Well shockingly I got into Chicago Renegade this September so my friend Casey and I decided to road trip it 1/2 way across the US in my "new to me" mini van. It was quite the adventure but well worth it!
We saw a lot of these along the way...
After realizing one of my doors wasn't locking properly (with thousands $ of merch in the back) we took a much needed break in St. Louis on day two of driving. Crab cakes and local beer at Broadway Oyster Bar were a delicious treat.
Two and a half days of driving we finally hit Chicago a day before Renegade. We rented an apartment near Albany Park on the north side of town. The neighborhood was lovely and there were lots of fun places to eat and shop second hand treasures. Our roommate Oliver (the owners adorable cat we begged her to leave) was quite the character and the apartment even had a little piece of Texas on the mantel.
One of our first tourist stops included Millenium Park with The Cloud (aka the bean) and famous Crown Fountain. It was a gorgeous view of downtown and the weather was perfect.
Chicago Renegade was fun and CRAZY busy all weekend! I of course loved how my booth turned out, sharing again with my partner in crime GemJunkie. I was surprised how many Austinites we ran into outside of the few vendors who had taken the trip too. People who were moving to Austin, people who had just moved from, and those just visiting on a random week. I ended up moving my chalk sign to the front of the booth because people wanted to take pictures with it. Made my day.
We spent the last day of our trip just running around town being tourists. A quick stop to the Shedd Aquarium was a beautiful view of Lake Michigan and cityscape. We didn't make it to the Navy Pier but you can see it in the background below.
The "must do" tourist attraction on my list was to visit the Skydeck in the old Sears building (now Willis Tower), the tallest building in the world. At 103 floors up my nerves kicked in as I finally found the courage to step out onto the floating glass floor. I'm terrified of heights! I couldn't even look down to take this picture but it was an experience I will never forget.
We ended the long weekend with some famous Chicago style pizza at Gino's East and got ready for the two long days of driving back to Austin.
Other then a visit to the Little Rock in Arkansas, some late night drinks, bbq and an overnight stay in Memphis for my birthday, we hauled butt back to Austin. It was a fun trip but a long one and we both missed our babies. :)