Friday, May 20, 2011

Road trip to Chicago

417 Magazine is a part of this national organization called CRMA, City and Regional Magazine Association. Every year they have a big national conference with lot's of fun learning and this year I got to attend!! Savannah, Bethany and I all carpooled; our Saturday, April 30 began early, I picked the girls up at 4:30 am. It was still dark! We drove up through STL and that's was our first wrong turn of the trip :)
So we had Lola, my parents GPS, and at one point when we were arriving in STL it told us to go one way, the signs on the road said a different way, and the printed map-quest directions had yet another way. We were confused. We didn't trust Lola and followed the road signs. That was a mistake. We ended up literally underneath the Arch. It was a good view, but a little off track :)

First view of the city!!

We made it at about 1:30 pm.

It didn't take us long to unload at our hotel and start shopping! Our hotel was right off of Michigan Avenue which is called the "Miracle Mile". Every store you could imagine was there! We were kind of beat from the drive so we hit up a few of our favorites we don't have in Springfield and then took a nap.

96 floors up! We had a cocktail hour, welcome reception for the conference and then headed straight to the Signature Room on the 96th floor of the Hancock Tower! Our hotel room was on the third floor, so I was determined to get up high and see the city!

After the Signature Room we were looking for a place for dinner and since Bethany's feet were killing her we went to one of the first places we found. It happened to be McCormick and Smicks, one of my favorite place in KC to eat. They have this amazing dessert called the "chocolate bag". I had to order it for our crew. To my surprise in Chicago they have "chocolate dixie cups". Not the same ring to it, but they were equally amazing to devour!

This was the fancy room we had lunch in on Sunday afternoon.

Our Sunday was full of conference sessions so we didn't get to explore much. I am a dork and really love conferences, so I had a great time! Savvy, Bethany and I went back to our hotel room to change, we hit up Urban Outfitters and then got some dinner on the patio of this little place called the Lux Bar. It was fun to set and people watch! Anyway, back to this piece of cake. Looks like a normal piece of chocolate cake doesn't it. Well keep scrolling......

It was actually huge! And almost the size of Bethany's head!

All of the important places. The building in the front on the left is The Drake. That is where the conference was held. Then, the super tall building that is in the back is the Hancock Tower that we went up in on Saturday night. Plus this is the beginning of the Miracle Mile.

Monday was again filled with conference sessions. This is the room where the awards banquet was on Monday night. 417 Magazine was actually nominated for an award for the first time EVER! We were up against 5280 in Denver, Los Angelos magazine, Portland and Chicago. Big names! So anyway, we actually went to the awards dinner. No one actually thought we would ever win. But I got this super weird feeling we were going to win, so I got out my camera.....

And we actually won!!! We won for best lifestyle and leisure feature.

Our crew with our award!

Then the celebrating began!!!

Not much happened on Tuesday. We let ourselves sleep in and then got the car and headed home. This is where the next wrong turn comes into play. The road we needed to be on was right beside our hotel. We came in on it, we knew the way out. But there was NO way to enter that road from where we were. We didn't believe Lola, again. That was a mistake. We drove circles around our hotel area for a while. We didn't want to follow Lola b/c it had us going straight down Michigan Avenue and we just knew that wasn't the right way. SO we disobeyed her for a while and then decided we had no idea where we were and followed her. Well about 5 minutes later we realized there is a dang highway in the middle of Chicago and we were on our way out of town. Whew, finally! I will never doubt Lola again! And we made it safely back home.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Megan!

    Your photos from your recent trip to Chicago are great! Congratulations on the award! I'm glad you didn't let the confusing directions on the trip there ruin your good times! I am the social media coordinator at Midwest Living magazine and we're working with Enjoy Illinois on a Facebook contest called, "Magnificent Getaways Giveaway Contest," which invites people to share recent magnificent Illinois experiences for a chance to win one of three one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime experiences in Chicago and across Illinois. The Grand Prize alone includes dining (for four) on the Ledge at Skydeck Chicago, Terzo Piano and Lawry's Prime, plus a stay at the Trump Tower and more! If this is something you're interested in you can enter one of two ways: or on the contest website, Please feel free to contact me with any questions at

    Hayley Mason, Social Media Coordinator for Midwest Living magazine, Meredith Corporation


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