Chicago: Part 1

Well once again I guess my blogging self has slacked big time, seeing that it's been over two weeks since I've last shown up around here. Have I've mentioned a time or two ten before that consistency isn't my strong suit? But, I'm back today and I'm really, really excited about it because I'm sharing all about our trip to Chicago! I'm going to have to break this recap into two parts because, as usual, I went a little picture happy and having to narrow them down even further is a task that I am definitely not prepared to face again. 

Since Chicago had been on our list of places we wanted to visit for a while, I had a pretty good feeling that I was going to like this city a lot, but I honestly never knew just how much I was going to love it. The buildings, the views, the Chicago river, the shopping, the pizza (oh the pizza!), it was seriously all so amazing! We were there for four days, and I think that was a good amount of time to take in a lot of the city, but still not feel rushed while doing so. But saying that, there's so much you can see and do, so I definitely would have been okay with staying a little longer because well, who doesn't love more vacation time?

We stayed at the Warwick Allerton Hotel on Michigan Avenue, which is located right in the middle of the famous Magnificent Mile and is surrounded by the best shopping stores and restaurants, and other attractions in the city. I thought our room was pretty small for a standard room (the smallest we've ever seen), but you could not beat the cleanliness, the great views, and the location of this hotel. 

After checking in, it was time to grab a quick coffee and start in on the exploring! Whenever we visit a new city, I think the thing I look forward to the most is this part; just leaving the hotel and walking around for a few hours, having no idea where you're going or what you'll see along the way. 

The very first thing that I immediately noticed about this city was the beautiful architecture, and I'm pretty sure anyone who has ever been will tell you the exact same thing. The buildings are ginormous, and the design and layout of all of them are amazing. I can't say I've ever been one to admire that kind of thing before, but you definitely can't help but do so in Chicago because it is seriously so beautiful. You'll get an even better appreciation of what I'm talkin' about in a bit.  

The second thing Chicago is probably best known for is their deep dish pizza, and since I'm engaged to probably the biggest pizza fanatic that ever lived, we obviously wasted no time getting to this part. From what we learned while we were there, the three most popular pizza places are Gino's East, Lou Malnati's, and Giordano's (although there's a ton more), and apparently if you ask anyone in Chicago what their favourite is, they'll all tell you a different answer. So what does a pizza fanatic do when they hear this? They take it as a challenge! The first stop on our mission to solve the greatest mystery in Chicago was Gino's East. This place inside was so awesome and unlike any other place I've ever been, and the pizza? Well, I'll save our answer to that popular question until the end!

Later that evening we went for drinks at the Trump tower. Two things about this place: the drinks are crazy expensive, but the views you get overlooking the city while you're sipping on those drinks (no need to chug when they're almost twenty dollars...gasp!!) makes you realize what it is that you're actually paying for. We were so blown away and I honestly can't count how many times I looked at Todd throughout the night and said, "DO YOU SEE THIS?".  We went there around 6:30ish and I think that was the perfect time because we got to see the amazing views in the daylight, while the sun was setting, and at night. I would definitely, in a heartbeat, go here again if we ever got the chance to go back. 

The next day started off with breakfast at Yolk, and boy was this place busy, even at 8:30 in the morning (obviously the explorer part of me was too excited to let me sleep in!).  The rest of the day consisted of some shopping, finding Millennium Park and checking out the famous Bean, and doing the Skydeck at the Willis Tower (formally known as the Sears tower), which is the tallest building in Chicago, and up until only a few years ago, the tallest building in the world. We also continued on with our (aka Todd's) mission to solve the great mystery, and stopped at Lou Malnati's for some more pizza.

We ended our second day in the city with a late dinner at the Signature Room in the John Hancock building, which is located on the 95th floor and which would explain why my ears popped on the way to get there. Even after all of the great views we had seen prior, I was honestly still amazed, and therefore still continued to yell "DO YOU SEE THIS?" at Todd throughout this night too. If you ever go to Chicago, put this on your list too because it'll definitely be a highlight of your trip. Just make sure to book a reservation well in advance and know that it's pretty, pretty fancy (after not seeing one other girl in pants besides me, I started to think maybe I was a teeny tad bit under dressed). Oh, I guess I should mention about the food (even though I spent way more time staring than actually eating). It was delicious, although to be honest, it could have tasted like crap (okay, okay, maybe a slight exaggeration) and I still would have told you to go there because just look..... 

And that concludes the first part! Gosh what I wouldn't do to be sitting in that restaurant again right now, instead of sitting on my couch in my pajamas like I currently am!!  :)

Check back soon for the next part!