I can’t believe I have never visited Chicago before now… it is an amazing city and I enjoyed every minute of our stay there. First and foremost I love that you can walk pretty much everywhere, and I really like how friendly and helpful everyone was who we encountered. The city has a European feel to it, combined with a bit of New York, and a little bit of San Francisco. If it weren’t for the weather (which was very pleasant whilst we were there) I think there would be floods of people arriving on Chicago’s doorstep! And yes, I probably looked like a total tourist bc I was looking up at all the beautiful buildings the entire time I was there!
and D upgraded us to a lake facing room w a view of the ferris wheel
We didn’t really plan much in regards to where we were going to eat, but a couple of days beforehand we realized that one of D’s favorite beers, Matilda, was brewed onsite at the Goose Island Brewery and we knew we would have to stop by and check it out.
While D perused the massive beer list we shared some warm pretzels… a classic pretzel with huge flakes of salt and a jalapeno cheddar pretzel, served with mustard. I liked the classic pretzel the best. D started with a black walnut lager and I had a glass of red. I know, shame on me for ordering wine at a brewery… I’m just not a big beer fan.
We both ended up ordering the cheeseburger but there were some fancy offerings on their menu… we wanted to keep it simple.
After being caught without umbrellas in a rainstorm, we headed back to the W to rest up before heading out for the night. I loved our view. That’s Navy Pier and I’m a little sad we didn’t venture over there to go on the Ferris Wheel. Then again, it may be like Fisherman’s Wharf here in SF (tourist central) and in that case I’m glad we stayed away!
Earlier in the day, while in a cab on the way to the hotel, we drove past this little gem… POPS, a bar dedicated entirely to champagne. As you may know I have a
small inkling very strong penchant towards bubbles, so this was like driving past my mothership. We knew we would have to stop by that night.
Our plan was to go to pop by (hahahaha) POPS for a drink and then head over to Giordanos Chicago-style Pizzeria. On our walk to POPS we passed by the Bloomies Home Store… wow. I wish our SF Bloomies was this beautiful.
even the lights are shaped like bubbles
although it may not look like it, there are non-sparkly selections for you too…
do not despair
I’m sorry the picture isn’t better but what can I say, it was dark!
D told me that stealing was not allowed. party pooper.
So… Giordanos never happened. We were having so much fun at our bar spot at POPS that we didn’t want to leave! And their small bites menu was so up our alley… we ended up ordering a cheese & charcuterie board with bleu mounds cheddar, jacquin valencay goat cheese, pont l’eveque creamy cows milk, sopressata, speck & copa. I’m okay with the fact that we didn’t eat Chicago-style pizza at all during our trip… I’m sure Chicagoans (is that a word?) would cringe to hear me say this, but we have some really great deep dish pizza in the Bay Area, and a night at POPS is way more exciting to me than a few inches of pizza.
oh the beignets
cider spiced, with an espresso-toffee crème anglaise, raspberry-vanilla compote
and finished the evening looking out at a ‘starry’ Chicago skyline…
Happy Anniversary Sweetheart! Love you!
The next morning we skipped breakfast and figured lunch at Grahamwich was a good way to start the day.
This was a recommendation from Cookie & Kate and it did not disappoint… classic sandwiches with really great ingredients, how could you go wrong?
Afterwards we popped into P.O.S.H. next door… a fabulous home store with a combination of restaurant china & antique/flea market finds.
yes, pancakes make people happy
don’t believe me?
another view of the Sears Tower
There is a fab running path along the lake… they closed it our first day there because of the waves. If the waves were any bigger than the day we were there I wouldn’t have wanted to run along there! Scary.
So while we were at POPS the manager told us we could not leave Chicago without taking a boat tour… but she was very specific to say we had to take the Chicago Line Cruise where actual architects are the ones running the tour.
We tried to get into the afternoon tour but it was booked so we ended up on the nighttime cocktail cruise… oh my, my first booze cruise ever! Ha, I’m kidding… it was a very classy affair, and really the history is fascinating!
here’s the brochure in case you are interested
it was really fun to browse… foodie central!
I loved the bartender… I wish we had stayed in the bar and eaten here. He was old-school, and there was so much atmosphere and really great people watching. Sadly I did not love our waiter. Our steak was delicious but the meal was tainted by his attitude. I think he ruined it when he gave me a hard time for ordering the tomato and onion salad as an appetizer… I mean, come on! What server gives their customer grief for ordering something on their menu?! I don’t think we’ll be back.
So, the original reason (we both forgot it was our anniversary until a couple of weeks beforehand!) we were heading out to Chicago was bc D wanted to go to the USC/Notre Dame game… I was game bc I’m always open to travel, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised with how our day in South Bend turned out…
(when you’re in the stadium you can see him behind the goal post)
there was so much energy between the two teams
next year I’m going to make a Cal pumpkin… how cute are these guys?
On our last morning we walked over to Millennium Park bc I wanted to see the famous Jelly Bean… I love the outdoor amphitheater they have here!
(formally known as the Cloud Gate, but Jelly Bean is way more fun)
if you look closely you can see me w/ my arms up
I realize you probably won’t look closely, that’s okay though
I’m sorry… I’m not a prude, but this feels inappropriate. just sayin’
onto more appropriate things… like the Tribune Tower
Before they built the tower, Chicago Tribune correspondents brought back rocks and bricks from historically significant sites all over the world. Next to the entrance you can see a bunch of them… like this one from the Old General Post Office in Dublin. There are rocks & stone from everywhere… the Taj Mahal, the Parthenon, the Great Pyramid, the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall, to name a few. There’s even wood from the Redwood National Forest. Crazy right? I thought so.
Sadly our trip had to come to an end… we had enough time to zip by Fox & Obel one more time for some airplane picnic fixings… brie, cheddar, soppressata & a spicy salami. Our flight attendant was quite impressed with our economy class spread… hey, anything to make a coach class trip more bearable, right?!
Chicago… you are fabulous.