Thursday, August 27, 2009

2nd City? Not in my book....

When Paul said he had a work conference to attend in Chicago a few months ago I decided, this just may be that mini vacation I've been needing!! So being the wonderful husband he is, I was allowed to tag along on his work trip for a few days. Funny thing is, I lived for a year just two hours away from Chicago but never made it up there, and boy do I wish I had been able to. Paul and I had hoped for a little Chicago weekend while I was living in St. Louis but when my dad got sick it just didn't work out. So 7 years later, we enjoyed a few days in Chicago and it was quite the memorable trip.

In anticipation for our trip I started doing some research on eateries. Being an avid watcher of the Food Network Channel I had seen a show with the head pastry chef for a restaurant named 'Hot Chocolate' and had to check it out. It was the MOST amazing dinner I think I have ever had. We went there Sunday night and over a bottle of wine enjoyed some amazing entrees (pork belly with grilled peaches salad and amazing macaroni and cheese) and of course some desserts that were out of this world. They were so amazing I had to take some photos of them. I had the chocolate souffle with salted caramel ice cream and Paul had a blueberry cannoli. They are famous for their hot chocolate, of course, and had handmade marshmallows with each cup that were amazing! The staff there were amazing; really I cannot recommend this place enough!!!

Continuing on our tour of eating through Chicago, Paul took me to Gino's East Pizzeria the next day for some famous deep dish pizza. My dad frequently took business trips to Chicago, so I was eager to try some of this deep dish pizza I had heard so much about and it didn't disappoint! Neither did Gino's which is an older restaurant that is artistically decorated by all of it's customer's who write on almost any surface they can find!

That afternoon, Paul went back to work while I walked off some of that pizza on the Magnificent Mile. Wow, the shopping in this city is amazing! I did some damage, much to Paul's horror, but come on....all the ladies out there can understand when I say there was a 4 story Banana Republic!!!

That night we went for drinks up on the 96th floor of the John Hancock building where the views are amazing and the drinks were pretty decent....

After our drinks we went to a great little Italian place where their motto was right up my alley of "Where Wine is Cheaper than Water." They had some amazing food, noticing a trend here?

Now most of you who know me well, know that I am not much of a sports fan. But my wonderful hubby is a big baseball fan, so our last night in Chicago we caught a Cub's game at Wrigley field. Even though I am not much of a baseball fan it was fun seeing a game at this historical field. We had fun eating at the Cubby Bear before hand and then listening to Eddie Vedder (from Pearl Jam) sing 'Take Me Out To The Ball Game' at the 7th inning stretch.

Wednesday morning I was sad to pack up and go, but was missing my kids a ton by then. I was so lucky to have my mom stay home with them while we enjoyed our trip in Chicago (thank you again Mom). To finish off the trip I went through a run, in the rain, along the Lake Michigan shore and through the parks of Chicago. There weren't many people out so it was peaceful and so beautiful, especially looking up at all of the tall buildings amongst the morning fog. It was amazing, as was our trip.

Don't let the name Second City fool you, this city is first rate and I recommend you all get out there to enjoy it for yourselves.

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