A few of my favorite things – Chicago edition

Making moves on my visit to ChicagoThere are no ifs, ands or buts about it… Chicago is my favorite US city.   There is something really magical about the balance of the city that gives a little taste of home town hospitality along with an urban metropolitan culture and vibe.  One of the most attractive qualities in balancing those two flavors is the ease you have in exploring some of the highlights of the city on foot (at least before winter hits).  It is with such effortlessness that you can make a day out of exploring and get your fill of culture at the museums, history with the architecture, beauty in the parks and by the lake and of course FOOD.   In my most recent visit I got a chance to really do some walking and found a couple of new favorite things in my favorite city to add to my list.

Events Tips

Raise The MacAllan 5I am never sure how I get on these Chicago mailing list but as destiny would have it right before my trip I got an email from Save Our Social (S.O.S).  The site is a great list into the fun ins and outs of Chicago with some Featured Events that are so diverse something is sure to catch your eye.  The site lead me to a MacAllan tasting that I loved so it is a great place to decide how and where you want to tackle fun in social butterfly called Chicago.

Drinks at the Peninsula

I’m so fancy!!! Well at least this is how you feel when you set foot in the PeninsulaBeignets and Martinis at the Pennisula Martinis at the PennisulaFrom the BMW car service to the Ultimate Academy to the view on the terrace, the Peninsula knows how to make you feel like a boss!  As my stop at the hotel was on the move I stopped by The Lobby to grab some treats, which for me consists of drinks and dessert.  With a French martini and beignets on deck all seems well with the world!!!  If you have time make sure to check out their Afternoon Tea, it’s a great take on an awesome tradition but seats fill up fast

French Market

Chicago is a foodie’s paradise and few places are a greater reminder of just who many great food choices exist in the city than the French Market.  In one short trip around the vendor circle you can get a bite of almost any and every flavor you could think of. From organic pressed juices to wine to pretzels and everything in between the French Market is a great way to grab lunch on the go but still get a great treat for your taste buds and belly alike.  I went with a lobster grilled cheese sandwich and got a little piece of heaven with every bite.

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast at Yolk Breakfast at wishbone YolkOne thing is for sure if you plan to attack the city of Chicago on foot you need a great breakfast to start your day off right. My go to’s in the city are always Yolk and Wishbone.  Good food that fills your bell and atmospheres were you feel at home really highlight a city where the best at anything can be done fancy or not but still be fabulous.  Between the laughs and conversation with good friends these eateries give you something different with their menu that will leave you wanting more for weeks after your visit.

So what are your Chicago highlights???

 

Adventure Time – Exploring DC by foot

US Capital SelfieWith a great mix of culture, history, food and fun, few cities set the stage for walking about than Washington, DC.  As with many old cities, there is an architectural style that sparks your imagination to what its residents experienced hundreds of years before you retraced their steps.  As older cities were designed at a time where walking was a major means of transportation, it is designed to fit that mode, with sideways and crosswalks readily available and stores and restaurants situated for those on their feet.  Grafitti wall in DC 1 Grafitti wall in DC 2As the doors to my imagination opened up I want to get out and experience all of that adventure myself and walking lets me touch, feel and see the city in a much more intimate way than driving in cars or on public transportation.

My love for walking and discovery was not initially shared by my daughter as the thought of a 4 mile hike to our hotel with no idea of what was in between did not sound equally appealing.  US CapitalBut instead of just looking at it as a long walk around DC, I challenged her to change her point of view and be open to the idea of going on an adventure.  When you start on an adventure something changes.  Stop and smell the roses in DCInstead of a focus on the fastest and most convenient route, you look forward to the delays and detours along the way as the point is not the route, it’s the experiences along the way.  Our walk took us through skater ramps, parks, the capital and Pennsylvania Ave and along the way just how special these times are became clear.  The constant focus on time was thrown out the window and all roads became open to the adventure at hand.  If something looked cool or caught our eye the plan quickly changed to accommodate the new experiences. Chy climbing Trees If a tree looked fun we climbed it, if there was a building that looked cool we walked up to it, anything that added to our daily adventure.  Having the access and ability to not just pass things up but get some hands on action made the experience much more alive.

When you have no idea where you are than almost everything seems new and adds a great twist of spice that is unbeatable when it comes to having an adventure.  With great weather and phenomenal scenery (not to mention the people watching) DC is a great place to step back in time or have your own modern adventure.   Two Scholars Fredrick Douglas ground coin First Amedment Cool Architecture DC Park and statute