As you know, last week was our first wedding anniversary. I still can’t believe it came so quickly, but it did and so we celebrated. We decided to spend two days, one night away, and I really do think it’s exactly what we needed!
Early Saturday morning, my beautiful mother in law treated me to a mani/pedi. It was the perfect way to start the day! A little coffee, a little pampering, a little girl talk…perfect. It was also my husband’s birthday so I decided to stop on my way home to get him two pecan tarts from Starbucks because they are his absolute favorite and I love to surprise him when I can!
To my surprise, when I got home, he was waiting with his own little present for me. My anniversary gift, a day early. My sweet, sweet husband (with the help of my father in law!), built me the most BEAUTIFUL bed frame. You bet your ass I cried. I was so surprised! I couldn’t believe that one, he built it and two, that he pulled it off! Ugh I love that man. I ended up giving him his gift, too. I bought him another watch that he was instantly obsessed with (the man loves watches!) and on the back, I had ONE inscribed in it :)
Before we made a break for our little getaway, we took Olivia to the car show in our old town. My sister and I used to go all the time when we were little and we’ve pretty much made it a point to go every year now that we’re older (with the exception of last year since it was on our wedding day.) We also went with my dad, my grandpa, and Dominic’s parents. A family affair :) Olivia really wasn’t too interested, but there was a pink car that caught her eye, of course!
Dominic and I have honestly been counting down the days for this little getaway, we were SO excited! But why, oh why, does it just seem so damn difficult to leave Olivia once the day actually comes? Fun fact: I seriously cry every time I leave her. No matter where we’re going. Like I say bye, and then Dominic grabs my hand and we kinda walk fast to the car because he knows I’m about to let it all out. I can’t help myself!
Anyway. Once we were on the road, I was obviously fine! If you knew us at all, you’d probably think our first stop would be to get coffee but instead we went to the mall….and then got coffee once we were inside! :P We walked around Woodfield Mall, hand in hand, just being alone. Our hotel was like three minutes away so we were just killing a little time!
Even though our dinner reservation was set for that night downtown, and we knew we were going to spend all day downtown on Sunday, too, we decided to book a hotel in Schaumburg because it was literally like $300 dollars cheaper. We stayed at the Rennaisaince. We’ve stayed there a few times before and picked it again because it’s beautiful, it’s clean, it’s close to things if we decided not to make the trek back to Chicago the next day and we love it.
When we got to the hotel, we decided to order a little snack because our dinner reservation wasn’t until 9:30pm. We ordered chicken fingers, they really good. Or were we just hungry? I don’t really know. We slowly started to get ready and around 7:45pm, we were on our way to dinner.
To keep the tradition going, we had dinner at RPM in Chicago. Last year it was truly such a delicious meal and we were craving their garlic bread like two pregnant women. While I stuck with my filet mignon, Dominic tried the carbonara and it was fantastic! After we were through with our meal, we were presented with a little surprise flight of gelato for our anniversary. It was such a nice surprise and I am still thinking about that pistachio gelato. I never even knew I liked pistachio gelato up until that night! We went back to our hotel, SO exhausted, but had previously ordered dessert for when we got back (obviously not knowing about the gelato). It was creme brulee, you guys, how could we not eat it?! God I love me some creme brulee.
The next morning, we woke up bright and early. We wanted to get breakfast in the city and generally just start our day early so that we’d have as much time to spend together as possible. (PS: I was so upset because we had stopped home on the way into the city to drop off our bags and I forgot to grab my camera from one of them and didn’t realize it until we were already downtown. UGH! So all of my pictures are from my iPhone!)
Again, keeping the tradition going, we went to the West Egg for breakfast. I really love their chorizo and eggs with potatoes! We had parked our car in a parking garage, and we kept it there all day. We were seriously walking around Chicago from like 10:30 to 4:30 and it was awesome!
We had a few places that we wanted to visit, and we ended up hitting each of them (except one! Bow truss! :( ) throughout the day. We really enjoyed walking around Chicago, playing tourist. We found ourselves saying “Olivia would LOVE this” or “Aww I wish Olivia could see this!” a million times, but we were both glad to spend a kid free day in our beautiful city.
When we walked to Bow Truss and realized that they were closed, Dominic saw that I was a little bummed and said, “Okay, I know you’re upset but I do have a little surprise for you…..there’s a doughnut shop right around the corner. Let’s go check it out.”
The place was called the Doughnut Vault and it was so cute! It literally was this little vault too, it’s address even contained “1/2” in it! If you would’ve asked me before this spontaneous donughtnut run, what my favorite spot was for doughtnuts, I would’ve said Glazed and Infused. But now? Absolutely, 100% this place. I had their chestnut flavor and it was amazing! They were so soft and also very huge! We probably should’ve split one but….hashtag YOLO.
Since we didn’t get to try the coffee at Bow Truss, we went to the nearest Starbucks for some caffeine and then headed to our last stop….
I cannot even tell you how long I have waited to try this place. Once we started making plans for this anniversary weekend, I knew Eataly had to be on that list. And I think it’s safe to say that we’re both happy that we went. That place was incredible!
And huge! I knew it was going to be big but I didn’t think it would be that bIg! When you first walk in, the first floor welcomes you with Italian imports (such as cookies, candy, jams, etc.), really cool kitchen utensils that you didn’t know you needed, a gelato stand, a chocolate stand, a cafe, a panini stand and….a Nutella bar.
We started by just looking around…we didn’t want to make any impulse purchases before we saw everything ;) We went upstairs and we were so amazed. It looked even bigger on the top! They had anything and everything you could think of up there, including 8 restaurants. 8! They had wine, a fruit market, a meat stand, cheese stand, fish stand, bread stand, Olivia oil, pizza, pasta, a library, plus so much more!
We ended up choosing the pasta restaurant to sit down and eat at. We were both only a little hungry, so we split a pasta. We tried the Tagliatelle al Ragu di Manzo….aka pasta with beef short rib Ragu! It was, hands down, one of the best pastas we’ve ever had. You could just taste how fresh the noodles were. Ugh, I cannot wait to go back there!
Once we were finished stuffing our faces, we bought a few things (prescuitto, pasta, mozzarella balls), we made our way downstairs. Pistachio gelato for me (I’m obviously on a roll with that stuff!) and a latte for Dominic! We made one last stop and the chocolate stand so that we could buy a certain little person a few little chocolate hearts, and then we made our way back to the car to head back to real life ;)
About 45 minutes later, we pulled up to my in laws house to get our baby. The minute she saw me, she dropped everything she was doing and ran right over yelling, “MAMA!!!!!!!” she squeezed me so tight and it was truly the best feeling ever. She of course did the same thing once she saw Dominic!
It was such a much needed little trip away with my husband but as for our next downtown adventure, I think we both agree that Olivia should probably come with us ;)