Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Chicago: Part 2

I'm back today to share the last part of our trip to Chicago (in case you missed the first part, you can click here to read all about it). Our third day in the city started off with breakfast at Brunch. This place was a little further from our hotel but it was worth the distance because we both really enjoyed it. The rest of the day was spent walking around some more until it was time to go to the Chicago Cubs baseball game.

Since neither of us had ever been to a baseball game before, this was something that I was probably the most excited about. What was ironic was that the weather had been gorgeous the entire time we were there, and even that morning, but the moment we stepped foot in the cab to go to Wrigley Field, it started to rain so hard. Our cab driver even asked us twice along the way if he should turn around and bring us back because of how bad it was raining, but there was absolutely no way that I was passing up on this chance to go. So, off we went, stopping at multiple places trying to find some ponchos to buy! 

Luckily it turned out to be a pretty great day after all, and we only had to wear those ponchos for a few minutes. Not so lucky, the Cubs lost....bad! But, to be honest, I didn't really know what was going on half the time during the game anyway, so I was having just as much fun regardless. I can say though that after asking Todd a gazillion questions during the game (the die hard fans next to us must have loved sitting next to me), my baseball knowledge is now dramatically increased (but again, it really had no where to go but up!!).


Not only was going to Wrigley Field an amazing experience, but getting to see all of the busy and crowded bars that surrounded the field outside was also pretty awesome too. The energy from this place will seriously leave you flying high for days. Orrrrr, it could also cause you to crawl into bed at 8pm from being so exhausted like it did to us. Either one!!

The next morning, bright and early (with obviously lots of sleep), we went to the Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe for breakfast. Although we really loved all of the breakfast places we had been prior, this one was definitely our favourite. So, so, so good! It was then off to the most popular attraction in Chicago; the Navy Pier. We didn't plan on leaving the Navy Pier until our very last day, but it turned out to be an awesome way to spend the last of our time in Chicago. 

While we were there we decided to do an architectural boat tour through the Chicago river so we could learn a bit more about the city. We booked the tour through Seadog and what's so great about this one is that towards the end of the tour, they also take you on a speedboat ride on Lake Michigan. Not only was this so much fun, but it was a way to see the city from an even better view. 


Since we had a late reservation for dinner, we stopped at Giordano's to squeeze in the last of our deep dish pizza experience and to complete Todd's challenge of finding out which of the three pizza places was actually the best. Remember how I said everyone will tell you a different answer? Well, so will we. My favourite was Lou Malnati's and Todd's was Giordano's, which was probably my least favourite. But don't get us wrong, we honestly loved them all because helloooo it was deep dish pizza!! I will say though that I never knew just how filling this type of pizza actually was; one or two slices and we were stuffed (even the pizza fanatic himself). 


Our dinner reservation that night was at the RPM Italian restaurant, and even after booking two weeks in advance, the only reservation I could get was for a Monday night at 9pm. After going there I can now see why it's so busy because this was such a trendy restaurant that served great food, but was still reasonably priced. What more could you ask for? Actually, seeing Giuliana and Bill Rancic would be my answer to that question! 


And that's how we spent our time in Chicago! We had such a great trip and even after wanting to visit this city for a few years, we both loved it even more than what we thought we would. 

Ps: I think I'm going to have to be on a pizza detox for a while because of this trip!!!

Have you ever been to Chicago? If so, I'd love to know what you enjoyed the most! 
 
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Monday, September 29, 2014

Chicago: Part 1

Well once again I guess my blogging self has slacked big time, seeing that it's been over two weeks since I've last shown up around here. Have I've mentioned a time or two ten before that consistency isn't my strong suit? But, I'm back today and I'm really, really excited about it because I'm sharing all about our trip to Chicago! I'm going to have to break this recap into two parts because, as usual, I went a little picture happy and having to narrow them down even further is a task that I am definitely not prepared to face again. 

Since Chicago had been on our list of places we wanted to visit for a while, I had a pretty good feeling that I was going to like this city a lot, but I honestly never knew just how much I was going to love it. The buildings, the views, the Chicago river, the shopping, the pizza (oh the pizza!), it was seriously all so amazing! We were there for four days, and I think that was a good amount of time to take in a lot of the city, but still not feel rushed while doing so. But saying that, there's so much you can see and do, so I definitely would have been okay with staying a little longer because well, who doesn't love more vacation time?

We stayed at the Warwick Allerton Hotel on Michigan Avenue, which is located right in the middle of the famous Magnificent Mile and is surrounded by the best shopping stores and restaurants, and other attractions in the city. I thought our room was pretty small for a standard room (the smallest we've ever seen), but you could not beat the cleanliness, the great views, and the location of this hotel. 

After checking in, it was time to grab a quick coffee and start in on the exploring! Whenever we visit a new city, I think the thing I look forward to the most is this part; just leaving the hotel and walking around for a few hours, having no idea where you're going or what you'll see along the way. 


The very first thing that I immediately noticed about this city was the beautiful architecture, and I'm pretty sure anyone who has ever been will tell you the exact same thing. The buildings are ginormous, and the design and layout of all of them are amazing. I can't say I've ever been one to admire that kind of thing before, but you definitely can't help but do so in Chicago because it is seriously so beautiful. You'll get an even better appreciation of what I'm talkin' about in a bit.  

The second thing Chicago is probably best known for is their deep dish pizza, and since I'm engaged to probably the biggest pizza fanatic that ever lived, we obviously wasted no time getting to this part. From what we learned while we were there, the three most popular pizza places are Gino's East, Lou Malnati's, and Giordano's (although there's a ton more), and apparently if you ask anyone in Chicago what their favourite is, they'll all tell you a different answer. So what does a pizza fanatic do when they hear this? They take it as a challenge! The first stop on our mission to solve the greatest mystery in Chicago was Gino's East. This place inside was so awesome and unlike any other place I've ever been, and the pizza? Well, I'll save our answer to that popular question until the end!


Later that evening we went for drinks at the Trump tower. Two things about this place: the drinks are crazy expensive, but the views you get overlooking the city while you're sipping on those drinks (no need to chug when they're almost twenty dollars...gasp!!) makes you realize what it is that you're actually paying for. We were so blown away and I honestly can't count how many times I looked at Todd throughout the night and said, "DO YOU SEE THIS?".  We went there around 6:30ish and I think that was the perfect time because we got to see the amazing views in the daylight, while the sun was setting, and at night. I would definitely, in a heartbeat, go here again if we ever got the chance to go back. 


The next day started off with breakfast at Yolk, and boy was this place busy, even at 8:30 in the morning (obviously the explorer part of me was too excited to let me sleep in!).  The rest of the day consisted of some shopping, finding Millennium Park and checking out the famous Bean, and doing the Skydeck at the Willis Tower (formally known as the Sears tower), which is the tallest building in Chicago, and up until only a few years ago, the tallest building in the world. We also continued on with our (aka Todd's) mission to solve the great mystery, and stopped at Lou Malnati's for some more pizza.


We ended our second day in the city with a late dinner at the Signature Room in the John Hancock building, which is located on the 95th floor and which would explain why my ears popped on the way to get there. Even after all of the great views we had seen prior, I was honestly still amazed, and therefore still continued to yell "DO YOU SEE THIS?" at Todd throughout this night too. If you ever go to Chicago, put this on your list too because it'll definitely be a highlight of your trip. Just make sure to book a reservation well in advance and know that it's pretty, pretty fancy (after not seeing one other girl in pants besides me, I started to think maybe I was a teeny tad bit under dressed). Oh, I guess I should mention about the food (even though I spent way more time staring than actually eating). It was delicious, although to be honest, it could have tasted like crap (okay, okay, maybe a slight exaggeration) and I still would have told you to go there because just look..... 



And that concludes the first part! Gosh what I wouldn't do to be sitting in that restaurant again right now, instead of sitting on my couch in my pajamas like I currently am!!  :)

Check back soon for the next part!
  
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