Our first priority when we arrived in Chicago was to apply for a marriage licence. We decided to get married here as both of us love love love the city - a river running through the centre, gorgeous old buildings that are still incredibly futuristic (lots of Frank Lloyd Wright designs), the loop train running alongside apartments and offices 3 or 4 stories up, great vegan food and an ace music scene. As luck would have it, our hotel was very close to City Hall, where we needed to apply for the licence.
We trotted down to the office on the morning of Thursday 25 September with our passports, ID and $35 licence fee and got in line. I couldn't believe how friendly everyone was, as previous experiences I have had with bureaucracy have often been a little sour. A guard directed us to the line for marriage licences with a big smile, and then we got to talking with a lovely American couple behind us. They were having a big wedding on Saturday 27 September, the same day as we planned to get married.
The process to apply for the licence was really easy. The woman that was processing it super nice, got us to check through the drafts, we handed over the money and it was all done:
We dropped the licence back at the hotel, and headed over to the Chicago Diner to have a celebratory lunch. T then kindly obliged me by taking me to a shoe shop in Wicker Park/Bucktown that I knew stocked synthetic Melissa shoes that I wanted to get for the wedding. It took barely 5 minutes to pick out the ones I wanted, try them on and buy them.
Another stroke of luck was that was that Calexico was playing for free as part of the Chicago World Music Festival at Millenium Park. I'm not normally a huge fan of Calexico, but I really enjoyed their show. They were playing with a full Mariachi band, and their happy, sunny music was quite infectious. The sun setting and lights coming on in the skyscrapers surrounding us were just perfect.
We had to leave the show early, as we had to be back at the hotel for the premiere of Season 5 of The Office. We picked up some snacks on the way, hurried up to our room and made it in perfect time to catch the start. I won’t write about what happens in the episode here (no spoiler alert here!), but I will say that it was a cracker – heart warming, hilarious and horrifying all at once.
Basking in a post-Office glow, we decided to head out at 11 pm to see a movie, which I have to admit was Lakeview Terrace, and which I also had to admit was rather good - the tension mounted very well, and there were a few points where I jumped in my seat.