5.25.2017

Hey, Chicago!

Earlier this month, Kevin and I headed to Chicago for 4 days of fun!
This was the first time we had been to Chicago, so we packed in a TON.
Have a seat, grab your coffee & get ready for a picture overload of Chi-Town!
When we first arrived on Saturday, we checked into our hotel.
We are Hyatt members, so we stayed at the Park Hyatt.
The view from our room was AMAZING....Hello, Lake Michigan!

Who doesn't love a window seat with a view?
Outside of our hotel:

We were on the 18th floor!
 
 Our first order of business was to get lunch.
 Chicago style Hot Dogs at Portillo's.

I do not like hot dogs AT ALL, but since we were in Chicago, I wanted to try a Chicago style Hot dog. It was the best hot dog I have EVER had. I am actually still craving one. That's how good it was. And, it was only $2.99!!!!

Then we were off to Wrigley Field to see the Cubs play the Yankees!
We went to the Cubby Bear across the street to have a beer like real Chicago Cubs fans!

Since we are die hard SF Giants fans, it was very strange wearing Cubs shirts, but we wanted a true Wrigley Field experience :)
Going to a game at Wrigley Field has been on my Bucket List, so it was fun to check that off!

The plaza of Wrigley Field has a jumbo screen and the Kentucky Derby was being shown.
I will never forget watching the 2017 Kentucky Derby!
Going to the Kentucky Derby is also on my bucket list :)
Ready to cheer on the Cubs!
Loved seeing the rooftop bleachers that Wrigley Field is known for:

Go Cubs, Go!
It was a night game and let me tell you, as soon as the sun went down, the wind picked up and the temperature dropped BIG time...into the 40's!
The Yankees destroyed the Cubs 13-3. After the game it was late & we were hungry for some Chicago style pizza, so we went to Lou Malnati's
It was closed for an event, but you could do take out or delivery.
I love Chicago style deep dish pizza, and several of my friends recommended Lou Malnati's:

 I was so cold & all I wanted to was take a warm shower & eat pizza and have a glass of wine while sitting in the window seat of our hotel room. 
So that is exactly what we did!

I must say, I was a bit underwhelmed with the pizza. We have an amazing Chicago style pizza place here in the Bay Area called Zachary's, so I had high hopes for real Chicago pizza. It was just okay....maybe because we had it delivered it wasn't as good? 
Oh welll....at least we had our view while eating this pizza....I couldn't get enough of the awesome view from our room! 
The next morning, we headed to brunch at Meli's
We split a skillet...
And French Toast....
Probably the best French Toast I have ever had!
We walked along Michigan Avenue checking out all the stores & buildings. The landscaping along the sidewalks is so well done...tulips and flowers EVERYWHERE.
So gorgeous. San Francisco needs to take notes from Chicago!
One of the things we loved about Chicago is how clean it was and how wide the sidewalks are!
 We then took the Architectural Boat Tour along the Chicago River. 

Side note: The day before we left for Chicago, I checked the weather as I was packing. It said Chicago weather would be sunny and in the 60s during the day and 70 on the last day we were there.
Well....it changed....it was in the 40's and 50's. Still sunny, but SO COLD. 
We are from California, we were not used to this kind of cold weather in May (it was 90 at home the week before we left for Chicago) 
Needless to say, the boat tour with all the wind was FREEZING. But totally worth it because seeing all the buildings from the river was so awesome!
 
It was one of our favorite things we did. Loved learning about the history of all the amazing buildings in Chicago. 
If you ever visit Chicago, the boat tour is a must!
We did the tour through the Chicago Architectural Foundation.
The boat was called the First Lady.
There were so many different styles of buildings.
Even though there are so many skyscrapers, it doesn't feel claustrophobic being surrounded by all those buildings.
There is a running/walking trail along the river.
And, several parks scattered along the river.
I was surprised how many people were just hanging out at the parks when it was SO cold out! LOL!
More views of some buildings....
We learned if there are balconies, it is residential buildings & if not is is for business.
View of Sears/Willis Tower:
It is 105 stories tall:
After we saw it on the tour, we knew we wanted to go to the top of it!
So cool to see in person.
I love how there were new building mixed in with older building that are over 100 + years old
It gives the city so much character.
Views of the city from the end of the river/mouth of Lake Michigan
After the Boat tour, we decided to walk along the River to the Sears/Willis tower so we could go to the sky deck on the very top!
Smiling....but so cold! This is my California winter wear that wasn't warm enough for Spring in Chicago :)
It was about a 3 mile walk to Sears/Willis Tower, loved seeing the Cubs themed buses on our walk:
We arrived at Sears/Willis Tower and couldn't wait to get to the top floor. 
While you wait, you learn all about the history of Sears/Willis Tower. 
It was so informational! 
Once we got to the 105th floor, we checked out the amazing views...
And then we stood in line for the Sky Deck! We are not scared of heights, so we LOVED this! 
It was SO awesome standing on a glass floor so high up!!!
You can see from the photo above, how far it sticks out on the ledge. Ahhhh! It was so cool!

More Views from the top:
After the Sears/Willis Tower, we walked another 3 miles back to our hotel & got to admire more Chicago architecture along Michigan Ave.

We saw the most beautiful Target store I have ever seen.....
And checked out the iconic Chicago Theater.
Got to the hotel & changed for dinner at the John Hancock Signature Lounge on the 96th floor.
The timing was perfect because it was dusk so we got to see the view while there was still daylight, then we saw the sunset & then the city all lit up at night.
 The food & drinks were over priced, but WELL worth the money to see the views! I highly recommend going there if you ever visit Chicago!

The lobby of the building is really pretty also:
We walked over 9 miles on this day, so we got some Cheesecake to go and brought it back to our hotel room. Great way to end a fun & busy day!

The next morning, we had brunch at Wildberry. It was over a 1 walk from our hotel, so we were hungry when we got there. I got Eggs Benedict.
Kevin got a fig omelette:
And, we shared the cinnamon roll pancakes!
After brunch, we walked over to Millennium Park to check out The Bean.
If you didn't see the Bean in Chicago, then did you really even go? ;)
The Bean was pretty awesome.
It was bigger than I thought.
I was much warmer on this day...I wore my Uggs & vest and pretty much drank hot coffee all day long :)
You could even walk under the Bean. Very neat.
After we went to the Bean, we took the subway back to Wrigley Field for the tour!
They have tours almost everyday, but everyone we talked to said to do the Wrigley tour on a non-game day so that you get to see more of the park.
We got there early so we spent some time walking around Wrigleyville. Look how cute this fire station is:
Then when we got back to the Wrigley plaza, we checked out their World Series trophy & rings from last year.
World Series ring...
Side View:
Then it was time for the tour!

Kevin and I love baseball, so we loved hearing about the history of the Cubs & Wrigley Field.

Visitors locker room:
View of Downtown from Wrigley:

Press Box:
View of the field from the press box:

Then we got to go onto the field. 
We had to stay behind the red rope because they were filming a commercial on the field near the pitchers mound.
As you can see...I am still freezing. It was 48 degrees this day. Brr....!!!!
The final thing we got to check out was the dug out:
The Wrigley tour was great, if you love baseball/sports, I recommend doing this tour!

Then we decided to take the Subway back to downtown and go to the Art Institute of Chicago.
Kevin and I are not big museum people, but when you are in Chicago, you pretty much have to see the Art Institute. It is world renowned.

The first exhibit we saw was the paper weight collection. A room full of paper weights. Who knew!
It was like we were in Ferris Buller's Day Off being at the Art Institute ;)
I had to go find this painting...Edward Hopper is my dad's favorite artist.
And,  this is favorite painting!
The impressionist room was fun because we recognized a lot of paintings from Monet.

There was a whole room dedicated to Monet
Recognize this famous painting?
We couldn't believe how massive the Art Institute was.
Another famous piece of art work...
After several hours looking at art, we were tired and hungry.
It was nice to be inside and warm up though :)
We decided to walk along the Lake on our way back to our hotel. We cut through a few parks.
The skyline of Chicago is just amazing.
I love that there is a running/bike pathway along the shore of Lake Michigan!
We were starving so we decided to stop and get dinner. We wanted to try another Chicago style pizza place in hopes that it was better than the one we tried previously.
We went to Giordano's.....and it was amazing.
It was everything I hoped Chicago style deep dish pizza would be!
After our pizza dinner we walked back to our hotel to get ready for our night out!
We got tickets to see an improve show at The Second City!
Some famous SNL actors & actresses got their start at The Second City, like....Dan Aykroyd, James Belushi, John Belushi, John Candy, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Rachel Dratch, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Bonnie Hunt, Eugene Levy & Bill Murray, Mike Myers & Joan Rivers.
It was a funny show, very entertaining!
After the show, one of my former soccer teammates from University of Colorado texted me...she had just gotten into Chicago for a business trip, so we met her for a glass of wine at the bar at our hotel Nomi.
So fun to see her & catch up!

The next day was our 4th and final day in Chicago :(
I didn't want to say goodbye to our amazing room & view.
 
We were flying out in the afternoon, so we only had a few hours to soak up Chicago.
We went to breakfast at Meli's again.
We walked around Michigan Ave after breakfast.

Then we checked out Eataly....that was really awesome!

Eataly is the largest Italian marketplace (food hall) in the world, comprising a variety of restaurants, food and beverage counters, bakery, retail items, and a cooking school.

I couldn't leave Chicago without getting some popcorn.




Chicago....we came, we saw, we ate, we walked, we conquered. 4 days & almost 30 miles of walking around & exploring this beautiful city. 

In closing, I want to add that this trip wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for Rodan + Fields.
If you are looking for something that you can work in part time hours from home, then I would love to share more about RF with you. I love that we don't have parties, don't keep inventory, and it is all web based. RF has been a game changer for not only my skin, but for our lives. 
You not only earn commission on your sales, but they have amazing programs in place where you can earn incentives like Ipads, Nordstrom gift cards, Tiffany jewelry & Free trips...to name a few!
It is such an incredible opportunity. We are now the #1 skin care brand in North America. 
If you are in the US, Canada or Australia, this could be an amazing opportunity for you. 
Australia is launching this summer and it would be a ground floor opportunity. 
If you know anyone who is interested, please email me:
melissa_larson17@yahoo.com
I would love for you (or them!) to join my fun team! 

If you have made it through this post, Thank you!
It was major photo and info overload!
If you have never gone to Chicago, I highly recommend it.
I have several friends who are from Chicago & they gave us great recommendations on what to see and do and where to eat!
I love SF and NYC, but Chicago is right up there as one of my favorite cities.
We will be back!

10 comments:

  1. SO gorgeous & how amazing does that hot dog look!! Oh my heart! 😍

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  2. I had seen your Instagram posts when you were in Chicago...as I was flying out of Midway after house hunting in Western Michigan with my husband! Such a small world! Chicago is one my absolute favorite cities...and we are so excited to be moving only 2 hours away:)

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  3. It looks like an amazing trip Mel! I think you did it all. This is on my bucket list!

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  4. These pictures are incredible!! You made me feel like I was right there with you, while also making me think I really need to plan a trip to Chicago!

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  5. Wow! So many fun and gorgeous pictures. Just seeing pictures of you guys on that glass floor gave me mild heart failure. ;) And all I want after reading this post is a Chicago hot dog. :) Have a great weekend!

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  6. What a fun trip! :)

    I love baseball too!

    Amy @ http://befilledwithj0y.blogspot.com/

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  7. Chicago is so high on my bucket list and now you're making me want to go even worse! What an amaaaazing trip!! I need to bookmark this because you had so many great ideas of where to go!

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  8. What a fun getaway! My hubs and I are planning a trip for September! It's a great city!

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  9. I haven't been to Chicago since I was a kid- your trip definitely looks like a blast!

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  10. We're going to Chicago in a couple of weeks. Everything looks great! Thank you for the recommendations!!

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