8.21.2014

A Quick Jaunt in Chicago - Part 2

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I slept at my parents' in the suburbs, so I woke up well-rested from an amazing, soft, king size bed. I made some breakfast for my mom and I and then we headed to her workout club, Fitness Loft, for some pilates and weights.

Afterward, we got a much-needed manipedi and then headed to her classroom. She is a kindergarden teacher (the cutest one, at that!), so she needed some help to set up her classroom.

hard at work?

After a bit, my brother picked me up while she kept working, and I went home to take a shower and get ready for the evening's festivities. We had a fun night planned, and we were meeting the rest of my family downtown for it!


Our first order of business was to find a rooftop bar where we could have drinks and appetizers before dinner. We arrived at IO Urban Roofscape (the rooftop bar of The Godfrey Hotel in River North) just before 5, and ordered drinks and apps.

a girl and her martini

Salmon Flatbread

Calamari
I am told it was good, but I did not even touch it because it looked too much
like baby octopuses and I can't really bring myself to eat 'baby' anything.

Eventually, we headed to our dinner location. We walked just a block or two to Zed 451.



They only serve dinner inside (you'll see why). We had about 45 minutes to blow before our ressy, so we headed upstairs to check it out.


We had cocktails on the rooftop, which was much lower than IO's and therefore had a very different, more "beer garden" feel. I had a blackberry basil tequila drink which was amazing.



Lots of "inspired" Herman Miller chairs. #gettherealthingyall

When our time came, we went inside for dinner. When we made the reservation, we didn't realize that this was a brazillian steakhouse- style dinner. That means it's all-you-can-eat salad bar and all-you-can-eat meat. We were totally surprised, but more than willing to take on the challenge.

And by we, I mean I.



We helped ourselves to a limitless "harvest table," which consisted of a variety of salads, appetizers, cheeses, and charcuterie. It is always a battle knowing your plate is bottomless, because you want to save room for the good stuff.

Eventually, they came around with the meats and we had a field day. Between a full stomach and the wine we shared at the table, we were all pretty ready to fall asleep that night.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?
  • Have you been to a brazillian-style steakhouse? How did you react? The first time I went, back when I didn't eat as much meat, my body freaked out. Like, I felt totally sick. This time, however, I had no problems at all (thanks to my paleo diet?) and made out like a bandit with no negative side effects!
  • If you've been to Chi - what's your favorite rooftop in Chicago? Seriously. I need to know!

8.19.2014

A Quick Chicago Jaunt - Day 1

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Last week, I made a quick, two-night trip to my home city to check in with some important peeps. Family and friends, to be exact. I wasn't able to see everyone, so I'll be making another trip soon, but as far as a short trip goes, I packed it pretty tight!

Tuesday, I took the train in from Grand Rapids to Chicago. I had never taken the train before, but it seemed like a good idea so that I didn't have to deal with having a car in downtown Chicago (traffic.is.the.worst). I was surprised that the train was pretty comfy, with large seats, wifi, and power outlets for every passenger.

Train Selfie!

I arrived at Union Station and freshened up, put my contacts in, etc. Then, I walked across the river to a Starbucks just past Sears (I mean "Willis") Tower to meet a girlfriend for coffee. After a sleepy 4 hour train ride, I needed it!



Post-Starbucks, it had been raining for about thirty minutes and there was a break in the rain, so I decided to haul my suit case and bag over to Ogilvie (another train station not far from Union Station), where I was meeting my aunt for lunch at Chicago French Market.


We had a nice chat, and I had a yummy steak salad from Wisma while my aunt went for some Tofu Pho. Afterwards, I nabbed a few maracons to bring to my next visit, and then I hopped on a train at Ogilvee that was headed to a nearby suburb, Des Plaines. It had already been a long day, so I went for a refreshing Kombucha as a pick-me-up for my train ride. #betterthancoffee


Thirty minutes later, I got off in Des Plaines to meet one of my girlfriends from High School at her apartment, which is literally a block from the train station there. Another HS girlfriend stopped by, and we chatted, drank red wine, and generally just did what girls do when together! Oh, yeah. And we ate the macarons :)


After a few hours passed, and it was time to head to dinner at Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant in Wheeling, another nearby suburb. I rode with my girlfriend, with my bags in the car, and met my ladies.


There was wine. Lots of salads. Some salads, and gnocci. What's better than sharing that with ladyfriends?

That's all for now! Back soon with more downtown Chicago pics :)

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

  • What's your favorite spot in Chicago?
  • What's your favorite thing to do in your hometown?!
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