windy city

what a happy weekend it was!

during my freshman year, my roommates and i spent a great deal of time listening to all coldplay.  their most recent album had came out in the end of august, so it was an immediate bonding experience that we got to have by listening to it every morning/night/afternoon (basically all hours of the day).  back in january, sitting on my bed in my dorm room with my roommate at the time natalie, coldplay had just announced their tour in the U.S.  i had been under the impression that they were not going to be touring in the U.S. again after their last tour, so hearing this news was an immediate day maker. i still remember freaking out telling my parents about it:

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after some planning and coordinating and what not, next thing i knew i was on my way to chicago with natalie to my left and my parents sitting up in front.  also..what better way to make a 4:45 a.m. wake up call better than going to the diner before heading out of columbia, right?

something that i have learned about myself when i go on trips is that my ultimate goal is to make the best out of the time i have when i’m there.  i’m a huge advocate for “winging it” and stumbling across the coolest places to see or do because it often leads to the best memories.  but, i also get antsy if i don’t have an idea of a plan of what we want to do when we get there.  we only had a day and a half to see chicago, so i didn’t want to be stuck in a place where we didn’t have an idea of what to do/where to eat due to lack of planning.

on the drive up, i made exactly that my project.  cute, fun restaurants, “hidden gems” around the city, and the obvious tourist-y places that you have to see when you go.  i typically look at bloggers on instagram that i follow that are from chicago, which is a great way to see people that know the are best have their favorite places.  i’m a fan of hole-in-the-wall restaurants, so it was cool to be able to see where they typically eat for breakfast or lunch in the city!

i discovered The Hampton Social and scoped out the menu beforehand, and it looked incredible!  their most-photographed wall is an instagram-lover’s perfect find, and their brunch featured everything lobster… which was a huge plus for me.  it had such a fresh, bright atmosphere with a pretty dang good brunch menu too.

i love spotting art mural walls wherever i am too. columbia has a great one downtown that i always look forward to walking by on my way to work, so i knew chicago would have some great ones as well!  if anyone knows me, they know that i’m slightly obsessed with flamingos.  i had seen pictures of this wall frequently and i was PUMPED to see that it was not only located in chicago, but only a 3 minute drive from our hotel, score.  we took a little road trip to different walls i had seen and wanted to go to.  major props to my dad for this one… considering there are not many (or any) guys that want to spend their afternoon seeing paint on a big wall.

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after that, we drove by chicago theater and went to millennium park and saw the bean, maggie daley park, and were on our way to walk some of lake shore drive until the rain caught us.  i had never been to the bean before, so it was cool to actually be able to see it in real life!

if you have met natalie or if you’re even friends with her on Facebook (check out her profile picture from a couple months back, you’ll get it), she is frank sinatra’s #1 fan easily. chicago is famously known as frank’s “favorite city” to visit, so we obviously had to do something frank-related while being there! she was able to hunt down his favorite restaurant, a small italian place outside of the downtown area called The Rosebud.  we were able to see his place when he would come in and eat, and being in that atmosphere was cool to think about how, at a certain point in time, he had been at the same place too!  afterwards, we went to an gelato shop called Amorino, which is known for their macaroons and rose-shaped cones.

how we were able to fit that much into half of a day was very impressive to me, and i was definitely exhausted… especially from that early wake up call that morning!  the next morning, we went to breakfast at a place called Yolk- which was so. good.  i totally see how chicago is known for their great food because i truly didn’t have one bad meal.  afterwards, we walked to the Willis Tower which has the Skydeck located on the 103rd floor.  that was cool to be at too, it made me wish i had watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off because of the amount of connections there were with that movie and the Skydeck itself!

after that, we obviously had to see the infamous michigan avenue and shop before we had to get ready for the concert.  we came on a very hot and humid weekend, so many outdoor activities we had planned did not last that long. we got back to the hotel, changed, ate dinner at a restaurant called Hub 51 (filet mignon tacos… i can deal). a couple hours later, we found ourselves inside soldier field anxiously waiting to experience the time of our lives.

we were given wristbands at the door to discover that they light up throughout the concert, which gave the concert a complete different atmosphere.  you know how when you’re at a concert, and during the slow song that the singer may have, the audience pulls out their phones, turns their flash on, and sway it in sync with the song? those wristbands gave that vibe, but minus the phone part, which was even cooler to witness.

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they would change colors and flash based on each song that was playing, and it immediately lit up the audience too (get it).  to hear chris martin sing live was unbelievable. he sounded identical to every live version of each song on spotify that i had listened to prior to the concert. his energy and spirit was the most remarkable thing to witness. to see someone genuinely happy and love what they do is fulfilling enough, but seeing him with so much enthusiasm made it the best night. i truly can’t put into words just how special it was to me to have been able to go.

i had talked about this briefly with natalie earlier, but i am that person that wants to take pictures of every single minute of everything single thing that i do, simply because i want to capture the moment and be able to look back on it later on. and although i do believe that that’s not a bad thing at all, i also see the downsides of it. you miss out on a lot when you’re too busy making sure your camera is capturing it just perfectly!  so, at this concert, i was much more motivated to put the phone or camera down and just watch. to soak it all in in an atmosphere like that makes me speechless. to be able to look back on my memories and replay my favorite songs he sang (the scientist, adventure of a lifetime, amazing day………. to name a few) meant much more than to scroll back through my camera roll.

however, because i am who i am, i had to capture some of it.  and i have watched those videos multiple times everyday since the concert, which has made the PCD (post concert depression) much easier to grow from.

the trip overall was a huge success. i couldn’t be more thankful for my parents for dedicating a weekend of their own to drive us around… eat at restaurants that were cute on instagram… go see some cool art walls… etc.  but it ended up being one of the most memorable, happiest weekends i’ve ever had!  coldplay also had a huge part in that too, though 🙂

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with love jenna copy

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