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My family and I decided to take a mini-vacation to Chicago this weekend.  It was a refreshing break from school/finals/life!

Upon arriving at the hotel, we received this little box of chocolates.  Clockwise from the top left; dark chocolate, milk chocolate nut, raspberry, and caramel.  They were delicious!

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After we set down our bags, we took a cab to Water Tower Place and went shopping!  I took full advantage of my Christmas gift cards, haha.  I bought an eye brightening crayon and lotion from Sephora, a dress and hairbrush (mine keep disappearing) from Forever 21, and a few pairs of earrings from Claire’s.  Definitely a successful shopping spree!  We stopped for lunch at Foodlife, which is a big food court that serves fresh, yummy food.  You can get pretty much anything there, but I was craving balsamic dressing (who knows why??) so I ordered this chopped salad.  It has baby greens, cucumbers, carrots, and almond slivers with, of course, balsamic dressing.  I had a grainy roll on the side, plus a few bites of my sister’s stir fry.  Tasty!

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After lunch and a bit more browsing, we went to Sprinkles!  The company just opened one in Chicago and my sister told me I absolutely HAD to try it.  And she was right- the cupcake was dense, soft but not sticky, and covered in a perfect layer of sweet but not-too-sweet frosting.  I ordered a Peanut Butter Chip one, and it was absolutely incredible!  Hands-down the best cupcake I’ve ever tasted.

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We stopped at NikeTown.

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And for dinner we went to Osteria Via Stato.  It’s a casual Italian restaurant and it was very good!  Great service and the food is simple but perfect.  I ordered gnocchi with tomato sauce (yes, this is an item on the menu… I told you it was simple 😉 ) and it was unbelievable.  I definitely recommend it!

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The next day, we went to the Shedd Aquarium.  A must-visit if you’ve never been!

Beluga whale baby!

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Penguins

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Don’t remember what these are called, but they’re funny!

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Nemo

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Chill fish… he’s like, “Did I SAY you could take a picture of me?!”

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Little fish… I love this picture!  Feel free to set it as your desktop background. 😉

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Coral and blue fishies.

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After the aquarium, we drove back home.  Overall, a very relaxing yet fun trip! I love Chicago! 😀

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