This past weekend, my bff/ roomie and I took a mini vacation to Chicago. Last week, after being swamped with midterms and it being really, really cold (I’m talking -20’s), our stress levels had hit the fan. Feeling a little (jk, a lot) spontaneous, we booked ourselves into the W Hotel City Center for two nights as a little girls get away. The thought a king sized bed, some really good eats, shopping, and just a little bit of pampering sounded just what we needed.
So, I’d never been to Chicago before— and all I knew coming into this trip was that it was known as the windy city (of course this means I packed my best, and warmest, jackets!) And for my roomie? Well, she was born there. But that doesn’t say much, as she moved before she could walk. Don’t worry though, because my mom (sorority mom! aka biggie) is from Chicago, so she gave us an insiders guide to the best restaurants, the best shopping spots, and tips on how to be a tourist without being such a tourist (if that makes sense).
On day one (Friday), we hopped on a bus, conveniently a block from our dorm, and drove 3 hours straight to Chicago. Arriving in at around 5:30, we checked into our room, did some hotel exploring, and then it was about time for dinner. We called an Uber to La Taberna, where we would be dining that evening. I had done my fare share of research on Open Table during the bus ride, and Liv and I decided that we were in the mood for some Spanish culture and tapas, so La Taberna seemed like just the place. We certainly got our share of culture, as there was a Hispanic band as entertainment for the night. The food was also great ~ we ordered two grilled octopus dishes, an olive platter, and chicken skewers. Overall, the tapas were on point, especially the grilled octopus. Post dinner, we hung out in the room with some TV, exhausted from a day of traveling and excited for the weekend ahead.
On Saturday morning Olivia and I woke up full of energy and ready for an eventful day. After getting ready, we left the hotel and started wandering towards Millennium Park. On the way, we stopped at a restaurant called Seven Lions for brunch. It was delicious (so delicious that we went back the next day!). I got scrambled eggs and berries, Olivia got poached eggs and the most perfect grapefruit I’ve ever seen. We were enjoying ourselves so much that by the end of our meal we had had about 6 cups of coffee each ~ we were buzzed. Next, we were headed to the bean for some obligatory pictures and potential Instagram’s. Due to the freezing weather, we were in search for shelter ASAP, so we cabbed it to the nearest Garrets popcorn shop. I could go on about this popcorn for hours (literally), but I’m just going to keep it short and sweet and say it is one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. It left me in a food coma, but I still needed more (guilty- we went back again later that day…). To walk off our fullness, Olivia and I did a little shopping in Neiman Marcus and Zara. Before we knew it we were headed off to our 7pm reservation at Sunda. An Asian restaurant recommended to us by my big, it was excellent (but, I still couldn’t stop thinking about Garrett’s) We were soon back off to the hotel to watch a movie and finish off our share of popcorn.
Sunday morning arrived before we knew it, and was very productive: woke up, packed up our stuff, and checked out of the hotel all before 11am. We headed back to our new favorite spot, Seven Lions, for the same exact brunch, and then off to Union Station to catch our bus back to Madtown!
Overall, this weekend was so much fun, super relaxing, and just what Olivia and I needed to get back on track. It exceeded my expectations, and I can’t wait for my next trip to Chicago, and my next trip to Garrett’s popcorn!
PS. Blog post on my outfits from the weekend is coming soon!