Christmastime in the City

17 Dec

Yesterday was a pretty busy day, but at least it was Friday!  I got up early to head over to the pool for a swim.  Since the swim class meets at 6:15 I wanted to be out of the pool by 6:00.  I got there at about 5:25 and swam 3/4 mile.  Not a bad way to start the day!

After work, Nick and I had plans to meet downtown for a drink and to see the lights on Michigan Ave.  We decided at the last minute to grab dinner as well, and boy am I glad we did!

We decided to eat at Cafe Spiaggia, which features Italian eats from Top Chef Masters alum Tony Montuano.  His sous chef, Sara, also happens to be competing on this season of Top Chef Texas.  Needless to say, we knew we were in for a treat.

I was delighted when we were seated.  Just take a look at our view!









For a night in which our main goal was to see the lights on Michigan, we could not have asked for a better table!  We might as well have been sitting on the lights!

For dinner, we enjoyed (all unpictured): a trio of snacks including olives, popcorn and homemade potato chips; meatballs; mozzarella with pear (my favorite); gnocchi with wild boar ragu (Nick) and pasta stuffed with butternut squash in a brown butter sauce (me).  O.M.G.  It was all delicious.  Really, really delicious.  So much so that even though I was stuffed, I still made room for dessert.

We ordered a trio of gelati with the following flavors: peppermint stracciatella, salted caramel, and vanilla.  To go with my gelatto, I ordered a cioccolatto italiano.








All of the gelatto flavors were amazing, as was the hot chocolate.  But the real star of this show was the homemade marshmallow.  That thing was deeelicious!  Much better than the dried marshmallows in my store-bought hot chocolate 😉

After we finished up dinner, we headed outside to take a walk up Michigan Ave.  I had heard on the radio that Macy’s has a great Christmas display, so our goal was to check that out.  Nick pointed out Macy’s just across the street, but my eye was caught by something else – American Girl Place!

I loved the American Girl books when I was growing up, and I’ve really been wanting to check out this massive store dedicated to the lovely girls!  When we entered the store, I made a beeline to Molly.











Though I enjoyed all of the American Girls, Molly was by far my favorite.  Nick and I joked that of course I chose the nerdy one with glasses.  What can I say?  She just spoke to me 🙂

Each of the girls had their own dedicated section, so I also snapped a photo of Molly’s kitchen.









It was really fun to see all of the outfits and accessories that I remember so well!  At one point, a sales associate overheard me say something about Molly and she asked what I was looking for.  I told her I was wondering where all the Molly books were.  I kept seeing a lot of other books, but never Molly’s.  Her answer?  “In the library.”  I think this is code for “you’re old”.  Oh, well!

Eventually we made our way out of American Girl place and into the mall that houses Macy’s.  When we walked by Abercrombie, I was blown away by the smell of cologne.  I cannot believe I used to shop there without getting raging headaches!  Oh, to be 17 again!

When we finally made our way to the 7th floor of Macy’s, we asked where the Christmas display was.  The sales associate seemed confused, so I clarified that we were looking for Santa.  At this point, he looked even more confused and said “Uh, we don’t have a Santa?”.  Well, guess what?  We were at the wrong Macy’s.  Darn!  I was really looking forward to seeing that display.

As much as I would’ve loved to see Santa, we decided to just stick to walking along Michigan instead of cabbing it back downtown.  The lights were so pretty!









Definitely the perfect night to put us in the Christmas spirit!!







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