I heart Chicago!

I Heart Chicago by Just a Girl and Her Blog

I promise that I am not becoming a travel blogger. We already established the fact that I’m not a great tour guide when I talked about our trip to Ontario a few weeks ago. We normally do not plan trips this close together, but hubby and I had to reschedule a trip that was cancelled earlier in the summer, and this just happened to be the best weekend to do it.

And speaking of my hubby,  I mentioned in my newly revamped “Meet the Girl” page that he is adventurous and also the most interesting and intelligent person I know. There are many times where this works in my favor, like the time that he decided to make “racking up booku hotel points and airline miles” one of his favorite hobbies.

The man is a genius when it comes to figuring out ways to accrue points, which means that we can fly off to Chicago for the weekend and stay at the Waldorf Astoria and not pay a dime out of pocket.

Waldorf Astoria Sign
Front entrance

Have I mentioned that my hubby is amazing? He’s amazing. There were times when we felt a little out of place… like the time when there were two Rolls Royces and a Bentley parked in front of the hotel and the doorman told us that we were looking at about a million dollars’ worth of cars.

Expensive Cars

Hubby told him, “Oh yeah, my minivan would be worth about 9k if it wasn’t for the rust.” 😀 Gotta love that man.  But aside from being in awe that real people actually own cars that are that expensive, most of the time was just spent relaxing and enjoying our time together.

And who wouldn’t want to relax in this beautiful place? Seriously, we were way out of our league.

Comfy Bed

If you follow me on Instagram, you got to see a little video tour of our room, which also included a cushy seating area with a fireplace….

Sitting Area

A super-inspiring and gorgeous bathroom that I told hubby he should duplicate for our master bathroom renovation…

Bathroom floor detail

{We could totally create that mosaic by ourselves right? Umm….no.}

Bath Tub

{Deepest tub ever. I felt like I should have to pass some sort of deep end test just to take a bath in there!}


{And I will take one of these for my master bathroom, please and thank you!}

The bathroom also included my favorite feature of our entire hotel stay, a TV in the mirror. Crazy!

Mirror TV

 {Obviously hubby picked the channel!}

And there was even a bar area with some cute little drinks and snacks that we didn’t touch because they were like a million dollars each and there was a Walgreens right across the street where we could buy the same thing for a fraction of the price…

Bar Area

I was overwhelmed by the awesomeness, and we hadn’t even left the hotel yet!  When we ventured out, we spent most of our time just wandering around the city and taking in the sights. We saw the beautiful Chicago River…

Chicago River

The Bean… {Which still perplexes me. I thought Boston was “Bean-town”?}

The Bean
Reflection in the Bean

{We were uber touristy and took a pic of our reflection in the Bean!}

And, a major highlight, Navy Pier, which included little shops, food stands, carnival rides, yacht tours, and the most gorgeous views of the city:

Chicago from the Pier


John Hancock Building

{The John Hancock Building}

Abby on Navy Pier

{This is where D turns the camera on me and says, “Smile!” and I scold him for taking pictures of me!}

This is also where we realized we have seen four of the five great lakes in the last month—Huron, Ontario, and Erie on our Canada trip and Lake Michigan in Chicago! Anyone who lives near Lake Superior up for a couple of visitors so we can make it 5 for 5? 😉

It was a pretty quick trip, but it was enough to rejuvenate us and allow us to spend some quality time together before the new school-year routines start.  And though it was wonderful to get away, it was just as wonderful to come home and hug and kiss those little C’s that we missed so much! No fancy hotel will ever be better than getting to live life with them. <3

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  1. Emily @ My Love for Words says:

    Looks like an amazing trip! I’d write more, but I have to jump in our Rolls and run to the grocery store… I mean go to the salon. Darn it! I don’t even know how to pretend to have that much money. My mind immediately went to running errands. Oh, and I forgot I’d have a driver… that must be the life. Your husband needs to teach mine about these reward points because I’m dying to stay in that hotel now. Happy Friday!

    1. abbylawson says:

      Lol! You are cracking me up! I had no idea what I should be doing. I was walking around in my Target tshirt and jeans that probably still had my kids’ snot on them! 😉 Oh well! It was fun! I’m trying to get hubby to write about it, but he says it will take 30 posts explain. Haha. That’s why I let him be in charge of points! Hope you’re having a great weekend, friend!

      ~Abby =)

  2. Chicago is a fun city I was there 2 years ago for a conference and loved it – but wow wow wow I wasn’t anywhere near as fancyas that fantastic hotel – seriously a TV in the mirror that it the coolest thing ever!

    1. abbylawson says:

      I could not believe it. I was all like, “Why is there a remote in the bathroom?” and hubby turned it on and my jaw about hit the floor. So crazy! It was a really fun city. I definitely want to go back sometime! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, Martina!

      ~Abby =)

  3. Abby,
    I love the pictures of the Astoria, but honestly, after seeing your amazing re-do of your master bedroom at your home, I think your own personal bedroom is just as nice or even nicer (b/c the two C’s get to jump on your own bed with you!). You did an amazing job of your re-do and it looks as nice as the pricey hotel! Good job! Keep it up!

    1. abbylawson says:

      Tawny, you just totally made my day! You are SO sweet! Thank you! The C’s sure do love jumping on the bed. Doesn’t get much better than that! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  4. Sharon B. says:

    Fun post! I loved the tour, that hotel is beautiful! I’ve been in Chicago once about 9 years ago, it is a great town and would love to go again. I also can’t believe I haven’t been following you on instagram yet, so just did! 🙂

    1. abbylawson says:

      Thank you, Sharon! I can’t believe I wasn’t following you either! Problem fixed! LOVING those gold dot vases! So pretty! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  5. Jessi @ Practically Functional says:

    Looks like you guys had a blast! I love Chicago and I’m glad you liked it too!

    1. abbylawson says:

      It was so fun! I’m jealous that you get to live there all the time! I do love Pittsburgh, too, though, so I can’t complain. Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, Jessi!

      ~Abby =)

  6. Misti @ Practical Happyness says:

    Chicago is one of my Favorite cities!!! I’ve been there twice- the second time for a girls weekend- we stayed at one of the Kimpton hotels- (if you’ve never stayed in one you should if you get the chance- they are amazing! – they have a complimentary wine hour every night!) We’ll be visiting again in December because my SIL now lives there! Can’t wait!

    I would move to the Great Lakes in a heart beat. They are so beautiful and have the best of the seasons- I’m sooo glad you got a weekend away with your hubby to unwind and recharge- reminding me that we have some points accrued that are begging to be used for a bit of R&R!

    1. abbylawson says:

      Oooh! I’m telling hubby to check into Kimpton points! That sounds fabulous! I will use any excuse to go back to Chicago– it’s awesome! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, Misti!

      ~Abby =)

  7. Kylie Helm says:

    DIE! Did you feel like such a princess in that room?!?! I know I would. So jealous! I LOVE racking up miles though. We’re paying for 4 roundtrip trips back home to San Diego with our points. That’s nearly 3500 in travel, man! 🙂 Your trip looked awesome!!


    1. abbylawson says:

      WOW! That’s awesome! I love points! (Especially bc hubby does all of the work for them, lol.) Thanks so much for stopping by, Kylie! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  8. femmefrugality says:

    Wow! He’s a keeper for that reason alone! I totally love your travel posts, by the way! Looks like an amazing time (but how could it not be with accommodations like that?) I’m hosting a link up tomorrow…it’s mostly for PF bloggers, but this type of stuff is the stuff they love reading about. You should totally link this article up.

    1. abbylawson says:

      Thank you so much for inviting me, friend! I linked up! I warned all of your PF linkers that I was invading, though. 😀 Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

      1. femmefrugality says:

        Thanks a ton for linking up! This is such a great post, I’m so glad you shared! 🙂 Hope yours was great, too!

  9. The Frugal Exerciser says:

    I love Chicago too and that is because I live there LOL. You missed the best place to take a picture of the skyline and that is on the shore near the Planetarium, oh well next time. There is no place like the Chi in the summertime. I love biking on the lakefront. That hotel looks fabulous and would be a great place for a girl’s weekend, thanks for the post.

    1. abbylawson says:

      Oh no! Now we have to go back. Darn. 😉 I will look for any excuse because it was awesome! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  10. Alyssa McConnell says:

    That looks like so much fun!! You guys seem like a great couple, I’m pretty sure my husband and I would be bored just us. Lol

    I always loooooove hotel room bathrooms. They are probably the nastiest places ever. But they always have great tile and color schemes. Plus I don’t have to clean it, sooo it’s amazing. Lol

    Hope back to school is an easy transition. 🙂


    1. abbylawson says:

      Thank you, friend! My husband will not allow me to be bored. He can’t sit still for five seconds and always has big plans, lol! As long as he channels all of that energy into trips like this one, I’m not complaining! 😉 Hotel bathrooms are definitely sweet, especially that no cleaning part!! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  11. Alexandra @ Real Simple Finances says:

    Looks like a great trip! And what a hotel! Whatever tricks your hubby has for gathering points, he should absolutely pass them along via guest blog post. 🙂

    1. abbylawson says:

      Thank you! I know, I need to convince him to do that! He says it would take 30 posts to explain it all, but maybe I can get him to do a watered down version or something. Thanks so much for stopping by, Alexandra!

      ~Abby =)

  12. Christine at More Than Mommies says:

    Looks like you were living the high life! I am in aww…perhaps you should talk your hubs in to sharing his frugal tips with us! 😉 Glad you enjoyed yourself!

    1. abbylawson says:

      I know! I told him he should guest post on my blog, but he said he’d need to do 30 posts to explain it, lol. Maybe I can convince him to do a watered down version! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, my friend!

      ~Abby =)

  13. Hi Abby,

    Been browsing your previous posts and came across this one today. How did your hubby rack up booku hotel points and airline miles? I’ve been hearing about it but don’t know where or how to do it. (“,) We love road trippin’ and it would be great if we could save tons on our next trip. Thanks!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Lynn! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! Oh that hubby… he has a whole big system! Fortunately he wrote it all out for people who were wondering. You can find his posts on it here: https://donnielaw.com/miles . Hope this helps!! Have a great night!

      ~Abby =)

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