Surprise Vacation: Part I

Happy Tuesday everyone! I (Sarah) am SO excited to start sharing some recaps of our vacation, which many of you know was a complete and total surprise. I told you all about HOW we arrived at the idea of Surprise Vacation earlier on the blog, and now I am SO excited to share everything Ben planned! The morning we got up to leave for vacation (and I use the term “morning” lightly because it was still dark outside when we left) I still had no idea where we were going. We arrived at the airport, checked in, and were on our way to the terminal before I had any clue where we were flying to. And for a crazy-over-planner like me, this was the strangest feeling EVER. But I didn’t have to wait in the dark for too much longer, because as we were riding the shuttle over Ben took out the first of many surprises from his magic bag, a travel book all about Chicago! I was SO stoked, because not only was this somewhere we had never been, we also have tons of friends up there we were excited to see. We had SUCH an amazing four days in Chicago, visiting friends, exploring the city, seeing some awesome comedy, and so much more! Here’s a little peek at some iphone and camera photos from the first leg of our trip!


Hanging out on the plane at 5:30 am. This was also when I got my first glimpse at Ben’s “Vacation Bible”, that had EVERY moment of EVERY day planned (which I of course didn’t get to know about until each thing actually happened). I was so proud of his planny-ness!

We got to see a GORG sunrise from the plane

And once we got there began taking pictures of everything we ate along the way. Including these DELISH cinnamon rolls from Ann Sather, and the most AMAZING french toast ever from Nookies Too.They flattened croissants, dipped them in an egg wash, then corn flakes, and after cooking it all layered the slices between vanilla bean mascarpone and strawberries.


We saw a game at Wrigley Field, and sported some Cubs hats (which also came from the magic bag o’ surprises)

With our first timer certificate right before Ben caught a ball. It was a preeeettty epic day.

Happy. Because he EVEN bought me a beer.

(Grown ups with braces don’t get peanuts or crackerjacks, so we just HAD to make do ; )

We rode the train like true city folk

And visited Millenium Park

Where we went just  a LIIITTTTLE picture crazy with The Bean. . . 

Then spent a relaxing afternoon at The Art Institute

Weddings just seem to follow us everywhere : )

After an awesome lunch at Big n Little’s, we ventured down The Magnificent Mile

And ended at the 94th floor of the John Hancock Building

We spent a rainy morning at The Field Museum

Where I TRIED to convince Ben to buy me this

A late night pizza date. Oh Chicago pizza, how I love thee. . . .

A sunny day at the Lincoln Park Zoo

Where we saw things both big and small

This was my view for most of the vacation. Trucking along behind my gentleman of a hubber who carried pretty much EVERYTHING.

But it may have just been because I seemed to get stuck in the train turnstiles when I had bags.

This is where our visit to Chicago ended. And I can’t WAIT to tell you what happened when we went inside. Stay tuned for Part II!







  1. David Sturmer says:

    You went to one of my all time favorite museums – The Art Institute. I have spent many long days there. Even took art classes as a child there. Glad you guys were able to experience Chi-town. I grew up there and still like that city. I just can’t live with that many people any more. Have many good friends and a ton of relatives that are in the area.

  2. Sarah Conboy says:

    Looks like you guys had an excellent trip! I’m so jealous about the Van Gogh and the T-Rex!

    • Sarah & Ben says:

      Sarah, we had a picture of the Van Gogh on our phone and I was ready to text it to you right there and then (because I was nerding out over the Dr. Who-iness) and then realized I didn’t have your # with me! But we totally thought of you!

  3. Heather Lamb says:

    That T-Rex had to be the SCARIEST thing I think I have ever seen! 🙂

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