This past weekend, I had the pleasure of going to Chicago to visit one of my closest friends. It was my third time in the city, but my first time in the summer time (…if you want to call 60 degrees in June “summer”). But hey, I’ll take anything above -17 degrees! Since I could feel my toes when I walked around outside, I was able to do a more in-depth exploration of the city. Below are the highlights of my trip. If you ever make it up to the Arctic tundra (preferably when it’s thawed for the summer months), I highly suggest you visit these places!
The Bean at Millennium Park
Most people refer to Chicago as the Windy City, while well deserved, I prefer to call it the Beany City. The Bean is an iconic mirrored sculpture stands in Millennium Park in downtown Chicago. Although I had been there before, I’ve got to say that this is one tourist site that doesn’t old in my opinion – too many instagramable moments to keep this girl away!
After you’re done with #thebean, be sure to check out the rest of the park, including Lurie Garden, a five-acre garden filled with beautiful purple flowers.
While I do my best to eat healthy, I have to admit one of my biggest weakness would have to be caramel corn. Every year around the holidays, I look forward to the big tins with assorted flavors of speciality popcorns. This weekend, December came early for me as I was introduced to Garrett’s, a 65 year old gourmet popcorn store native to Chicago. They have a variety of cheese and caramel coated popcorns. I opted for the Pecan CaramelCrisp, and let’s just say my bag didn’t last me very long!
My friend and I had a lovely late lunch at this restaurant in the River North section of Chicago. We celebrated her recent engagement with some delicious brut champagne and a fantastic outdoor view of the city. It was hard to decide what to order because honestly everything on this menu was so up my alley. They had fresh-squeezed juices in uncommon flavors like blackberry lychee lemonade, a wide-array of salads with unique toppings, and amazing ethnic appetizers. We eventually decided on the hummus, which was so great that it inspired me to try making my own (so keep an eye out for that post!). For my entrée, I ordered the crispy kale salad, which consisted of papaya, pumpkin seeds, and dates on top of a bed of mesclun greens and kale chips. My favorite meal of the weekend for sure!
Lion’s Head Pub
This was my first time in Chicago since turning 21, so I was able to experience the nightlife. Lion’s Head Pub had two distinct floors, the lower level was a traditional pub, while the upstairs was named “The Apartment” and was decorated as such (couches, bed, and all). The highlight though would have to be the ice luge. It chilled the shots so much that it cut out all the burn. Unfortunately, as we left to go bar hop, it started to rain and rather than wait outside in the massive lines, we opted to go home and drunchie instead.
Old Town Pour House
Ironically, this was one of the bars we were trying to get into the night before, but instead we turned it into our boozy brunch spot the next day. The place had an awesome interior – great backdrop to rehash the night among friends. I ordered the breakfast burrito filled with tons of creamy avocado, eggs, and tomatillo salsa. The perfect hangover cure.