Our 4-day trip to Chicago was a whirlwind of decadent food, constant walking, boat rides, skyscrapers, and Midwestern hospitality, topped off with absolutely perfect weather. We arrived on Thursday, and the temps never got above 70. This was a very welcome change of climate coming from famously hot Columbia, SC!
Although this trip was in celebration of our 3rd Anniversary, we invited some friends of ours, Franklin and Kendall, along. The four of us had a blast!
Since I lived in Chicago for a short time (7 years ago - which doesn't even seem possible) and Alex, Franklin and Kendall had never been, I minimally played tour guide and reminisced about my days as a Windy City girl.
We stayed at The Drake, which I highly, highly recommend - it's an old, gorgeous, plush hotel on the Magnificent Mile and they treated us like royalty! They even had champagne waiting on us in our room when we arrived. Definitely could get used to that!
|The Drake: so posh|
The first night we were there, we walked two blocks down the street and 95 floors up to eat at the Signature Room in the Hancock Center. The food was good, but the view is breathtaking. If looking out over Lake Michigan while you dine isn't enough, just take a trip to the Ladies' room to see the best view of the city you'll ever see.
|The views from the Signature Room in the John Hancock Center|
|Happy birthday, America!|
We hit all the staples in Chicago: Art Institute, Field Museum, Millennium Park and the bean, State Street, Mag Mile, Navy Pier. Probably the single best thing we did was take a boat ride on the Fourth of July on Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. The day was bright and sunshiny, the views of the city were magnificent, and it just felt so patriotic!
We also overindulged in food...really, really good food. Of course, you can't visit Chicago without eating deep dish pizza. We hit Lou Malnati's on Friday night and it was worth the hour and a half wait for that amazing Chicago-style pizza! On Saturday, we had one of the best meals I've ever had at Gibson's Steakhouse. Huge steaks cooked to perfection, jumbo asparagus, and the largest pieces of cake I've ever seen - all of it was outstanding. For a nightcap, we went to Coq d'Or in the Drake Hotel, which opened when Prohibition was repealed in 1933.
I was sad to leave the city and head home to SC on Sunday, but now that Alex has been, I think he's hooked! I know we'll be back again soon!