Chicago Staycation – Part One


My birthday is September 26 and naturally, this day is always the best day of the year for me.  On September 26, 2015, my 30th birthday, my special day was significantly and forever changed for the better.  I married the love of my life and my best friend.  No birthday present will ever top that.  We were married in my favorite place too – Marco Island, Florida.  Being from Chicago, you’d think our destination wedding would have been small, but no… we had almost 200 people attend!  We honestly never felt so loved.  See what I mean?!  Greatest day ever.  Seeing as this year was our first anniversary and my birthday, my husband wanted to make it extra special.  We packed in a lot of fun stuff, so I’ve decided to break this post up into a two parts.

My husband, Chris, and I decided about a week ago that it was just too much to celebrate both special occasions on one day.  We came to the agreement that we’d celebrate my birthday on my actual birth date (Monday, September 26) and then our anniversary the following day (Tuesday, September 27). Chris told me I had to clear my schedule and have someone watch our dog, but he didn’t tell me what we were doing.  Obviously, I quickly obliged and had my mom take our pooch (thanks, mom!).

I woke up Monday morning in a really great mood.  I mean… how could I not, right?!  Lol!!  I took care of a few errands, grabbed my free birthday bundtlet from Nothing Bundt Cakes, and came back to the house around 11 am.  I walked in to an empty house, but there was a card and a present laying on the counter.  You don’t even know how hard it was for me NOT to open that gift.  I knew it would be so rude to open it without Chris there, but come on… how rude was that of him to leave it there to tempt me?!  Haha.  I texted him several times, “where are you?!” He finally got back home around noon.  That hour was complete torture.  I ended up opening the card about 10 minutes before he got home.  Haha.  I had to!  He writes so beautifully.

Chris walked in the door with an incredibly beautiful floral arrangement that was made to look like my wedding bouquet!  My future sister-in-law is a florist at Bunches in Chicago and she is exceptionally talented at what she does.  [Shameless plug – if you need flowers contact Allison at Bunches!] Shortly after gushing over my beautiful flowers, Chris said I could open up my gift.  It was a ridiculously beautiful piece of jewelry that I wish I could share with you guys, but I’m going to keep this special piece close to my heart.



Chris said we didn’t need to leave our house until 6 pm, so I decided to go shopping for some new outfits.  Word to the wise – don’t go shopping on your actually birthday (or any special day for that matter) as it can quickly escalate to being a stressful situation.  I went to Banana Republic, J.Crew, and Express and felt like everything was either too buttoned up or way too scandalous (cough, cough – Express I’m talking about you).  Luckily, I wound up at White House Black Market.  They do a great job of finding the balance between classy and sexy.  I ended up walking out of there with two great outfits and my day turned back around.

birthday-outfit
1. Black Vest 2. White Sleeveless Blouse 3. Pendant Necklace 4. Vegan Leather Leggings 5. Valentino Rockstud Tote 6. OPI Nail Polish 7. Stud Earrings 8. Black Mules

I got home from shopping with just enough time to quickly pack an overnight bag and we were off!

Chris ordered us a fancy pants Uber black that took us directly to The Peninsula Hotel.  Remember when I was waiting on him earlier in the day?  He had come to the hotel to grab the keys in advance and set up the room.  Isn’t he the best?!  OMG.

We headed up to our room, which by the way, wasn’t just any room… he got us the Grand Deluxe Suite.  The room was stunning.  We walked in to TWO sets of balloons – one set said Happy Anniversary and the other Happy Birthday.  There was a little birthday cake, chocolate covered strawberries, and a bottle of champagne on the coffee table in the living room.  I moved some of my stuff into the bedroom and immediately noticed there were rose petals in the shape of a heart on the bed with jewelry box in the center.  He got me another band for my wedding ring!  I swear I married the most thoughtful human alive.

img_6261

Grand Deluxe Living Room (Image via The Peninsula Hotel Chicago)

Grand Deluxe Suite Bedroom (Image via The Peninsula Hotel Chicago)

Grand Deluxe Master Bath (Image via The Peninsula Hotel Chicago)

After we polished off the bottle of Veuve and about half of the mini cake, we headed to our dinner reservation Chris made for RPM Italian.  We went on one of our very first dates there.  That particular date was extremely memorable because Lance Bass was also dining at RPM and I had a complete N*Sync fan girl moment that we still laugh about to this day.

For starters, we ordered the prosciutto-wrapped dates, the prime beef meatballs, and the truffled garlic bread.  Chris is absolutely obsessed with their garlic bread.  He describes it as the best garlic bread he has ever had in his entire life.  Personally, I think garlic bread is garlic bread and is kind of a waste of stomach space, but he orders it every single time.  I think the prime beef meatballs stood out the most.  For our entrees, we ordered the RPM Caesar salad, crispy roasted chicken, carbonara, and the Maine lobster ravioli.  Their portions are made to share, so it ended up being the perfect amount of food.  The carbonara was definitely my favorite main course.  At the end of our dinner, we were too full to order dessert, but they brought us out two plates of mini ice cream cones – one for my birthday and one for our anniversary!  So sweet.

My birthday celebration was amazing, but believe it or not, our Chicago staycation was even better the following day.  Be on the look out for Part Two.

XO,

Lauren

P.S. I was so wrapped up in the moment that I forgot to take detail shots of what we were doing.  I put a lot on snap chat, but didn’t save the snaps.  Boo.

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