I’ve been to Chicago many times now, about 6 or 7 times I believe. With living only 4 hours away, it was easy to make the drive, especially when some of my friends were living there. I have always loved the city. But interestingly enough, I’ve never been there to be particularly touristy. It was usually for a night out at the bars. It’s not a hugely touristy city like New York or London, but it does have a lot of different things to offer.
When we booked our trip to visit my family in Michigan for the 4th of July, we both decided we would take a few days in Chicago to celebrate our anniversary. As D had never seen the city, I was excited to show him as it’s one of my favourite US cities.
I booked us two nights in the Warwick Allerton hotel, which is an old looking building and so pretty. It has recently been renovated inside so it was very nice and the room’s AC worked wonderfully.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, (depending on how you look at it), we ended up in the city on one of the hottest days of the year. It was about 105F/40.5C. And it was very difficult to be outside too long, especially with walking around. All I wanted to do was jump into the lake.
When we first got into the city, we dropped the car off at the hotel and walked to Navy Pier. I figured by the time we got to the very end of it, there would be a nice breeze to cool us down. And then, of course, we could stop at the beer garden to get a few drinks, which of course we did. We sat there for an hour or so just chatting and enjoying some time to ourselves, looking out at the lake and staring at the Chicago skyline.
We eventually walked back to check in to the hotel and change our clothes. I didn’t have anything to change into for the day so I actually took my hair dryer and used it to dry everything I was wearing as it was all drenched from my sweat. Yeah, I know, it’s gross, but I didn’t smell, so that was something.
As Chicago is infamous for its deep dish pizza, D was determined to try it. I looked up the best place to get some and found Gino’s East which was only around the corner from our hotel. I’ve tried Giordanos before and wanted to try somewhere new. We were starving when we got in and ordered the spinach sticks, the breadsticks, and then a deep dish that had green pepper, onion, and pepperoni on it. I was basically full by the time our actual pizza arrived as the appetizers were so ridiculously good. Neither of us could stop eating. I kid you not.
I only was able to eat half of my slice of pizza which I am quite sad about because it was insanely good.
D managed to eat his two slices somehow. And we were both so full, we decided to go back to the hotel to lay down for a bit so that we could go back out later on….. LOL
Nope, we ended up both falling asleep at about 9pm and entering food comas for the rest of the night.
When we woke up in the morning, D wanted to try a breakfast place called Yolk that he had heard about. The menu looked amazing so we ventured out at 9am to find the nearest one. It was already so hot and humid, I was dripping sweat just from the walk there. Nothing new.
I ordered a chorizo and avocado omelette with potatoes and whole wheat toast while D ordered eggs benedict and also the cinnamon french toast. Yes, two plates.
Everything was insane. I got through half my omelette before getting too stuffed, but trust me, I desperately wanted to eat all of it. And D did eat all of it. Both plates, gone. And he was in heaven.
We did a bit of shopping on our way back. And then we made our way to see the Bean which is probably Chicago’s most famous landmark aside from Sears’ Tower.
At this point, it was way too hot to do anything but drink in the air conditioning. So we bar hopped around a bit, and I went to go get a hot dog, as Chicago is also famous for good hot dogs.
D wasn’t hungry for lunch, as you could imagine, so after this, we walked back to the hotel to cool off and have a shower before going back out later on.
We ended up napping in the hotel room because we were so exhausted from the heat and day drinking through it. And even though I did not want to go back out after, D made me because it was the 4th of July! And we couldn’t be THAT lame two nights in a row. We walked toward Navy Pier to see the fireworks which weren’t too great. And as there was a storm heading our way we decided to leave a bit early and just go to a bar. Literally within 1 minute of getting inside, it started pouring down rain.
And then for the next 20-30 minutes, we watched as loads of people came running by absolutely drenched from all the rain. It was probably the best timing ever.
We eventually left and I made it to Taco Bell as it is something I dearly miss immensely, and went back to the hotel to sleep.
We had to wake up early the next day to drive back as we had lunch plans with my parents and my brother and his girlfriend so our Chicago trip was over very quickly.
After reading this, I’ve realised that the only thing we truly did in Chicago was eat and drink. And it’s made me want to go back again because all of the food was so good.
I have always had a dream of getting a house on the lake in the Chicago suburbs and raising a family there. That way you get the best of both worlds: a city not too far away to visit, and suburbia. You can experience all 4 seasons and can get a boat for the lake in the summer. That is dream goals of mine. But who knows what could happen. Life has a funny way of never following plans.
If you get the opportunity to visit Chicago, make sure you come with a big appetite. It’s a beautiful city and has so much to offer. You absolutely must try the deep dish pizza at Gino’s East, as it was far better than any of the other deep dishes I have tried.
Also, if you visit on St. Patrick’s Day, they dye the river in the above photo bright green and it’s ridiculously cool. Be sure to check that out 🙂