November 22, 2011

Chicago Visit

Saturday morning I was up and dressed by 6:05 A.M. waiting to be picked up by my friend, so we could catch the 6:45 A.M. train to the windy city Chicago. Normally I would have been up and dressed so I could head out to an estate sale, but this weekend the events in Chicago were more important to me than a good estate sale. Two estate sales were scheduled in a neighboring town, and the items described for sales did peak my interest, but I had been waiting for November 19, 2011, and the events of this day.

Saturday's planned events were shopping (of course), having lunch at the Walnut Room and hoping to snag a seat near the 45 foot tall Christmas tree in the middle of the restaurant, purchasing Garrett's popcorn, having my cookbook The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook signed by the Beekman authors Josh and Brent, and the Magnificent Mile Festival of Lights Parade that kicks off the Christmas season.

After an hour and a half train ride we arrived at Ogilvie train station in the heart of Chicago. The station is  a short distance to State Street, so we walked the ten blocks, and it was our good fortune that the weather was very mild and, did, in fact, reach the low 50's that day.

When we turned left on State Street, we noticed a rather long line in front of the H&M store, and of course had to find out what was going on. We got in the line and waited for an opportunity to ask someone what was going on, everyone in the line was very young, and we were not, I asked the girl in front of us why everyone was queueing up. Today is the first day Versace is for sale at H&M. We quickly got out of line and went shopping at TJ Max.

Since we were up at the crack of dawn, to catch the train we decided to have an early lunch and went to see  how long the wait would be to eat at the Walnut Room inside of Macy's. We were seated rather quickly. This was the view from our table.

The decorated tree in the Walnut Room has been a tradition for 103 years. When the manager of the Walnut Room sent out a busboy to get a tree, so he could decorate the restaurant who knew it would start a tradition that has lasted all of these years. Of course, things have gotten bigger and better over the years.

This year The Great Tree, located in the center of the main dinning room, stands 45 feet tall, has 6,600 LED lights, and is adorned with 12,000 ornaments.

A close up of the ornaments on the tree.

Having lunch or dinner in the Walnut Room finds the room filled with couples, friends, families and children who make dinning at the restaurant a Christmas tradition.

Everyone stands in front of the tree for a photo op.

Of course, we were no different, the waitress 
took our picture but my eyes are closed :((

Walking around the room was a fairy that would sprinkle you with glittery dust spreading the spirit of Christmas. 

Spreading the Christmas spirit.

I enjoyed the atmosphere, the lunch, and spending time with a good friend.

Part two of my Chicago visit tomorrow.


  1. Sounds like fun, it's always nice to the day with a friend!

  2. Where is the Walnut Room? Love the photos and your trip to Chicago.