There are some vacations where you go to sleep early, eat heathfully, exercise, and take care of yourself. Our trip to Chicago was not one of those vacations.
We stayed out late, got up early, ate what we wanted and didn’t (formally) exercise. I did do lunges while brushing my teeth (it’s a habit) and we walked a bajillion miles a day, so I didn’t feel too bad about that. I had grand visions of doing yoga each morning before we went out and about, but I spent that time devouring Wild by Cheryl Strayed on my Kindle or reading about how to get the perfect butt, body, and boyfriend in various women’s magazines.
Thus I spent last week and this weekend recovering from four straight nights of very little sleep. But we had the most amazing time on our trip so it was 100% worth it!
I grew up going to Chicago in the summer to visit my aunt and uncle and grandmother. We traversed the city on the El, going from museums to the lakefront to Sears Tower. (Sidenote: I will never call it Willis Tower. Ever.)
I’d never been back to Chicago as an adult and Alex had never been at all so we decided to go for his birthday, over the long weekend. Our good friends Sarah and Alex moved there last summer so we were able to be tourists with a local edge.
There’s no way I could detail the entire trip, unless people wanted to read for days and days. So here are the ten highlights:
1. Millennium Park – I’d never been here (at least that I remember).
2. The City at Night – including Buckingham Fountain
I was particularly excited about the miniature rooms exhibit (there were so many tiny rooms). The Licthenstein exhibit on display was also fun to see; he was so prolific! We ate at the fancy attached restaurant and we met the Chef di Cucina, Meg Colleran-Sahs! The food, especially the dessert, was to die for.
4. A Cover Band Concert
5. Cubs Game
The Cubs broke a 12 game losing streak just for us. The game was a last minute decision and it was a blast. People in Chicago are really into baseball and since the Cubs aren’t really known for winning, their victory was that much more exciting.
6. Pies and Biscuits
On Tuesday before we left, we hit up Bang Bang Pie Shop, which has three kinds of pie and biscuits. I really don’t think there is a happier place on earth.
I don’t have any photos from this, but if you’re ever in Chicago, I HIGHLY recommend seeing a show. I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. Many SNL greats got their start at Second City.
8. The fact that every Chicago building smells the same.
As soon as we walked into Sarah and Alex’s apartment building, I was transported back to my aunt and uncle’s house – I don’t know why that happens…the bricks? The sun? The humidity?
9. Hail Mary
I discovered a new drink at a local coffee shop – an iced chai latte with two shots of espresso. As I’m not a coffee drinker, it’s good that no one near us sells this (yes, I realize I could just get an iced chai and ask for two shots, but it’s really not the same).
10. Deep dish pizza
I could’ve sworn I took a picture of this, but it turns out I was just eating it instead. Truly amazing and not quite as heavy and intense as I thought it would be.
Somehow in the 2.5 days we were there, we managed to fit in even more than is shown here, and that’s why I was averaging 4 hours of sleep! Chicago has so much to offer and I can’t wait to go back and visit again!