Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Weekend to Chicago

I have hundreds of pictures and stories to recount from our travels to Southern California last week, a vacation that was collectively one of our favorites as a family of four.  I don't want to forget it, yet I'm also stuck in the usual tension that exists at the end of summer, wanting to savor these days at home while I have them without spending much time in front of a computer screen.  My mind is now distracted with preparations for a new semester, but I'm so badly wanting to maintain our slower, carefree pace here at home.

But before I dig in to our trip to Cali, Beau and I enjoyed a spontaneous adults weekend to one of our favorite cities with Brian and Angie the weekend prior to our family vacation.  The kids were excited to spend the weekend with Grandma Mary and Grandpa Ray, and the weather was looking picture perfect for a fun few days away.  

There's just something about Chicago.  The energy of the big city, the architectural beauty and culture, the endless possibilities for good food and even better adventures just brings you to life!  We rolled in just after happy hour Friday night, checked in to our hotel right on State St., and found rooftop seats and summer ales at Rock Bottom Brewery.  With nothing but a Cubs game on the docket for our Saturday, we were without plans all weekend and decided to progressively eat and drink our way through the Loop Friday night.  We ended up on the river walk, revisited the dreamy, The Kitchen bistro, had the most amazing asparagus bruschetta with burrata cheese, and ended the night at the gorgeous Porcellino.  We sat in the open aired seating area towards the front of the restaurant, dined on pea pod paste and crostini, homemade pappardelle, and plenty of merlot well after midnight, and listened to old school rock and roll at this vibrant and well-lit little place. 

We couldn't have asked for a better weather weekend to enjoy Chicago.  We woke up to sunny and seventy for our Saturday, and decided to make our way to Lake Michigan for the morning.  Because Beau's foot is still on the mend after his ladder fall Father's Day weekend, the boys had the idea of renting one of these four-person bikes to stroll around on.  After a couple of close calls on the busy trails by Lake Shore, we paid for our hour and hit Navy Pier, ordered some margaritas, and decided our next mode of transportation would be by boat, purchasing tickets to our first ever Chicago Architectural Boat Tour

If you haven't done this before, I highly recommend it.  It was such a fun way to see the city and we learned so much about the design history of the famous skyline.  After our boat ride, it was time to freshen up and head to Wrigley Field for a night with the Cubs.

This was our first time back to Wrigley since their World Series win and it gave me all the feels!  It was also our first night game, and our first time anticipating a game in the bleachers that wasn't going to be HOT.  The energy of Wrigleyville was palpable and we couldn't wait for a night in the bleachers.  

The Cubs may have lost the game, but we had such a great night at Wrigley!  We celebrated back-to-back homers, I got to watch my favorite Arrieta pitch, and also got to devour a true Chicago dog, and it was delicious!  It wouldn't be a night in the bleachers without making friends with neighboring fans and ushers, and we felt like college kids again, collecting plastic Old Style cups and singing our hearts out with Harry for the seventh inning stretch. 

And like any good weekends in Chicago go, we woke up Sunday feeling like this city had a piece of our hearts and a whole lot of our pocketbooks. ;)  We left for home, but not without donuts, of course!  We tried two of Chicago's favorite spots, Stan's and Glazed and Infused, and they did not disappoint.  My favorite had to be Glazed and Infused's pineapple mango donut with a chili lime glaze.  It was flavorful and weird, two of my favorite qualities when it comes to food!  

It was fun to spend a beautiful weekend in the city with good friends!  And the kids had such a fun weekend with Grandma, picnicking and riding the super cool zipline at Hariman's Park.  They had as much fun as we did!

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