Birthday in Chicago

Well hello. Sorry for the lack of posting, but between life and turning the big 3-0 we’ve been busy over here.

J and I headed off to Chicago Friday morning for a long weekend in the windy city. And windy it was. The weather was not quite ideal (cloudy, windy, and 55 degrees), but that didn’t stop us from bundling up and making the best of it. 
We stayed at the Intercontinental Chicago right on Michigan Ave. I’ve stayed at here before and you can’t beat the location. It tends to be on the pricer side, but many people report that they have gotten this hotel on Hotwire so you may take your chances there. I’ll also do a post next week on how I make sure I’m getting the best price for a hotel. We stayed in a premier king room on the 20th floor in the Grand Tower (hotel has 2 towers) and had a great view of the city. We could even see the lake in between buildings.
After settling in to the hotel, we headed to Gino’s East for deep dish pizza. We went around 6:30 and only waited about 20 minutes. By the time we left around 8:30 there was hardly any line so if waiting ain’t your thing you may go a little later. This location is the original Ginos where you can write on the walls, floors, booths, etc. I’ve also eaten at the River North location and it has more of a modern trendy feel and sans graffiti.
The pizza usually takes about an hour to cook so we ordered the deep nachos while we waited and made sure to leave our mark on the wall.
After dinner we headed over to the AMC theater on Michigan Ave and watched The Martian with Matt Damon. Since the weather was so cold it was the perfect indoor activity and the theater did not disappoint. We don’t have an AMC in our town so we had no idea the seats were leather recliners and they had a full bar in the lobby. You could even get food delivered to your seat. 
Saturday morning I picked up some pastries from Labriola, a cafe right around the corner from our hotel. While J got ready for the day I did some shopping and picked up a few new shirts/sweaters for winter including this burgundy color sweater from F21, which J informed me I could no longer shop at since I’m in my thirties. says the guy who still wears american eagle jeans.
We grabbed lunch at the Grand Lux cafe where I had the slightly underwhelming Asian nachos and J had a cuban sandwich he was less than thrilled about. Next time we’d skip this place and eat at the Purple Pig, which was right across from our hotel and came highly recommended, but had a ridiculously long wait:(
After lunch we took a taxi to the Field Museum and while it was ok, it took up a big chunk of our day. J and I both agreed we’d pass on this next time.
This is why you shouldn’t let your husband be in charge of the selfies.
Earlier in the day we bought passes to the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) sky deck in order to avoid waiting in lines. After the museum we took another taxi over to the tower where we were met by staff at the door letting us know there was an hour and a half wait to the top and visibility was at a zero. Well thanks. We decided to go for it anyway because we already bought the tickets and dinner reservations weren’t until 9. I’m so glad we did because there was no wait, like not at all. We hoped right on the elevator and took it up 102 stories to the top. It was a little cloudy and foggy, but you could still see quite a bit. We went around 6:30 and got to see the city both in the “daylight” and at night.
I’m sure most of you have seen/heard about the Sky Deck which is essentially a glass box that jets out from the building and lets you “step out” over the side of the ledge. This was definitely a highlight of our trip especially for my husband who’s scared of heights.
From the tower we went back to our hotel and had a few drinks while getting ready for our dinner reservations at Gejas. Gejas is a fondue restaurant in the Lincoln park area and wins multiple awards every year. We practically had to roll ourselves out of there and I think we were both passed out within a few minutes of getting back to the hotel. I highly recommend making a reservation or be prepared to wait. I like to make all my reservations on Open Table. I wore my Kendra Scott inspired earrings which I’ll post about in my Friday Five tomorrow and a no label top that I happened to find at my favorite Goodwill.
Sunday morning we slept in and ordered room service for breakfast, which I’d skip next time and head someplace local. Before we left I went next door to Dylan’s candy bar and got the kids a little sugary treat including candy which looked exactly like Legos. Ben was in heaven. If you’re a candy lover this is your store and an entire two floors.
Before we knew it it was time to hit the road home. Although we weren’t gone long it’s always great to get away without the kids and experience someplace new together and we both agreed the Caribbean is calling our name for next time:)
Linking up with Annie for Thoughts on Thursday.


  • Jenn

    Looks like you had a great time! We did Chicago over the summer for the first time and it is seriously one of my favorite cities! So much to do, see and EAT! Glad you had an awesome time!

  • Katie Elizabeth

    Wish you had had better weather!!! We lived in Chicago for 4.5 years so I love reading posts about others visits there 🙂 Definitely try The Purple Pig next time if you can – amazing! And Dylan's Candy bar is like my favorite place in the world, ha!

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