chicago trip recap

Monday, December 29, 2014
Over the first weekend in December, the hubs and I took a little trip up to Chicago to visit a friend. Neither of us had ever been, so we were very excited to explore the city!  We were blown away at how beautiful it was, even despite the overcast/foggy weather that prevented us from getting a good view of the lake. We got to see much of downtown as well as Near Northside, Old Town, and Lincoln Park.

Friday, the hubs and I took the train from O'Hare to downtown, left our stuff at our friend's apartment, and started walking around while he was finishing up at work. We first tried to visit the J. Parker rooftop bar at the Hotel Lincoln, but it was under construction. On clear days, we heard, the view of the lake is stunning. We'll definitely have to come back another time to see it for ourselves! We ended up at Marge's Still, Chicago's oldest pub. It was a wonderful, off the beaten path little place to take cover from the cold.
Our friend joined us for dinner at Lou Malnati's for our first taste of Chicago famous deep dish pizza. It seems on the internet and amongst our friends, everyone is split between Lou's and Giordano's. We chose Lou's and were completely impressed with the meal--it was delicious!

Following dinner, we bar hopped along Hubbard Street downtown. Notable stops: Pops for ChampagneHubbard Inn, and Luxbar.

A late night warranted some much-needed sleeping in. We roused slowly and made our way over to The Publican, just west of downtown, for their highly recommended brunch. If you ever visit Chicago, you should definitely make this part of your agenda. The atmosphere was lively and cheerful, filled with natural light and warm wood paneling. Our booth had doors on the open side that you could close to create a semi-private dining space.

We walked off our (amazing) meal downtown, making a quick stop at the Christmas market (way too crowded) and continued on to Millennial Park. On the way to see "The Bean" I was drawn to an adorable little cupcake/macaron shop called Sugar Bliss nestled discreetly next to Macy's.

We walked up Magnificent Mile, stopping at only a few stores before making our way home to rest. After a little nap, we braved the cold for some BYOB dinner at Cafe Sushi in Old Town, followed by drinks at Old Town Pour House and the most delicious cupcakes ever at Molly's Cupcakes in Lincoln Park (note: try the Cake Batter flavor, it's to die for). I loved that they were open late to satisfy my sweet tooth craving, since most bakeries closed much earlier in the evening.

Sunday, we headed back to Old Town for macarons, coffee, and croissants at La Fournette and brunch (and Sunday football watching) at Benchmark.

We returned home to rest and pack before heading back to the airport. The hubs and I had the most wonderful time visiting our friend and exploring Chicago. We can't wait to visit again! xo.

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