Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Shedd Aquarium | Chicago, IL

Wanderlust creeps up on us constantly. An instagram photo of Australia here, a pinterest post on Italy there... it can get to a person who only has two weeks of vacation a year. 

The best way we kill the wanderlust blues is to become tourists in our own city. Chicago has more than enough to offer. Over Memorial Day weekend, despite the insane crowds, we trekked over to Shedd Aquarium. We love museums, and Chicago has some of the best there is to offer

The Shedd.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Photoset | Starved Rock State Park | Illinois

Starved Rock State Park is an hour and a half drive south of Chicago in Oglesby, Illinois. It is a treasure trove of hiking not too far from the city. We were super excited to find it. It has several falls that can be reached with both short hikes and longer hikes for all levels of hiking enthusiasts. You could go for an afternoon or for an entire day. Park entrance is free! We previously had only hiked in Texas and Arkansas. This has edged out as our favorite and we plan to go back before next winter. Check out the photo set from our afternoon there below. (Plus a video!)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

EPCOT | Walt Disney World | Orlando, FL

A beautiful, bright sunny day was had at EPCOT back in December. EPCOT is a mixed bag for me. It's my least favorite park, which most humans disagree with. I adore Soarin', but the rest of the rides are just so-so to me. It's too large to truly enjoy both Future World and World Showcase in a single day, but two days here isn't something I'm interested in. So, I usually end up spending most of my time at one world, depending on what events there are, then try to quickly squeeze in the other.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

10 Places We're Dying To Go, But Nervous About

Are there places in the world that you're drooling over on that instagram feed or travel website- but are scared to take the plunge?

We have plenty.

Flight Length:

It's true! We've never flown more than three to four hours. We've only been outside of the US on cruise ships, and tend to like road trips when traveling domestically. The US is enormously vast and has a crazy amount of things to see, but we're dying to give an oversees trip a try. Here are some places that we've neglected to go because of flight times:


Friday, May 9, 2014

Disney's Hollywood Studios | Walt Disney World

Disney's Hollywood Studios is supremely under rated in our opinion. They're super low on most Disney fanatics favorites list. It took me a long to to accept that, but I guess I see their points on some aspects. Maybe I'm looking through rose-colored glasses but we ADORE this park. Here's why!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Lunch in Chinatown | Chicago, IL

Last weekend, we took a water taxi to Chinatown for lunch. Here is a quick photoset.

Monday, May 5, 2014

XOCO by Rick Bayless | River North, Chicago, IL

Rick Bayless is the king of Chicago Mexican cuisine. His famed Frontera Grill is on our to-do list, but we decided to give Xoco a try before a show since we needed a quick meal. We ordered Chips and Guac, two pepito tortas, and the churros with a chocolate shot.

The seating here is a little awkward and cramped. A lot of restaurants in Chicago are like this, though, so you sort of get used to it I suppose. Still, more elbow room would make it more enjoyable.

The chips were pretty good. They weren't greasy and they were perfectly crispy. The salsa wasn't top notch- could've used a little more spice in my opinion. The guacamole was delicious. Perfectly fresh!

We both got the pepita torta which was short ribs. Neither of us had ever had a torta, and Ashley doesn't particularly like sandwiches, but we both really liked it. The meat was pretty much perfect. It had amazing taste and texture. The bread was extremely fresh and warm, which made the whole experience better. Who else hates stale bread?

 My favorite part was the churros and chocolate shot. This chocolate was out of this world. I live next to a chocolate factory and this chocolate tastes the way the fresh chocolate smells around the factory. The churros were perfectly crunchy on the outside and warm and gooey on the inside. It was delicious. The churros alone would bring me back for a second visit.

Oh, and Rick Bayless himself was there sampling the food, making sure it was top notch. We were too embarrassed to ask for a selfie with him.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Universal Studios | Orlando, FL

While in Orlando, our usual main spot is Walt Disney World, but we can't go without making a stop at Universal Studios + Islands of Adventure. (You CAN do both parks in one day. We did it twice.)

If you're in Orlando and wondering if it is worth it, it is. Here's why.
(Stay tuned til the end where we have some hits and misses for you.)


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Magic Kingdom | Walt Disney World | Orlando, FL

Proving to ourselves that early December is the best time to visit Walt Disney World was incredibly easy when we stepped foot in Magic Kingdom. Our first night of arrival, MK was open until very late (like 1 AM) so after we ate dinner, we made our way there to get in as much park time as possible. Night time is always pretty spectacular in the Magic Kingdom, but the twinkling lights on Cinderella's Castle may have given us chills. Even though it was the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we were able to ride plenty of rides in the few hours we were there that evening. We got up early the next morning and went right back to Magic Kingdom for the whole day. Apart from these two visits, we also attended the Very Merry Christmas Party at the end of our trip (more on that here.) Getting those extra evening hours at Magic Kingdom made a real difference this time around, not only because we rode several rides multiple times, but also because we never felt rushed. We actually rode a few rides for the first time because of the lower crowds and since we had less of a need to rush. Stay tuned to the bottom to see the highlights and favorites from this trip! Oh! and watch this clip of the end of one of our many Thunder Mountain Railroad rides for laughs.

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