Sunday, November 28, 2010


Chi-Town. The Windy City. Chicago.

Whatever you wanna call it. It is a beautiful city. I so loved it there. Well except for the wind!

I didn't really know a whole lot about the city prior to going. I knew some of the main points that I wanted to see/do. The Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), Millenium Park, The Bean, Pizza, Wrigley Field, Michigan Ave, etc. What I really wanted to do was to just walk the city. I love exploring new cities. Especially by foot and subway. I guess I'm just a wanderer.

I have a friend that lives there that emailed me a lovely list of specific places to go. Restaurants, pubs and sites. We ended up at a bunch of the places she suggested.

My friend Jenn and I met up at Chicago O'Hare (which is a huge place to meet up with someone. just saying.). We both flew from California but we flew from separate airports. We each wanted to earn points on different airlines. We're nerds like that. So I flew out of LAX and her from Orange County. We got to Chicago within 10 minutes of each other. Perfect!

Taxi'd it to the hotel and then it was off to explore.

Ok. So let's talk about the deep dish pizza. The first night, we went to Pizzeria Due. We ordered our deep dish pizzas (which take about 40min to bake. Just fyi). I had no idea that the crust would actually be kind of like pie crust. And I hate pie crust! So ew. I didn't love it. However, the middle was good. Our concierge gave us her suggestion for pizza which was Pizano's. Pizano's was actually on my list from my friend. It also showed up in some of the magazines in the hotel. Apparently it's Oprah's favorite thin crust pizza. Pizano's was sooooo good. I loved it. I did have the thin crust though. I wasn't ready to try deep dish again. :-)

Overall, the city was great. I found it to be clean. Or maybe it was the rain. I noticed that trash is not piled up in front of stores along the street like in NYC. Chicago must use their alleys. :-) I loved the contrast between the city architechture and the river running between. Our weather kept changing so we got to experience all of that. It even hailed at one point which threw me off. I thought the wind was throwing dirt in my face. I was really grossed out. Then I looked at my jacket and noticed it was actually baby hail! You know I'm from Orange County when I'm thinking hail is dirt! Sorry, never have experienced hail before. haha.

I LOVED the pubs and restaurants there. Very old fashioned. Laid back but very nice. Not dive bar like. I think I would definitely drink more if I lived there. I really enjoyed the atmosphere.

Well, enough of my babble. Here are the pics from the trip. This was the first time I've used my new SLR camera on a trip. The pictures came out nice. I'm happy!

Self explanatory but this is the Chicago Riverwalk.

City scape

See what I mean about the city and water contrast? I love it!

I thought this looked like one of those Christmas villages. :-)

This was a church with an open courtyard. It was kind of creepy but cool! A nice find.

The courtyard

Millenium Park. Look at the colors!

The Bean in Millenium Park. Way too much fun.

Accidental extreme close up self portrait in the Bean.
Us in the Bean
I love the fall colors!

The EL. (Elevated Subway)


Me. My face was freezing. haha.

103rd Floor of the Willis Tower on 'The Ledge' which is basically like a plexiglass box that jets out so it looks down on the city. Scary. But so cool. Willis Tower is the 2nd tallest building in the world!

The ChristkindleMarket. A German Christmas market we found. They served hot cocoa, spiced wine and hot cider. They sold traditional German products/ornaments and food. We were also there for the official lighting of the Christmas Tree by the Mayor that night.

I loved these subway entrances along the street.

The tree lighting ceremony at the ChristkindleMarket. Fireworks included! Nice, free Christmassy event.

It was seriously like a Fa la la la Lifetime movie. I loved it!

TRAVEL TIP: When I check in at the hotel, I usually grab some of the magazines and maps that the concierge have. They are city specific and usually have subway and street maps that you can tear out and take with you. Some of them also have calendars of what is going on during your stay. They're free. Grab them and use them!!
Travel Girl's Chicago read:
Deception Point by Dan Brown (It was really good by the way. Read it.)
Travel Girl's Chicago playlist:
The XX's
Maroon 5 (a few of their new songs.)
Taylor Swift's new album (did you hear the song about John Mayer? omg. Awesome. Google it!)
Thanks for reading travel peeps!
Until next time...