe we can go up when we meet up in the city! It's a bit of a hike from the Art Institute but might be doable.

      That was my favorite place in the entire world growing up. At one point I even memorized the address so I could convince my dad to take us there. It's still so exciting to go back, and definitely adds to it that we can enjoy it together—although I should add that Frank was about 10 times more excited when he discovered the Lego Store in the next building!

    2. Legos are amazing. I took my seven-year-old-brother to see the Lego movie last weekend, and since then he's been bringing his sets to me and demanding that we assemble them together, which has been super fun. I talked to my dad about going up and down Michigan Avenue, and he recommended taking the bus (since I don't want to make you walk that far) "but only if it's a clear day". I guess we'll see what happens :)

    3. We can always play it by ear. :)

  2. Hah! I read this and then was pleasantly surprised to see dear Mary's face. I just figured it was someone I didn't know!

    I lived in Chicago for a year and yet never got up to John Hancock. One of my biggest regrets!

  3. My family used to live about 2 hours from Chicago & we often made trips to the city for field trips. I've seen many museums and sites--including the AG store which is a wonderful place--but I've never gotten to see the skyline from above. Now knowing about the John Hancock building I definitely will be making a stop there as soon as I'm able to travel to Chicago again!!

  4. Go-to pregnancy drink: order an apple juice (no ice or straw) and it totally looks like a light/wheat beer. You'll still feel like a member of the "big kids club". :P