This past weekend, my sister and I traveled down to Chicago with one of our friends for a weekend of eating, shopping, and Christmas movies. This trip to Chicago has become an annual event and it's the best way to ring in those final few days before Christmas.
Our main reason for driving down was to catch both It's A Wonderful Life and White Christmas at the iconic Music Box Theatre. I went on a whim a few years ago and I had NO CLUE that a) it was a singalong and b) it had been ongoing for the past thirty-two years.
It has become one of my favorite traditions and one of the few times when I really sense that ever-elusive Christmas feeling. Obviously, I already love both of these films, but the audience's engagement makes this event extra, extra special. They cheer when George saves his brother from drowning, they boo when Potter hatches his plans, and they ring ACTUAL BELLS when Clarence comes on screen. I can't explain how magical it is!
And every year, I learn something new, too! This last time, my seatmate, Doris, told me that she and her brother always reserve an extra seat just for their coats (noted!) and that they buy their bells at the Walgreen's down the street (keeping that in mind for next year, Doris!) Next year, I'm bringing bells and saving that extra seat.
Besides being enchanted by the power of cinema, we were also enchanted by the power of food. We had the most delicious seafood risotto at Quartino's, very, very, very cheesy deep-dish at Giordano's, and almond milk chai's at Heritage Bicycles and General Store. It was one of those trips where I had to pace myself as I ate. I couldn't have too much ice cream/pizza/seafood because there was more ice cream/pizza/seafood just around the bend!
We also visited Navy Pier for the first time, but I didn't care for it. I've only visited Chicago in the winter, so I forget that they actually experience warmer temperatures. Maybe the pier's better in the summer?
Also, are Uber drivers always so talkative? We had the best drivers on this trip. Ask me about the driver from Romania when you see me next. He had the wisest, most sage advice. He actually made me rethink my life's trajectory and usually only God does that :)