I don’t know about you but I LOVE a long weekend, especially once the school year starts because it’s a break from the normal routine for ALL of us! In Minnesota, we have what’s called MEA break in the fall. I’m not exactly sure what the acronym MEA stands for but truth be told I know what I need to know…MEA equals a 4 day weekend for me and that’s all that matters! 😉 Jared and I decided we wanted to do something over the short break but we wanted to keep it pretty low key since we have a big trip with the kids planned in the spring. Neither of our parents live near us so we decided we’d take the kids to his parent’s house in Wisconsin and then we’d make the short drive to Chicago for the rest of the weekend. I’ve been to Chicago many times before but most of those visits were in my youth, I think I can say that now that I’m 35 right?!?!, so typically we weren’t doing as much sightseeing as we were checking out the best places to go dancing! That being said, I haven’t done too many touristy thing in Chicago.
Prior to our arrival, I made reservations at our hotel. I’m not sure why, but it was so hard for me to commit to which hotel we would stay at. When you don’t get away that often you want to be well taken care of! I was torn between spending a lot of money on a small boutique hotel because it was really pretty and had nice, soft robes and saving some cash and choosing a more economical option without sacrificing location and the comforts of a mid-range hotel The recommendations I was given were The Gray, The Athletic Club, The Langton, The Hard Rock Hotel and The Peninsula Hotel. We ended up choosing the least expensive of the options and went with the Hard Rock Hotel. We had a few friends that actually stayed at the property and they said that although it wasn’t anything fancy it was a prime location, service was good and the value was great. We decided since we wouldn’t be spending much time at all in the hotel then this would be the best option for this trip. If I were to go again on a girl’s trip, I’d definitely choose the The Gray or The Peninsula, they are gorgeous properties!
The day we arrived, we dropped off our bags and walked to the Skydeck at Willis Tower, formerly Sears Tower. Chicago is a very walkable city and I feel like you get to experience and see so much more when you’re walking as opposed to driving, taking a cab, or riding a bus! Once you take an elevator to the top floor of the Willis Tower, you can step out onto what’s called The Ledge which is a glass box that hangs out over the edge of the building allowing you to see the space directly below you! So Fun!
After we went up to the Skydeck we walked back along Michigan Avenue towards Navy Pier to meet one of my best friends at the W Hotel. I had a Champagne Mojito, I mean what’s not to love about this cocktail…truly the best of both worlds!
From there, we continued to walk around the city stopping at The Beacon Tavern for a quick appetizer. We shared the Peekytoe Crab dip and it was delish, sorry no pics I was too hungry to bother with that. 😉 After much deliberation, we ended the evening at The Frontera Grill. The margs and tacos were on point!
After spending one day in the Windy City, my hair was a total wreck. Not in the mood to do my own hair, #iaintgottimeforthatonvacation, I made an appointment to have my hair blown out at the Dry Bar. I seriously wish I could do this everyday, it is such a treat to have someone else do your hair! #amiright As far as I know, there are not any blowout bars in Minnesota. When I saw Jared after my appointment I was telling him I need to open a blowdry bar, stat!! Anyone else love getting their hair blown out and do it regularly?
We had bought tickets to the Chicago Architectural Foundation’s boat tour for later that morning, on the way to the pier we stopped at the Rosebud on Rush for a quick bite. I got the crab cakes eggs benedict and it was divine. I wish I knew how to make a good eggs benedict, I actually have never tried! If you have any recipes or tips, comment below!!
There are a lot of different companies that offer the architectural boat tour but we were told that the one through the Architectural Foundation is of the highest quality and can’t be beat. Apparently, this is one of the best tours to take while in Chicago. We really lucked out this past weekend with fantastic weather. We took the morning architectural tour and it was beautiful to go up and down the river learning about the history of the city!
After we finished the boat tour, we checked out Navy Pier and shopped along Michigan Aveunue. I would totally recommend visiting this city as a couple, with friends or taking your family.
If we were to When we go back with the kids, I’d take them to the Skydeck, Navy Pier, Lincoln Park Zoo, The Shedd Aquarium and to one of the many parks in the area. There is SO MUCH to see and do, I can’t wait to go back.
Here’s a pic of the Smores’ cupcake at Molly’s cupcakes, one of the pit stops we made as we walked around the city.
On our way out of the city, we stopped by my friend Kristen’s house for dinner. We loved spending time with her little family before heading back to ours!
Getting ready to head out of town with the kids was
a little a lot hectic and returning to suitcases full of dirty laundry and a van that looked like a tornado had gone through it were not the highlights of the trip but having some time away with the hubs makes it so worth it!
Comment below if you have recommendations for a quick weekend getaway!