Sunday, August 25, 2013

Chicago 2013

Because my boyfriend is a musician and his band goes on cross country tours pretty often, I am lucky enough to do quite a bit of traveling myself! It can be hard being away from each other for long periods of time so I like to try to fly out to see him at least once during each tour.  Last weekend a few of the other bandmates girlfriends and I decided to visit them in Chicago! 

I had been to Chicago years ago and absolutely loved it.  The second time around was just as wonderful, if not better.  We spent four days in the city but I probably could have used another week to see everything I wanted. 

Our first day roaming around!  Here we are where the Chicago River runs through the center of the city.  There are all kinds of cool boat tours you can take on the river but of course Cayson and I were distracted by a welcoming bar that sat right on the river and missed the tours. Just couldn't resist the mojitos and Chicago style hotdogs! Whoops. 

The "Jay-zito." Rum, lime juice, mint, and champagne. Hands down my favorite new drink!  I will most definitely be making these on the regular at home. 

Unfortunately shopping was not on the top of Cayson's priority list : ( .   If I had it my way we would have stopped in every store on Michigan Avenue but I was nice and only dragged him into a couple of my favorites...

 I HAD to go into the American Girl Place.  I spent a large chunk of my childhood playing with and collecting American Girl Dolls and their accessories.  My girl cousins and I were obsessed with these dolls and took them with us everywhere. It was really fun to see all the cute little girls walking around with their American Girls. Really brought me back!

One of the best parts about Chicago is the FOOD.  The city is full of so many amazing restaurants, bakeries, and bars...we probably spent over half the trip eating and I wouldn't have had it any other way.
I would highly recommend going to Trencherman in Wicker Park.  We had a great experience here with our friends Kevin and Ashley. The atmosphere is vintage and rustic with brick walls and dim lighting, very cool.  For dinner they have "small" and "large" plates.  We ordered several plates and shared them all which was fun because we were able to experience more of the menu.  Every plate was  unique and delicious (my fav was the friend chicken) and don't even get me started on the dessert! All I ask is that you try the Coffee Cake with Chai Tofu Ice Cream, Fried Chocolate, and Smoked Meringue. Wow.

We also had the pleasure of eating at Au Cheval. This is the place to go if you are really really hungry. The atmosphere is laid back and bar-esque. Cayson and I sat at the bar where the chefs cook everything right in front of you. We split the Chili Con Carne and Corn Chips, a Single Cheese Burger with a Fried Egg, and the General Jane's Honey Fried Chicken with Chili.  It was all excellent, especially the burger! Definitely at the top of my best tasting burgers list.

And then of course you must get the Chicago classic deep dish pizza.  There are several deep dish options but we went with Lou Malnati's Pizzeria because we heard it was the best. It did not disappoint!

I regret not taking pictures of all of our delicious meals  : (  Guess I was just too excited about eating it! Sorry guys!

The "Cloud Gate" sculpture, aka the "Chicago Bean" is the centerpiece of the Millennium Park. It is made up of 168 stainless steel plates welded together.  It reflects the the city's skyline and of course is perfect for large crowds of tourists to take selfies ; ). 

The Chicago skyline reflecting off "The Bean."

We did briefly stop stuffing our faces to go to the Natural History Museum.  That was interesting and a lot of fun.  We watched the "Great White Shark' movie in 3-D.  Here I am crossing the bridge near Grant Park on our way to the museum.