For the fourth of July, Ryan and I decided to go up to Chicago for the weekend. We made a hotel reservation for Saturday and Sunday up in Oak Brook at the Hyatt. Soon after making our plans for the weekend, we found out that Stephanie and Kyle were moving from Sacramento, back to the Midwest, and they were going to be living in Joliet!!
So we ended up going up to Joliet on Friday after work and staying with Steph and Kyle before we started our original weekend plans.
We had such a great time catching up with them and meeting their two little dogs, Arnie and Henna. (Henna was my favorite! She's the cute black one)
Their new place was really nice, and after a good night's rest, we got up pretty early in the morning to get ready for our respectively busy days. Steph's sister was heading up and they were going to the Taste of Chicago. Ryan and I were heading to Six Flags for the day! So we had to say goodbye way too soon...but it's nice having her closer, because now we'll actually see each other more than once a year!
We had a blast at Six Flags. We paid for The Flash Pass and it was definitely worth the extra cost. We didn't have to wait long for any rides and besides The Giant Drop, we got to ride every ride we wanted to...sometimes more than once! =)
Ryan found fireworks for us to go to that night at the Oak Brook Country Club and I am so glad we didn't miss that show. It was bizarre walking through a 27 hole golf course at night and finding people sitting all over the course. There was a massive gathering of people for the festival with lots of food stands and a McDonald's tent. Turns out the corporate headquarters for McDonalds is in Oak Brook and they sponsored the event. Which would explain the AMAZING fireworks!
The next day, we went to the Brookfield zoo. It was such a beautiful zoo and being as how I love zoos, it was also one of the best I had been to.
We watched the dolphin show from below, which was actually kinda cool! We also got to pet and feed stingrays, which was great, but not as good as the stingray pool at Sea World.
It was a gorgeous day, but definitely pretty hot. But the zoo had a lot of indoor exhibits which helped cool it off.
One of the coolest exhibits was the gorilla enclosure. They were entertaining, and we got some great pics!
After the zoo, we toured Goose Island Brewery. There wasn't much to tour, but there was a tasting which, if anything, was very informative. We got to sample great beer and get a souvenir glass.
We also went to IKEA and got some great deals on some fun stuff. I love that store and wish there was one that was closer.
The next morning, we checked out of the hotel and went to the Oak Brook shopping center...definitely Ryan's favorite part! Lol. Then we went to Trader Joe's to stock up on great groceries and headed home. It was a great weekend and I can't wait to go back. Chicago is definitely my favorite vacation spot, because there is so much to do!