Hi! Sorry for the irregular posts of late, but we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled blogging next week! If you follow us on Instagram, you would know that while Bre was in NYC for two weeks (you can read about her adventures here and here), I spent last week in Chicago. My husband had a business trip, so I decided to tag along and visit the windy city for the first time ever! I packed in as much as I possibly could, and even though the weather was mostly cold and rainy, I had a blast.
The Mr. had the first day off (by design we arrived a day early), so we took the rare opportunity to shop together. As you know, we don’t get to shop at all on our little island, so we hit the stores hard! Did you know that the Chicago Macy’s is the second largest store in the WORLD? It’s ridiculously big! We certainly had our work cut out for us, but we found some great stuff.
We stopped at the Public House to refuel with some lunch and beer flights. We tried mostly local beers, including Not Your Father’s Root Beer, which tastes exactly like root beer! Except, it’s 10% ABV so it packs a punch. Dangerous stuff! We ordered some amazing mushroom flatbread, and of course, I ordered the mac and cheese with bacon. I tend to try every mac and cheese I can, in an attempt to find one that even comes close to my husband’s homemade version. This one wasn’t as good as his, but it was still pretty tasty!
Public House Gastropub & Dining Hall, 400 N State St., www.publichousechicago.com
That night we went for dinner at Frontera Grill. Rick Bayless is one of our favorite chefs and we’ve been waiting for years to go to one of his restaurants. It was incredible and totally worth the wait! In fact, it was so good, my husband made a reservation for his business dinner two nights later. Of course we started with the guacamole, and then we shared the queso and the street food trio. It was soooo good. And can we talk about the drinks? I had the champagne margarita. My two favorite drinks combined into one! It is now officially my favorite drink.
Frontera Grill, 445 North Clark St., www.fronterafiesta.com
Day two consisted of more shopping in the morning, and catching up on some blog work in the afternoon while my husband was in meetings. That evening we had dinner with his colleagues at Pizzeria Due and I had my first deep dish pizza. I’m a thin crust gal, but I have to say, the deep dish was pretty darn tasty! We went back to the Public House to catch the end of the Montreal Canadiens / Boston Bruins game. Did any of you watch that? It was crazy! The bar was absolutely packed and there was a fantastic blues band. What’s better than a great bar, live music, a hockey game, and endless beer?
Pizzeria Due, 619 N. Wabash Ave., www.unos.com
Day three was by far my favorite because I went to The Art Institute of Chicago. I’m in love with art history (I actually want to pursue a degree in it), and Chicago has an incredible collection of Impressionist art. I spent hours there, and it was so hard to leave! I eventually dragged myself out of the gallery as we had reservations back at Frontera Grill and those margaritas were calling my name.
After a day of culture, I was ready for some action. We scored Blackhawks tickets to the opening game of Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and we had an absolute blast! We went with a group of friends, and the atmosphere was electric. It was a great game, and the Blackhawks won! It was rainy and miserable when we left the arena, so we were trying to catch a cab (along with hundreds of other people). Then we saw a limo just sitting there. It was empty and begging for passengers. So we jumped in and for $12/person we had one of the craziest rides ever! Seriously, our driver was insane!! Every corner he took we were all tossed around the car like marbles! It was a crazy way to end a fun night, that’s for sure!
The sun finally came out on Saturday, so I strolled down Michigan Ave. and enjoyed the sunshine, the crowds, and of course some Starbucks. The sun put me in such a good mood that I decided it was time to tackle shopping for my date with royalty. I must have tried on 20 gowns, but I just couldn’t find the right one. Either the color was wrong, or the fit wasn’t right, and I left feeling pretty dejected. That is, until this sign caught my eye:
Nothing like an amazing cupcake (or 6!) to lift your spirits!
Magnolia Bakery New York City, 108 N. State Street, www.magnoliabakery.com
The Mr. was off for our last day in Chicago, so we spent it…you guessed it…shopping! We also made our way to Millennium Park and checked out Cloud Gate (aka The Bean), the Frank Gehry designed Pavillion, and the Crown Fountain.
Our farewell dinner was at Goose Island Brewpub in Wrigleyville. I enjoyed my last bottle of the local 312 Wheat Ale, which is now my favorite beer. Oh how I wish we could get it on our island! After polishing off some delicious poutine (for you non-Canadians, that’s french fries, gravy and cheese!), we walked over to Wrigley Field and took in a Cubs game. I hadn’t been to a baseball game in a very, very long time, and it was so much fun! It’s also the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field, so it was pretty cool that we could attend a game. You know it’s spring time when you attend a NHL and a MLB game in the same week, lol! Although it didn’t feel like spring, it was a balmy 42F/6c…brrr! Thankfully our friend who gave us the tickets thought ahead and knew this Caribbean gal would be cold. So he brought me a fabulous hat! The Cubbies lost, but it was still a lot of fun.
Goose Island Brewpub, 3535 North Clark St., www.gooseisland.com
Finally, it was time to go home. We packed up all of our purchases (I came home with 7 new pairs of shoes alone!) and went back to our little rock. I was grateful to feel the warmth of the sunshine again, but I miss Chicago and Starbucks already. I can’t wait to go back!
Have you ever been to a NHL or MLB game? Who’s your team?
Have you even been to Chicago?