Weekend Wedding in Chicago
Of all my first experiences to America, never once did I think ill be saying the words… ‘I am going to Chicago for the weekend for my mates wedding’.
But here we are, I am on a plane to Chicago for the Weekend for a 4 day wedding. I am so lucky I travel long distances trips all over the place, so an 8 hour flight to Chicago wasn’t going to be a problem. For a long time due to newspaper articles and Youtubers from America I had had a fear of travelling with an American Airline. I decided to book with British Airwa’sy which offered a direct flight from London, I also had decided to only use hand luggage for the weekend as again I had heard stories of lost bags all the time in America. Lucky enough I had no problems.
As soon as I got off the plane it was all about a Cultural Experience in America. The custom officers just did not believe me when I said I was heading to a small town an hours drive from Chicago in Joliet. I got comments like “Why would any one go to Joliet” or “Are you sure it isn’t your wedding and you are not an illegal immigrant”… Charming hey!
But once I got out of the American Sitcom Drama, I made my way to the other side of the Airport to meet one of the other Bridesmaid flying in from Florida. I have to say picking up a car then driving that hours drive, I have never been so confused and in awe before. As you see this image in cinema so much, like driving down route 66. It was making me giggle to see it in real life, not to mention my bridesmaid side kick saying ‘Maam’ all the time.
We woke up the next day to the fields of Joliet and water towers as far as the eye could see and the occasional yellow school bus driving past the fields. We headed into Joliet to experience the town and I needed a post office for one of my Denim Goddess Jackets orders. But even the post office was an experience, right town to the lady telling me how parcels work in the USA and that Americans are dumb and are unable to turn over a parcel to see the return address…. I had no words but what a lovely cheeky lady she was.
The town of Joliet is indeed charming, it was settled in 1833 then made into a city in 1852. It is everything I thought a mid-western town would be, we enjoyed strolling up and down the main streets taking in the sights; for me a cop car for a was sight, as well as the Rialto Square Theatre which was built in 1926 in the Neo-Baroque style, it is the perfect gangster cinema backdrop and was a local haunt for Al Capone. The Joliet Prison has a long history too, not to mention it being used in the iconic The Blues Brothers film. People come here to finish their drive as Joliet is the end of the famous Route 66 drive from Los Angeles crossing the country.
We ended up in one of the cutest cafes in town ‘Jitters’, it felt like all those iconic coffee shops from TV and you know what, it was iconic; the staff we lovely, the food and coffee delicious and a charming atmosphere.
After alot of getting lost and saying What!!!! We made it back to the Hotel to begin the Weekend Wedding’s Festivities… We had to get all glammed up for the Rehearsal Dinner. t=The wedding took place at the Jacob Henry Mansion, built in 1873 it is a mixture of traditional American architecture making it the perfect place for this wedding. The rehearsal went off without a hitch and off we went to the most important part of the evening which was the dinner. We went to a local restaurant where we got to try out the local steakhouse at CUT 158 Chophouse. What a feast they offered with such delicious food, it really was the proper taste of an American Steakhouse.
The big day was finally here. We spend most of the morning being super girly, from watching the bride get her hair and make up done, being around families uniting, making new friends with all the bridesmaid’s, lounging around in dressing gowns and shedding a tear as she dressed in her stunning white gown.
The wedding was really special and just want she wanted as we watched them share vows all to instrumental Disney tunes. The reception was so much fun too, with such an array of people from all walks of their lives. She had spent months collecting items in second hand shops to create centre table settings that where all Disney themed, it was such a elegant vibe with cream and gold. But the real master piece was the top table where they sat with a single red rose in a bell jar just like in Beauty and the Beast.
The night was a wonder of dancing and giggling and toasting to the couple, what a magical day it was to be apart of.
Sunday was our final day in the area, it was a stunning day as the sun was pouring down on us and the flowers where blossoming. We made it our mission to look for that famous Chicago Deep Dish Pizza. But as we headed back to Chicago towards the airport and the hunt for food, we had to stop at a Petrol Station, that was such a foreign thing for me as you didn’t have to hold the pump to let the petrol flow and you can watch Baseball as you fill up. I really did feel like I was on Mars in that moment.
We were suggested to try the Deep Dish Pizza at Giordano's, and we where not disappointed…. it was deep and full of delicious topping. It really is one for the books of dining experiences. Make sure you have the individual 6” pizza as it really is a filling meal. It was a great meal to finish off my weekend in Chicago.
So what do I think of my first trip to America, well it was not what I expected. The views where just like in the cinema and I was able to understand some of the customs through that. Some things I still don’t understand after that trip like the right amount to tip your waiter, but what I take back with me was meeting all these wonderful people from all across America and getting to see the real America.
I am happy this was my first trip to America, it wasn’t what I expected it to be but what made it the most important trip to America was I got to see one of my closet friends get married to the man of her dream and she was the fairytale Princess I always saw her. Her smile was wider than the Chesire Cats and she was more beautiful than any Disney Princess.
Happy Wedding Beautiful Girl, thank you for including me part of your day and being one of the most important people in my life …..