Well, today it’s snowing…and snowing… and snowing… You know, I liked it better before Thanksgiving when it was 65 out. Now it’s frigid and there’s 5″ of snow, which I have to go shovel as soon as I’m done posting so I can get my car out and go riding! LOL!!
But, the other day, we took a bit of a play to Chicago. I haven’t really gone to Chicago since I’ve lived here (6 years later..). I used to visit Manhattan all the time when I lived back home, and really go into the city and shop and dine and visit. But I haven’t really been to Chicago in the same sense. I’ve been to the museums, and the Shedd Aquarium, but they’re all within a few blocks of one another and not really in the down town part. So the other day my husband and I went to the down town of Chicago.
Here is the skyline coming in….
We visited a place called the Chriskindlmarket, which was a German/Bavarian themed Christmas vendor thingy in downtown. It was outside, and it was about 25.. needless to say, it was freezing, and there were a TON of people. But it was really, really, really nice…..
It was all these booths and vendors set up in the middle of a square surrounded by very tall buildings…
And there was a really big tree there, too. I’m not sure how tall this tree is, but it sure looks about as big as the one at Rockefeller Square in Manhattan. That’s me and my husband in the middle of the picture. We were cold. Very cold. … and those bags we’re holding are full of goodies.
Some of the booths were outside shopping and there were a few indoor buildings, too. T hey were very small and very crowded. You pretty much just had to stand in line to look at everything. Most of the vendors sold hand blown glass ornaments or hand carved wood Christmas decorations. I’ve never seen ornaments quite like these… and pickle ornaments were quite the popular thing, too.. Apparently in Germany it’s a tradition to hide a pickle in the tree somewhere and the first kid to find the pickle wins a gift or something… I’m not quite sure I understand it, but the pickle ornaments were really cute. And if pickles aren’t your food of choice, no problem… pick a food and they had an ornament for it. They had an ornament for every animal in the world, and flags, and snowmen, and santas and all kinds of other things. I thought the peacock ornaments were pretty, but I really liked some of the more traditional Christmas ornaments, like stars and trees.
And speaking of food… this place was loaded with real food too… I pretty much gorged on German Potato Pancakes, Bratwurst, some kind of sweet dessert thingy I can’t pronounce, and pretzels, and CHOCOLATE. Oh My LORD, was there ever chocolate. LOL. We went into one little building that was crammed to the gills with chocolate. There were so many people in there, I couldn’t even get a picture, but just think about the biggest chocolate store you’ve ever seen, crammed into a space about 60 feet long and 20 feet wide, and times 10. All the chocolate was German and I had some things I’ll probably never eat again, but oh my my my was it all SO GOOD!
Including the very large Chocolate covered strawberry, which I had to take a picture of before I inhaled it.
After that, we went to Macy’s. We wanted to see the world famous Macy’s window Christmas displays. It sucks major ass. Really. I guess they changed it a few years back or something. It wasn’t even Christmassy. It just sucked. But the inside of Macy’s was very pretty, and I touched a $315 purse and looked at some $1200 pieces of luggage and jewelry. That’s about as close as I’ll ever get to stuff that expensive! LOL!
We wound our way through a subway and ended up in a mall or something. I don’t know if it had a name, but the inside of it was lit up like a Christmas tree and it was really pretty. I thought the TV’s going up all the levels looked really cool, so I took a picture. Talk about tourist – taking a picture of TV’s in a mall. I’m a dork, but it was pretty.
Oh, and outside at the Kindlemarket was this…. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
LOL. Chicago is apparently nice to the pigeons. Don’t ever think I saw anything like that in Manhattan.
We tooled around Chicago a little more, and one place I really wanted to go see was the Hermes’ store, which opened up about 6 months ago. In the local horse-newspaper, they touted the Hermes’ store as Chicago’s premiere Equestrian stop, with Hermes’ saddles and all things equestrian. So, of course, I had to go! I wanted to touch a $6,000 Hermes’ saddle.
There *is* a tack store in Manhattan, so I guess Chicago was due to get one, right? WRONG. The news article in the horse paper said the Hermes’ store had equestrian tack and apparel galore. Uhuh…
When I walked in, I thought I went into the wrong Hermes. And other than the horse icon on the wall, I would never have guessed I was in the right spot. So here I am in my $20 coat from wal-mart and big winter boots, looking like an idiot while some snobby (but really good looking) black guy in a suit asks me if I need help. I asked him if there was tack and he had no idea what the hell I was talking about, so I dumbed down my conversation a bit and said, do you have saddles?
He showed me around a corner to 3 saddles, 2 bridles, and 2 pairs of riding breeches. One saddle was all white, which was really cool. It was a little over $4,000. It was such a narrow tree it didn’t even look like it could fit on a real horse. The breeches I saw were $800 and looked like Kerritt’s with the Hermes label stuck on them, and the two bridles were $3,500 each.
I was in the store 2.6 seconds before I left, very disappointed. Oh well.
But all in all, it was fun!
Oh, and then, on the way home, I stopped at a *real* tack store– you know, one that actually has horse supplies… and bought Chewbacca a new bit. I then headed out to the barn to ride. I think I worked more on my day off than I do when I’m working.
The new bit was a raging success!!!
More on that later. Right now I’ve got to go shovel, get Christmas lights started, and go riding!