This one goes out to my favorite nurse!

I grew up across the street from my friend, Tori, and we were lucky to live in Chicago at the same time for a bit before she moved out of state with her fiancé, Nate. She's currently working on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis as a nurse while also re-planning her wedding as an unexpected pandemic bride! So here's a tribute to Tori.

Before they moved, we paid tribute with a picnic-style champagne toast on Oak Street Beach in front of the iconic Chicago skyline before taking photos at a few other Gold Coast / Streeterville stops, including Sprinkles Cupcakes and the Waldorf-Astoria Chicago.

While shooting on the beach, I was informed that these two had never tried a Sprinkles cupcake....

So, naturally, we had to fix that.

The story goes that Barbara Streisand sent Oprah Winfrey a box of Sprinkles cupcakes, and she loved them so much she asked for 300 to be sent to Chicago for her studio audience the next morning. Instead of routinely shipping cupcakes from LA, Sprinkles eventually opened a store here on E Walton Street.

In addition to their unrivaled vanilla cupcake (not usually a vanilla gal but WOW), the store's cheery facade and pink Cupcake ATM make it a charming photo backdrop.

Next, we stopped at the Waldorf Astoria for some coffee and twirls in their courtyard.

With its signature purple awnings, chic marble floors and two French restaurants, The Waldorf Astoria Chicago is a perfect little slice of Paris in the Midwest. And those courtyard string lights! So romantic.