Chi-town + great friends

I. Am. In. Love. with. Chicago. What more can I say? Although I was technically there for “business,” it turned out to be more of a super fun girls’ weekend. Here are the highlights…

American Girl Chicago at Water Tower Place


Who didn’t love American Girl growing up? Felicity was my first doll and then the look alike. I remember having the pool party set and bunk beds. My niece, Brynna, has just started collecting the dolls so we took all of my old stuff out of the boxes and played while we were home for Christmas. It was SO much fun. My parents didn’t really think it was so fun considering that American Girl pretty much took over the living room. The Chicago store is gigantic…complete with a doll hair salon, doll hospital and cafe. I also learned that the older dolls (yes, my doll is now old) were made in Germany and are now considered collectors’ items. What a great investment.


No one explained to me that light snow in Chicago = 1-3 inches. It was gorgeous!


Chicago skyline built from Legos!



Tory Burch in Nordstrom! It even had a bench where I could admire the bags. Bloomingdale’s even had a Nespresso boutique! I was able to purchase the limited edition pods without a minimum order AND I even got a free espresso sample. I would move to Chicago simply for that luxury.

Trattoria 10


Black tagliatelle pasta with shrimp, mussels and calamari at Tratorria 10. Pasta is made fresh in house – dyed with squid ink. I felt like such a foodie.

Oriental Theatre


We saw American Idiot based on Green Day’s album. It was very different than other Broadway shows I have seen, but an interesting interpretation of modern day America. I definitely left the show with a new perspective and a lot to think about.

SkyDeck! The 103rd story of the Willis Tower – WOAH!


Ok, here comes the food. Probably 50% of my time in Chicago was spent enjoying every possible opportunity to be a foodie. I think it was a success!

Eleven City Diner


Killer Challah bread french toast with coconut to bring out all the sweet fruit and syrup flavors!

Bongo Room – oh where should I begin…


Chocolate French Toast with bananas and a vanilla cream sauce and a beautifully colored chocolate shaving for garnish; pumpkin pecan pancake with creme brulee sauce and graham cracker crumbs; pretzel pancake with creme brulee sauce and carmel swirl; red velvet pancake with vanilla cream and graham cracker crumbs! NO, I didn’t eat ALL of these! But, I wanted to. Turns out you can order just 1 pancake, so of course I ordered 2 (1 of each) so I could have a sampling. I recommend the ‘sampler’ because 1 kind is just not enough.

  Malnati’s pizza! World famous Chicago pizza. It did NOT disappoint!

The Bean in Millenium Park


Shocker – I did go to the conference! Actually quite a bit of the conference and it was great, but shopping, eating and exploring a new city with great friends in downtown Chicago was way better! So, go to Chicago and make sure to check out these super fun places!

Happy travels!



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