Bean there, done that! I just took a weekend get away to see an old friend and here’s how we spent 72 hours in Chicago…
Upon arriving, I found out on the flight there that Chicago is known as the windy city. I went in February….when the low this weekend got in the single digits 🙂 Needless to say, I wore my whole suitcase everywhere we went.
When I first got there, my friend, who coincidently has the name Jessica, took me to get a famous Chicago hotdog and cheese fries from this cute, retro dinner called Portillo’s. This was the best loaded hot dog I had ever had and disclaimer – we ate our way through this trip.
Later that night I got to meet some of her local friends who joined us for dinner at this delicious restaurant, Puebla Modern Mexican. They have 6 types of guac- who knew you could make guac so many ways, signature drinks – their blueberry lavender margarita is quit sour but good, an addicting bean dip with homemade tortilla chip, and some of the best steak tacos I’ve ever had. The best part is that everything was made from scratch in house for both their food and drinks (besides the alcohol). I wish I had this place back home.
The next morning we planned our adventure to the city. While we were waiting for the train we grabbed a bite and some drinks at the train bar and later learned that people in Chicago do train crawls! That is, when you buy a one way ticket and get off at each stop to visit the bars there, and then get on the train to do it all over again at the next stop. This was both of our first times going to Chicago without adult supervision, so we’re saving that experience for the next trip!
We took a train from her house to the last stop – Chicago. It was about an hour ride and my first train experience, so it was cool to see how much the culture changed at each station as we got closer to the city.
We finally made it to the city. First stop – Millennium Park of course. We grabbed an Uber because it was too cold to walk and our chances of getting lost were high. Our Uber driver was this nice older gentlemen who had instrumental music playing and made the typical small talk with us. When he found out this was my first time in Chicago he gave me his last voucher for a free sundae from Ghirardelli. So we had to go after we toured the city.
Then, there it was…the Cloud Gate – better known as, The Bean. It’s bigger in person and very cool to see the ever-changing perspective of the surrounding city in the reflection. When you walk under it, it’s an illusion of moving tunnels which was a nice surprise.
Once I got a couple of touristy pictures, we headed to Park and Grill, the restaurant in Millennium park that has very tasty parmesan fries and spinach dip. I wish I could relive this trip for the food alone.
After we stuffed ourselves with that, we decided it was time to fill the cracks with a sundae from Ghirardelli. We choose the classic banana split to share and it was the best sundae: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream covered in Ghirardelli chocolate topped with whip cream.
Then we caught the train and headed back to her house, and one thing I learned about trains is they are very punctual! Which I appreciate, but you have to pay attention and know your stop! When we came our stop, and the one thing I had been waiting for happened…it started to snow!
Waking up the next morning it was completely white outside. So naturally, my friend and I decided to get into our bikinis and venture out to the hot tub which boiled at a steady 103 degrees. The walk to it was brutal but once we made it in, it was so relaxing! And it’s such a crazy experience because every hair on your face (eyebrows, eyelashes, etc) is frozen and your hair has icicles in it, but you aren’t cold?! If you ever get the chance to go in a hot tub while it’s snowing, DO IT!
That’s also the night I experienced something that would change the game forever. Chicago Deep Dish pizza. We had Lou Malnati’s Pizza, and my life will never be the same. I would book a flight back to Chicago just to get one of these pizzas!
Last stop before the airport was Pub 47, another delicious bar and grill place. Had to fit one more heavy meal and drink in before heading home of course.
When I booked this trip, I totally realized it was the same weekend as the Super Bowl. I’m not really a sports girl so I didn’t care- but I am a little sad about all the finger foods I missed out on. Oh well. Anyway, boarding the flight was interesting because everyone was streaming the game and shouting when a touchdown happened. That’s one way to spend the Super Bowl lol.
I can’t wait to go back to Chicago and visit Navy Pier or a Cubs game when it’s warmer. All I can say is, there is no place like Chicago.