Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Kelly and I were sitting at dinner discussing her upcoming 30th and when she said she wanted something mellow I couldn't believe it. I was so thankful she finally came to her senses and planned a trip to her other favorite city, Chicago. She and a few others had already started planning their weekend and I quickly jumped on board without hesitation. Even though my family lived in the burbs of Chicago for six years when I was a kid, and I've been back once as an adult, I've never explored the city as an adult. I was thrilled to be going with someone who's lived there, and anyone who knows Kelly knows she always knows the best places to eat.

I already had plans for Friday night but hopped on an early flight out Saturday morning. (Although after hearing about the epic tasting menu dinner Kelly, Sarah, Chloe, and Amanda had I'm kicking myself for missing it.) The great thing about most of my flights being out west, is when I have a shorter flight it seems insanely quick.

I arrived to O'Hare (my nemesis) about 9am and hit the ground running. I was a little excited to try out another city's public transportation but a friend ended up offering to pick me up. We hung out for a little bit and then he dropped me off at the hotel to meet up with Kelly and Sarah. We had a little bit of time to hang out and then off we were to lunch with an eclectic group of nine friends who were friends of Kelly's, or friends of friends. It made for an interesting and fun dynamic.

After lunch everyone went their separate ways and Kelly, Sarah, and I headed to Millennium Park. We had a little time to kill before Sarah needed to head to the airport to go back to SLC and I really wanted to see the bean.

Kelly and I had a little downtime and I was thankful for it, as I'd slept 2-3 hours the night before and was already running low on sleep from a hectic week. We were both able to catch a little catnap before Heather arrived from St. Louis at our hotel. We chatted a bit and Heather and I got to know each other and then it was off to dinner at Giordano's. I snapped this photo of some steps leading to the L as we walked to din. I love cities with public transportation!

After dinner we went back to the hotel to get a little more ready and then to some hipster bar to meet up with Amanda, Nora, and a couple guys whose names I now can't remember. It was the first bar I've ever had to wait in line for. It was mostly guys in the line and since we walked up with only girls I thought we'd get right in. Nope. Oh well, we finally got in and Kelly and everyone else loved the bar so that's what matters.

With the birthday girl.
After this place we went to another bar, followed by a cab ride to Boystown where we went to yet another bar. We were there until around 2am or so and then went to another bar and stood in another line to go dancing. When we got to the front there was a cover and Kelly wasn't up for paying it. I was dragging big time so I didn't argue when we headed for a cab.

Sunday morning we slept in a bit and then got ready for brunch at The Publican. Heather had to take off but Kelly and I met up with Nora and Amanda again, in addition to another Kelly, Scott and Elizabeth. Brunch was a two hour ordeal that involved Scott ordering all sorts of food for the table. He's big in the food industry and it was nice to be out with someone like that. Like the rest of the weekend, all of Kelly's friends were so nice and so easy to be around.

A shot of the table, my waffles, and someone else's bacon. Yes, that monstrous piece of meat is bacon. Unless it's totally burnt to a crisp I'm not a bacon person so this sort of disgusted me, but people were dying over it.

After brunch Kelly and I took a leisurely stroll back to the hotel to meet up with Chloe and Micah. I can't express enough how much I love walking cities. We ate so much at brunch and it was so nice to have a mile or so to walk it off. We stopped on this bridge to look at the Chicago River for a minute and I wondered if I could ever love a city like I love New York.

We got to the hotel lobby and hung out for a little and soon after Chloe and Micah arrived to drive me (and Chlo) to the airport. It was my first time at Midway and I have say I wasn't that impressed. I guess I was just expecting something a lot smaller for the way people talk about it.

It was only about 36 hours (actually a little less) but I had an absolute blast in Chicago. People in the midwest are so down to earth. The streets and subway are clean, and it's just a great city. Oh! And the pizza? To DIE for. I'm craving it big time. I will definitely be back this summer for a slice and a Cubs game.

A few days after coming home to New York we had one last hurrah for Kelly and hit up the Momofuku noodle bar. I've never been to any of the Momofukus so it was fun to go. I'm so happy to be friends with Kelly and to celebrate her big day.


Sean and Becky said...

Hooray for Chicago!!

katherine said...

Mmmm, this makes me miss Chicago. It's a great time of year to visit. Were the tulips in full bloom everywhere? Love that city.

Kambria said...

Oo fun! Still never been to Chicago. You made it look even more enticing :)