From the Magnificent Mile to Millennium Park...
Hey lovelies! So middle America is always a place of comfort for me. Growing up, many summers I would go to Indiana to spend time with my cousin. I remember the corn fields and just indulging in a totally different America than I was used to in small town Idaho (a story for another day btw). Taj, my fiancé, is a full-time grad student in Michigan. Many times a year, we both go back and forth between Connecticut and Michigan. Most times, when I travel by plane to Michigan, I fly into Chicago as it is two hours away from the town he lives in in Michigan. This time, we decided to stay a couple of days before heading to Michigan and boy, was it worth it??!!!! Scroll down for more...
I have been on this spontaneous kick lately. So my travels have been booking trips the day before and hotels a couple hours before. DO NOT DO THIS! It ends up in unnecessary expense. There needs to be a certain amount of planning that goes into it if you care about where you are going to stay and your mode of transport. Luckily, there are some awesome sites like hotwire.com that accommodate last minute planners like myself. And awesome fiances who are there to pick you up whenever you are wanting to see them.
I flew into Chicago from New York City on a flight that I purchased for less than $150 round trip and booked about 1.5 weeks in advance. My plan was to catch a bus from Hartford to NYC but I overslept so I had to drive to NYC. I found a parking lot online that I scored for about $90 for a week which is a WIN for NYC and they shuttled me to the terminal. Traveling around Chicago was easy as Taj (my fiance) had his car. One thing to always budget for is parking fees in downtown Chicago. They are astronomical and for two days it was $85.
I booked a top secret hotel via hotwire and I was so excited to see what I got. I reserved a 4 star hotel and luckily got The Drake Chicago which is Chicago's oldest hotel for $$250 for two nights. When I got to my room on the first floor, our view was a concrete block. How dare they? So I called and they told me an upgrade would be $100 for both nights so I took it. I ended up staying in the executive suite upstairs with a lake view which was perfect. I had budgeted for $250 but ended up spending about $400 with room service for both nights which was astronomical. So yes, although it was a great view, ultimately it wasn't worth it.
WHAT TO DO?
The Drake Chicago is located at the start of the Magnificent Mile. We were steps away from shopping, tourist activities, and good eats. On day one, we meandered to the John Hancock Center to go up to 360 Chicago which was located just around the corner from the hotel. We got the best views of the city and also did the tilt. My pilot fiancée can fly planes with no problem but it afraid of heights lol. So as I titled in and enjoyed the view, he stuck out his rear end and avoided it! After doing that, we had worked up an appetite. We headed to Food Life Chicago just one building away for lunch and it was incredible! The concept of all these different stations in one place was exhilarating and also, great for people with different tastes. It was so good actually that we went there for lunch both days we were in Chicago. Here is a comprehensive list:
1. Millennium Park. Go see the famous bean and maybe you will catch a concert at the park.
2. Walk the Magnificent Mile. Lots of sites to see.
3. Navy Pier. Visit this famous landmark.
4. Willis Tower. Go stand on the all glass sky deck and overlook Chicago if you can.
5. John Hancock Center. Go tilt like me up at 360 Chicago.
6. Bike around the lake with a rental bike.
1. Food Life Chicago. Perfect spot for everyone's tastes.
2. Nandos. Idk if this place is actually good or because I grew up eating it, its AMAZING. That Peri Peri Chicken is life.
3. Chicago Deep Dish Pizza. I didn't have any whilst in Chicago because my lactose was acting up but for you, when in Rome...
4. And since I was only there for two days, here is a more comprehensive list via Thrillest.
I dedicated this summer to exploring the USA. Every part of me grew increasingly fascinated with all the beautiful sites to see in the states. Each time I traveled, I was under the impression that I had to board a long long flight in order to enjoy myself. But truth is, there is so much beauty here in our homeland. Currently, I am in Orlando for the Blog Her 2017 conference. Today was the first day, and it was exhilarating (post to come). Two days ago, I was in Seattle where I had been for about a week. Many travel posts are coming you way. As always, thank you for the endless support! You guys are the real MVP's. Big Bisous!