Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas in Chicago

This year for Christmas my husband and I decided to create a new tradition that was all our own. We have been married for four years now and usually follow the traditions of our individual families. This year we opted to spend Christmas Eve in Chicago and join the family for festivities on Christmas Day. For our day in Chicago we chose to do some of our favorite winter activities.

Christmas in Chicago this year was brutally cold. The temperature was in the single digits and low teens. We weren't discouraged though. We bundled up in layers and headed out to explore some of our favorite parts of the city. Eataly Chicago opened at the beginning of December and we were eager to check it out as the New York location has become one of our favorite spots. It did not disappoint! We had lunch at La Pizza La Pasta. There was a little wait but they will text you when your table is ready. So we wandered around the store and had a drink at La Birreria while we waited for our table. The food was excellent and the staff was very helpful and friendly.
Our next stop was the Christkindlmarket in Daley plaza where we enjoyed Glühwein and admired the Christmas tree. The German Christmas Market opens after Thanksgiving and closes for the season on Christmas Eve so we were able to enjoy the last few hours of the 2013 season. The Glühwein was delicious and we're already looking forward to tasting it again next year.  

I ice skated for the first time in about fifteen years when we were in New York City a few weeks ago and I was excited to go again soon. We stayed at a hotel in the Theatre district in Chicago which is only a few blocks from Millennium Park. The rink is free and they charge a fee to rent skates. I wasn't sure what to expect for Christmas Eve but the crowd was small and there was no wait. We had a great time skating and my husband even showed me a few of his old moves from his hockey playing days. I definitely want to make an effort to go out at least once a year.  

After we turned in our skates we walked up to the Cloud Gate and took a few photos. In all of the times I have visited the park, I realized this is the first time I've seen it at night. Our Christmas Eve mini vacation was extremely fun and special for both of us. We were able to enjoy time alone together at the holiday before joining the family for the traditional meals and gift exchanges the next day. 

What traditions do you celebrate on Christmas?