Quick Chicago Trip Recap

Boy am I tired, but so darn happy!  This was the most amazing trip and I'm so, so, grateful to the folks at RAM Racing for giving me this opportunity.  FYI on how this trip came to be, here's the info on the Hot Chocolate Ambassador program. Things are pretty hectic getting back into the swing of things, doing laundry, balancing my checkbook with all the damage I did over the weekend...  I'll write up a race report soon, and get back to This Week's Eats next week.  For anyone who was wondering how the trip went (and if you don't follow me on Instagram), here it is in a nutshell, in photo-dump form:

Got to Seatac on Friday and promptly went to Butter London:

best thing ever - I will ALWAYS do this when I travel now.

I was able to get on standby for an earlier flight, so when I arrived I had time for some dinner at O'Hare, courtesy of Rick Bayless:

smoky garlic shrimp tortas, and keeping hydrated with Nuun, of course

Then on Saturday I hung out with my college buddy who ran Hot Chocolate with me.  I ended up walking at least 6 miles and taking nearly that many El rides around my old stomping grounds. 

MS paint skillz! Got out at Addison red line, walked to Wellington brown line, took that to Paulina brown line stop for lunch, took Paulina to Armitage stop and walked to North/Clybourn red line stop and back to the Loop
first apartment building, and yes, those are El tracks running right behind it - my bedroom window was right over the front door there.
first apartment living sans roommates

Hubs old apartment on Dickens, where we got engaged
First place we shacked up, Sheffield north of Armitage

site of our first mortgage, on Ashland

site of the original Blue Man Group production, I think I've seen it there at least three times

After my walkabout, I put my feet up for a bit and had a diet sprite by myself in the hotel room. (And that is a reference to Date Night.  If you haven't seen the brilliant performance by Tina Fey in this film, I highly recommend.)  Then I hightailed it to the most important food stop for dinner:

While I was in the Gold Coast neighborhood, I swung by my parent's old stomping grounds, and Butch McGuires.  A bar where they met, nearly 50 years ago.  It's right next to another bar called Mother's that was made famous in the movie About Last Night, if you're old enough to remember that one.
The next day was race day.  I switched down to the 5K because my hamstring has been a little achy and my friend hasn't been doing a lot of long runs.  Probably the best decision, as my leg is starting to feel better now and we had such a great time just leisurely enjoying the streets of the city and each other's company:

It was an absolutely GORGEOUS day!

I caught up with another friend after the race.  She actually made the big move out to Seattle at the same time we did, nine years ago (our husbands worked at the same company that relocated us) and has since moved home:

Love the Sears Tower in the background (no, it's not the Willis Tower in my mind)

I proceeded to get touristy:

Millenium Park - this was being constructed when we moved away.  Even though it has become a Chicago icon to many, it still seems like a 'new kid on the block' art installation to me.

Chagall's Four Seasons - my favorite public art installation in the city.

After a shower and change of clothes, we ate brunch with some FABULOUS Oiselle team ladies:

Erin, Me, Kimberlie, Kristine, Kelly (and two wee birds!)

I then spent the remainder of the weekend getting quality time with my oldest and dearest friends:

mmmm, tapas at Ba-Ba-Reba

We had drinks and a sleepover at my hotel! The Palmer House has been around since 1871 and hosted many business meetings I've attended over the years.  The brownie was also invented at the Palmer House!  How cool is that?
After our sleepover, we took our time getting out of bed, wandered State Street and had lunch.
The Walnut Room, as you can see from the menu picture, has been a tradition at Marshall Field's (Macy's you say?  BLASPHEMY) since 1905.  I haven't dined there since I was in grade school and never have when the tree is up, as it's usually an hours long wait.  However, it was a Monday, just days after it was lit, so we had no problem getting a table.  I'm not a big fan of too early Christmas decor, but under the circumstances, I'm glad it was decorated.

And then it was time to hop back on the El to the airport.  I'm pretty satisfied with all that I covered while I was home, but really, it's just the tip of the iceberg.  With all the amazing things to do in Chicago, I think I'd need a solid month to get the most out of my trip.  Maybe next time...


  1. Awesome! Glad to see you had a good time! It's been an honor having you on the team!