Sunday, July 8, 2012

Weekend in the Windy City

We finished off this crazy week by taking Friday off and heading to Chicago for the weekend.  We went mostly to visit some friends of ours who moved there about a year and a half ago from New York.  We had a great time - here's a review of what we did!

Friday (record setting 102 degree day):  We got up super early and to catch an 8:15 flight out of JFK.  Thanks to the time change we were at O'Hare by 10am.
Thankfully our friends live right near the blue line, so we jumped on the "L" and made our way to their place.  We relaxed and cooled off for a little while, had a quick lunch, and headed to Millennium Park to take all of the obligatory touristy pictures like:

A picture of ourselves (and some strangers) reflected in The Bean.  People were laying on their backs under the bean and doing all sorts of crazy things for creative pictures.   

Then we braved the heat for the Chicago Architectural Foundation's architectural boat tour.  This was a great way to get a sense of the history and layout of Chicago.  They also had really tasty Raspberry Vodka Lemonades.  Proof we really did it:

Then we went "home" to cool off (did I mention it was 102 degrees??).

We started the evening out getting drinks at Haymarket Pub & Brewery.  The beer was good, as was the flatbread appetizer we got to justify sitting at table.
For dinner we went to Nellcote.  This is a new restaurant just a few blocks from where our friends live.  They serve small plates (like tapas) and everything we got was delicious.  Favorites were the rib-eye, robuchon potatoes, and baba ah rhum (bread soaked in rum) for dessert.  The wine wasn't bad either - we had a Malbec, not sure of the specifics.
We had to wait a while when we arrived, despite our reservation, so they comped some sparkling wine and an appetizer pizza for us.  Totally forgiven!!  The people watching was great too, some very questionable wardrobe choices to be seen!
Our last stop was supposed to be the Signature Room on the 95th floor of the John Hancock building.  But, when we got there, the line was crazy long.  So instead we went next door to Disotto Enoteca in the Senaca Hotel to kill some time.  This place was really neat, one of my favorites of the weekend.
After about an hour and another bottle of wine, we went back to the Hancock building and right up to the Signature Room.  We just stayed for a few minutes to check out the view (oh, and the best view really is from the ladies room):

We tried to get some pictures with us in them but we're not such great photographers, especially after a couple bottles of wine.

Saturday the weather was much cooler.  We slept in and kicked off the day having lunch at Giordano's for stuffed pizza (we got sausage and pepperoni).  Oh my, so tasty.
We walked off some of the pizza by trekking past Navy Pier over to Oak Street Beach where they have a little bar/taco shack where you can sit and relax.  After soaking in some sun we headed home for a nice long nap.
We wanted to go to Aviary for drinks before dinner.  However, you have to email them in the morning and hope your email is "randomly selected" for a reservation.  Ours were not.  So, instead we first took a car trip around the city to see the remaining sites (Wrigley Field, etc).  Then grabbed dinner in Greektown at Athena.  This restaurant's roof opens so the dining room is basically one huge patio.  The weather had cooled down so it was a beautiful place to enjoy our dinner outside with a great view of the Chicago skyline.
To close out the night we went to Market Bar for a nightcap.  This is the place to see and be seen if you're a 20 something year old, scantily-clad, woman; a really drunk guy; or celebrating a bachelorette party.

Overall we had a great time and can't wait for our next visit.

Thanks again to A & V for hosting us and being our tour guides!

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