Hey guys! This summer has been a crazy one! This season always flys by unfortunately but I have been doing my best to make the most of it that is for sure! I have been lucky enough to book a few trips this summer and have started exploring places I haven't been before! I wanted to share my adventures with you all! The first spot in this travel series diary is Chicago! My best friends from college and I decided to take a girls trip to the windy city! This was my first time here, and I definitely fell in love with the city!
We drove into the city and we stopped along the river to get a great view of the skyline. I would totally recommend doing that, it was a great introduction to the city. It was awesome to be on the water and walk around the park.
Some friends recommended doing an Architecture Boat Tour which did not disappoint! You get to see the whole city and learn about Chicago's history. There were a few options to choose from in terms of time and cost. We chose the 45 minute tour which was $28 a person. I think any time longer than that would've been too much. We loved seeing all the unique architecture and enjoyed the water and sunshine. Highly reccommend!
As you all know, I love me a good flea market. And my friend Delaney found the most amazing one called the Randolph Street Market. Even though Chicago welcomed us on literally the hottest weekend of the summer, we still had an amazing time. We found lots of great goodies! If you are interested in the market, they have all kinds of events going on throughout the year, check them out!
Food. Food. Food. Chicago is a great place for a foodie. We got a lot of great restaurant recommendations from friends and co-workers. We were also advised to make reservations ahead of time, which I am SO thankful we did. It make it easy to plan our days and to make sure we hit all the places we wanted to go. We also left some room for spontaneity and happen-upons. But if there are places that you for sure want to go to, I would make a reservation a couple weeks in advance.
We heard great things about Summer House for brunch and it totally lived up to the hype. My friends ordered the Huge Cinnamon Roll for an appetizer, and since I couldn't enjoy it with them, our server noticed and asked why I couldn't eat it, (the drizzled cream cheese frosting would have done me in) so he surprised me with a warm, gooey vegan chocolate chip cookie so I could enjoy a treat with my friends. It was very nice of him. And clearly, as you can tell from the photo below, I was very happy about it ;) haha.
We also went to brunch, at Brunch. lol it was confusing. But it was delicious, and very accommodating for dietary restrictions as well as Summer House. I had an amazing omelet with breakfast potatoes and fresh fruit. They have a great atmosphere and it is located in a cool, industrial part of the city.
So RPM Italian. I finally got to go there and I was so impressed. I have been in love with Giuliana Rancic for years and I was so excited to check out the restaurant that her and her husband built. We had the Rosemary Focaccia Bread as an appetizer, oh my gosh it was so yummy. For my meal, I had Mama DePandi's Bucatini, literally the best homemade pasta—besides my families of course ;)—and then for dessert, we had these little mini raspberry sorbet cones. I'm not going to say how many of those we actually had... ;) If you are in the city, you have to stop in! It's a great place to get dressed up and go for a relatively, inexpensive nice dinner, and have a delcious glass of wine.
Some other amazing food places we stopped at were:
Le Pain Quotidien // This seriously adorable, French cafe in Lincoln Park. Great place for early breakfast or brunch.
TACOS TACOS TACOS! The four of us girls on the trip were taco freaks! Some amazing places to get tacos are Big Star Taco. They also have a super cool bar and outdoor patio. It gets really, really busy on the weekends, and we didn't have a reservation. But we discovered that they have a take out window and you can order a portion of the menu and then eat it on a section of the patio. You were still able to get chips and salsa and guac, which hellooo is kind of the most important part for me ;) so it didn't feel like we missed out on the experience altogether!
Another awesome spot for tacos (my #1 pick) is Taco Joint. They had amazing sangria and guacamole. Its also in a really cool part of town. It was great to walk around after and check out the shops and sites!
One afternoon, we ventured up to Hitchcock Tower to the top floor to get an arial view of the city. It was a little scary, but really cool. If you just want to go up to see the view, its free! You can also eat at the restaurant and hang out at the bar. Tip: The windows get pretty crowded with people, so if you go to the women's bathroom you can see the view and not have to fight people for it hahah (that is where this picture was taken).
If you are looking for a fun evening activity with friends, we went to an improv show at The Laugh Factory. We are a fan of the comedy club, Hilarities in Cleveland, so we had to check out one in a new city!
Shopping!! I love finding new boutiques and exploring new neighborhoods within cities. Lincoln Park totally hit the mark in this department. So many fun artisan shops, clothing boutiques and of course, icecream! Jeni's is in the heart of Lincoln Park and I am in love with their Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet. My favorite boutique shops there were Art Effect and Bevello. They also have a Benefit Beauty Bar where my friend Delaney and I got our make-up professionally done, it was so fun! Highly recommend if you are on a girls trip. Its such a fun experience to do together!
I finally got to visit a Dylan's Candy Bar! Anyone who knows me, knows I am obsessed with candy. This was a must see for me. I had a blast walking around there and bought way too much and then crashed from a sugar high. Worth it ;)
Taking a trip with your girlfriends can be the most healing and rejuvenating medicine on the planet. I cherish these girls and their friendship so much! College brought us together, and I am so thankful that we have continued to do life together! Love you girls.
Thanks for having us Chicago! You were a blast! Hope to see you again sometime. On to the next adventure ✈️