A Weekend in Chicago

Last weekend we took advantage of 3 days off and flew to Chicago.  As we set our alarms for a pre-dawn wake up we questioned why we always book early morning flights.  My thought? More time to spend at our destination (plus the flights are cheaper)!  We’ll see if we change our habits or not…

Flying above the clouds - not much better, if you ask me

Flying above the clouds – not much better, if you ask me

Anyhow, once we landed we grabbed the CTA train into the city and found our hotel.  We stayed at the Hotel Burnham, by Kimpton.  This place was amazing!  It is built in a historic building that has been completely remodeled with comfy and relatively spacious rooms.  Plus the staff was wonderful helping us out with everything from getting extra towels to giving us a map of the city.  They have a complimentary wine hour every day but this preggo didn’t get to partake.  Another plus? It’s located right off State Street near shops, restaurants and just steps from the Red and Blue lines making it super easy to get anywhere in the city.  I honestly, can’t say enough great stuff about the hotel – possibly one of the best we’ve stayed in across all our travels.

Our fancy bed, complete with a drapey canopy thing

Our fancy bed, complete with a drapey canopy thing

The stairwell…I mean seriously, isn't it beautiful?

The stairwell…I mean seriously, isn’t it beautiful?

The door to our office, oops I mean room

The door to our office, oops I mean room

Again, amazing hotel!  I'll take an extra iPhone charger and razor, please.  But we did take advantage of the deodorant, someone forgot theirs and didn't want to "smell girly"...

Again, amazing hotel! I’ll take an extra iPhone charger and razor, please. But we did take advantage of the deodorant, someone forgot theirs and didn’t want to “smell girly”…

So, what did we do in Chicago?  Friday we got lunch at a well rated lunch spot known for their hot dogs (when in Chicago, right?).  I didn’t get a hot dog, rather an Italian beef sandwich – yum!  We then hopped on a bus to the Lincoln Park Zoo.  Thankfully it was free, but I don’t think it would’ve been worth paying for.  It did provide some great views of the skyline though!  After our early morning flight, a nap was in order so we hoofed it back to the hotel and settled in for some shuteye.  Dinner was planned for some traditional deep dish style pizza at Lou Malnatti’s.  The wait was almost an hour for 2 people at 6pm!  Craziness, I tell you.  We enjoyed our pizza but sadly, it wasn’t earth shattering.  We finished the evening walking back to the hotel taking some time to walk along the river despite the freezing temps and wind and stopped for some fro-yo.

Views of Chi-town skyline from Lincoln Park

Views of Chi-town skyline from Lincoln Park

Attempting a selfie with the skyline…kinda blocked the skyline, but such is life

Attempting a selfie with the skyline…kinda blocked the skyline, but such is life

Deep dish!

Deep dish!

The river at night

The river at night

Look familiar to anyone?

Look familiar to anyone?

Saturday morning was a lazy morning.  By the time we made it up and got ready for the day we were starving.  We stopped off at a diner for breakfast and enjoyed some rib-sticking grub.  Since the restaurant was close to Millennium Park we walked over there to burn off some of our calories.  We checked out the Bean and a few other spots in the park.  We then walked over to the Buckingham Fountain, but sadly it was drained and no water was flowing…boo!  By the time we finished all that it was time to head to Wrigley for the Cubs game!

I had never been to Wrigley before so it was fun to experience such an old park.  Unfortunately we were sitting in the shade the entire game and the temps didn’t get as high as forecast so we were freezing!  We tried to stick it out as long as possible but threw in the towel after the 6th inning.  We warmed up at a teeny tiny bar called the Matchbox then went out for dinner.  We found a small family run Italian place on the west side of the city (read, away from the tourists) and loved it!  As we were waiting for the bus after dinner I could smell the distinct smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.  From what we could surmise someone in an apartment just above the bus stop was baking.  Talk about teasing a pregnant woman!!  Plus, the bus was 10 minutes late, so I had to smell the glorious scent for what felt like forever.  Since we’re old folks and I’m pregnant we called it an early night.

The bean!

The bean!

The requisite picture of ourselves in the bean

The requisite picture of ourselves in the bean

A really cool outdoor performance space - I can imagine there are some great summer concerts/picnics going here

A really cool outdoor performance space – I can imagine there are some great summer concerts/picnics going here

Buckingham Fountain

Buckingham Fountain

Remind anyone of another metro sign?  Looks exactly like the Paris metro entrances!

Remind anyone of another metro sign? Looks exactly like the Paris metro entrances!

Wrigley - celebrating 100 years this season!

Wrigley – celebrating 100 years this season!

Inside Wrigely

Inside Wrigely

Cubs vs Reds

Cubs vs Reds

Freezing but having fun

Freezing but having fun

Sunday was Easter and our last day to enjoy the city.  There was a very popular breakfast place called Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe that I really wanted to have so we got up early and headed over.  We arrived at 8:30 and there was already a mass of people outside and a 30 minute wait.  The wait was worth it and then some!  I got a skillet with eggs, ham, peppers and onions with a cinnamon roll pancake on the side.  OMG – one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had.  It was up there with this croissant bread pudding I had at the Waldorf in Park City.  The downside?  It was so much food I didn’t even finish half of it before I was stuffed.  After breakfast we went back to the hotel to get ready for the day, pack our things and check out.

C had been insistent on seeing a movie over the weekend so after checking out we went to see Draft Day at a theater downtown.  It was an okay movie, definitely think C liked it more than me.  After the movie we walked down to Navy Pier to check it out.  Not impressed….Partly because the initial area was crowded with people and kitschy souvenir shops and also because a ton of it was under construction.  However, it was nice being on the waterfront because it was a beautiful sunny day.  After our trek to the Pier, I was hungry so we walked over to Eataly and grabbed some gelato and a chunk of focaccia.  It was a great snack if you ask me!  Fueled on sugar and carbs we attempted to walk along the lakefront but I apparently can’t read a map well and we couldn’t actually get down to the lake from where we were.  Sad day, huh?  We had planned to check out the Willis Tower but were worried about timing so decided to put it on our list for next time.  Finally it was time to gather our bags and head to the airport for the trip home.

My breakfast spread - makes me hungry just looking at it again!

My breakfast spread at Wildberry – makes me hungry just looking at it again!

Navy Pier entrance

Navy Pier entrance

The view from the south side of the pier

The view from the south side of the pier

View from the north side of the pier

View from the north side of the pier

Just a shot of the El tracks along a street downtown

Just a shot of the El tracks along a street downtown

We had such a wonderful time in Chicago and I can say it’s one of my favorite cities in the US thus far!  The people were rather friendly, the city beautiful, food excellent and there are so many things to see and do.  We will definitely be coming back sooner rather than later.

 

**Note: My comments on the hotels, restaurants, etc are my own opinion and no one is compensating me.  In fact, they have no clue who I am. I just really liked those places and wanted to share for anyone who finds themselves in Chicago**