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{a weekend getaway...and a giveaway winner!}

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brown paper packages: {a weekend getaway...and a giveaway winner!}

Monday, March 14, 2011

{a weekend getaway...and a giveaway winner!}

Happy Monday!

I do have a giveaway winner to announce today, and I apologize that I didn't have it up yesterday. It was for a very good reason though, and I think once you hear about it, you'll forgive me. It also means that I did not work on once project over the past week, so I have a lot to work on over the next few days! I'm excited about several things, so hopefully by the end of the week I'll have something new for you.

I'm back to real life today, after a fabulous weekend in Chicago with my girlfriends! It's one of my most favorite cities, and if you haven't been before, I suggest you put it on your list of places to visit. I came home with some wonderful memories, and at least 5 extra pounds (although I'm afraid to stand on the scale in fear that it's even higher than that--but still totally worth it). Here are a few of the highlights:

We took the train (which was a whole experience in and of itself) to Union Station in downtown Chicago, then a cab to our hotel--also downtown. It's really the best way to experience the city in my opinion! This particular weekend was exciting because it was the city's huge St. Patrick's Day celebration. There were people everywhere, dressed in green, with green beads and shamrocks painted on their faces. We also donned our green, and enjoyed the some of the festivities. One of the most fun things they do is dye the river that flows through the city green--and it is a BRIGHT green.

Here are a few highlights...

1. The Spa


We went to the lovely Allyu Spa, and it was the most relaxing part of our trip to be sure.
It was perfect.

2. Architectural River Tour

Despite visiting Chicago many times, I had never taken a river tour of the city, even though it was something I always wanted to do. It was fantastic. We learned so much about the history of not only the buildings, but of Chicago as well. Our tour guide was hysterical, and made the trip that much more fun.

This is how green the water was!

(image courtesy

3. The Magnificent Mile

Probably one of the most famous streets in America, it also the most incredible shopping (in my case window shopping) you'll find anywhere. From Prada to Tiffany to Gap to Anthropologie--if you're looking for it, you'll find it. Nestled between the storefronts are restaurants, theaters, and so much more. It's a definite experience.

4. Navy Pier Ferris Wheel


Navy Pier is a long pier along the shoreline that is a famous attraction in Chicago, with more than 50 acres of parks, gardens, shops, rides, and restaurants. It's also home to a more than 150 foot ferris wheel, which we knew we had to ride while we were there. As part of the St. Patrick's Day celebration, they were having fireworks there one evening, and we thought it would be THE COOLEST thing ever to be on the ferris wheel while the fireworks were going. One can only hope, right? Well, fate was in our hands. The fireworks were just starting as we stepped on, and the finale was just finishing as we stepped off. It was truly spectacular, and probably one of my most favorite moments on the trip. It was a *tiny* bit disconcerting when the wind started blowing hard when we reached the very top (it is known as the Windy City, and we definitely know why!), but we got to the bottom safe and sound.

5. Museum of Science and Industry

Out of all the fabulous museums in Chicago, this is my absolute favorite. The Museum of Science and Industry features such exhibits as Science Storms (you can see a floor to ceiling smoke tornado), Coal Mine (descend into an underground mine shaft), Farm Tech (shows how food gets to your table through the latest innovations), Genetics and the Baby Chicks Hatchery (see baby chicks break through their shells, and explore the fascinating world of genetics), The Idea Factory (lots of hands on things for adults and children alike), The Great Trains (a gigantic locomotive to explore--plus so much more!), Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle (an INCREDIBLE fairy castle and elaborate miniature collection). That's not even all of them! One of the most compelling and amazing exhibits is the U-505--the only German submarine in the United States. It's capture in World War II played an integral part in our defeat of Germany, and is considered a turning point in the war. The story of the brave men who captured the U Boat is absolutely incredible, as is the story of how they were able to get it to Chicago.

6. The Food!

We wanted to experience Chicago through food, and we definitely accomplished that. We at deep dish pizza at Gino's East in downtown Chicago, the most FABULOUS pasta at Pasta Capri in Hyde Park, Garrett's Popcorn at Navy Pier, Sprinkles Cupcakes, yummy sandwiches at Fox & Obel, our favorite Asian Lettuce Wraps at P.F. Changs, and cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory. We made a pact to out aside our diets for the weekend, and it was worth every pound. :)

It was an incredible trip, and I so appreciate my husband who took time off work and manned the fort so I could go with my friends for some much needed girl time.


Now back to business, and on to our winner!

Congratulations to...

# 28, Simply Sara!

I love the cream on cream pillow or the toffee brown button on cream pillow, they are both adorable. I would get a G for my new last name. We just redid our living room with brown furniture and this would look so nice in there!!!

I'm so happy for you! Please e-mail me with all of your information within 48 hours, or I will need to choose another winner.


Have a great day!



Blogger Simply Sara said...

Oh yay!!! So excited!!!!

March 14, 2011 at 12:56 PM  
Blogger kierste @ brown paper packages said...

That was fast, lol! Congrats!

March 14, 2011 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger Rebecka said...

I'm so jealous! I love Chicago and I've been to some of the places you mentioned.
Now I can't wait to go back.

Congrats to your winner. Those pillows are fabulous!

March 14, 2011 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I LOVE Chicago as well...I live there! Those are all great places you went too, we still do the tour every year..I am such a tourist!

March 14, 2011 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

What a great trip. I've only been to Chicago one time many years ago.
I found your blog yesterday for the first time and it just made my day. What a fun and upbeat blog. I love your projects and it just made me want to shake off the dust and start crafting.
Thanks for all the inspiration. I'm a regular subscriber now.

Thanks for sharing your projects and ideas.


March 14, 2011 at 5:58 PM  
Blogger Simply Sara said...

LOL, I really like the pillow!! I emailed you, did you receive??

March 16, 2011 at 7:01 AM  
Blogger kierste @ brown paper packages said...


I e-mailed you that same day--I wonder if it's in your junk mail? If not, I can re-send it. I also forwarded your info to Letter Perfect Designs, and they responded back to me, so you should be hearing from them very soon. If you don't just let me know!

March 16, 2011 at 8:20 AM  
Blogger Simply Sara said...

Yeah, for some reason it's not coming through....

Here is my email again, maybe mistyped...

March 16, 2011 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

How fun that you got to go on a trip with your girlfriends--good for you. This makes me want to go to Chicago. (The time we were there was only for a couple of hours. We rented a car and drove to the temple to see it ; ) Hopefully one day we'll get back there.

Congratulations to Sara on the win.

March 17, 2011 at 1:03 PM  

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