The Windy City With a BFF—Part I

Hi Friends,

So you know that feeling that you get when you’ve just arrived back home from a great trip and your email inbox is stuffed beyond recognition and your cat and rabbit are ignoring you for being gone for so long?

Yeah, it was one of those days.

And yet, on the subway ride home from work today, I got excited (nay, thrilled!) to come home and write ‘The Windy City With a BFF—Part 1″!

I’ve been on quite a few trips now that have been documented right here in this good ole’ blog, and I have to say—I’m pretty happy I started it. If nothing else, it always lifts my spirits on a depressing day to log on and read about some of the awesome adventures I’ve had…they always bring a smile to my face.

Okay, enough of that—on to Chicago! Lisa (the aforementioned BFF who came along on this trip) made fun of me on about the third day when she saw my handwritten list where I had been keeping track of our activities. What can I say—this girl likes to be organized!

So, without further adu….here’s to day 1!

Now friends, as I mentioned before, Lisa’s mom was kind enough to put us up in an ah-maze-ing hotel, the Omni, which was in the heart of the city right on Michigan Ave.

Our hotel room, which had a separate bedroom and living room—very swanky!
Every night we got bottled water, and the night we arrived we had a lovely welcome note and a cute little jar filled with candied almonds. I love welcome notes. And candied almonds.

And every morning we hung our little door note outside to have fresh coffee delivered, which came with two raspberry smoothies—another nice hotel touch.

So after a night of catching up, Lisa and I had plenty of plans for Friday—we were going to head down to Navy Pier (despite being warned, multiple times, by our concierge that it was ‘kid filled’ and ‘family friendly,’ which he said while rolling his eyes), then on to an architectural boat tour, the Ferris wheel and then maybe some deep dish pizza.

The first thing we did at Navy Pier, however, was stop at Harray Caray’s Tavern, since we were starving.  And there we had:

Hummus and the most delicious Bloody Mary. Ever.

After our snacks we headed over to our architectural boat tour, The Architecture Foundation River Cruise.

And this, my friends, was an amazing cruise. While I wish I could say that I remember every little detail about the tour—from the names of the buildings to the architects who made them—sadly, I am not that smart. I do, however, remember the fact that every building is required to give green space back to the city and/or an area that the public can have access to. I love this about Chicago, and I think NYC could have been a bit better off for having something similar.

Anyway, here’s a bit of what we saw…

Our tour guide, who was decidedly not Vince Vaughn, although every bit as fabulous.

The Sears Tower, now known as the Willis Tower
A Navy Pier view
We took a ride on the Navy Pier Ferris wheel after the architectural tour and got this great view
And this one...

After our Navy Pier jaunt we took a walk back to our hood and happened past the Apple store that was right across the street from our hotel. Fans of Steve Jobs had begun to set up a makeshift memorial for him, which was all too fitting.

Then we made our way on to Gino’s East, a well-known deep dish pizza join that was about two blocks from our hotel. And there we found this:

People write all over the walls at Gino's!
Hello deep dish!

After our indulgent lunch/dinner, Lise and I were ready to relax, so we headed back to the hotel for the night to catch a movie and get some sleep before our packed Saturday (which included a bike ride along the river people! Get ready for that!)

We didn’t go to bed before hitting up some room service for tiramisu and brownies, though. Delicious.

And that was our awesome Friday, my friend! Stay tuned for Day 2!

Bis bald!

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