I visited Chicago a few weeks ago and it was a trip for the books! Lanie and I flew up to visit with May and later on, my family. Our travel was easy despite our 5 am wake up call and being stopped by security for carrying candles (?!), so seeing May in the O'Hare arrivals line couldn't have been more exciting. We had four and a half days to discover the city, and we packed as many sights and activities into those days as we could.
Day one was the dreariest of the stay, so we dropped off our bags at May's apartment and headed to The Allis, the coffee and brunch destination of my dreams. The scene is moody and vintage with enough natural light to feel modern and open. We downed our coffees and noshed on crab deviled eggs, tomato basil soup, and fresh kale salads.
The rest of the day was spent wandering Michigan Ave, where I picked up my first Le Labo candle, and frantically searching for outlets to charge our phones. Though I didn't take photos (because of the dead iPhone), we ate our pre-Cinco de Mayo dinner at Antique Taco and capped off the night at Beermiscuous.
Thursday we played tourists and visited the Bean, where we spent at least 45 minutes trying (and failing) to take selfies. The weather much improved from the day before, so we spent the majority of the day outside wandering the city. Our first stop was to Intelligentsia for an iced coffee, then Goddess + The Baker for a fresh lunch.
That evening we went to a SoulCycle class taught by one of my favorite bloggers, Hallie. It was my first cycling class ever, and I totally understand that post-Soul high everyone talks about. The class was Drake-themed, which made it even better! Post-class we stopped by Snap Kitchen for a quick and healthy dinner.
Friday started off with an adrenaline rush at the Willis Tower Skydeck! The day was beautiful - sunny and temps in the 80s, so we spent as much time as possible outside, including taking a boat tour down the river in the afternoon. I got a bit sunburned, but soaking in the sun felt so good.
That evening we grabbed drinks at Bernie's (beautiful decor, but crazy busy!) and then dinner at Xoco. It was great and we had so much fun, but again, dead phones required a stop at May's house, where we ended up staying in for the evening.
Saturday Lanie and I had two final stops we had to see. Hers was the Art Institute of Chicago and mine was a little less cultural - Gather Home. We stopped by my cousin's home, dropped off our things and said hello to their little son, and walked through Lakeview for a coffee stop at Heritage Coffee - the coffee shop of my dreams. After we refueled, we took a car to Gather, which was as Instagram beautiful as the photos make it out to be. I may have blown my budget slightly!
That evening was by far the best, with dinner at Range, drinks at J Parker (with beautiful views of the city!) and then the main event - a late Second City show. If you ever get a chance to go to Chicago, try to see Second City! My cousin, his wife, Lanie, and May all agreed that we could see any of the cast members on SNL. It was definitely the highlight of the trip!
It's been over a month now since we came back, but I'm still trying to find a chance to visit the city again this year. I've visited in the miserable summer heat, the start of winter, and now early spring, so I'd love to go during fall's prime. Hopefully I'll be able to pull off something :)