Christmas came early for me this year because… my boyfriend surprised me with a weekend trip to Chicago!!
I grew up in Chicago, my family all lives in Chicago, but I haven’t been back in a few years. And every Christmas, I always feel a little sad not making the trip out to see my grandparents and eat homemade tortellini. So not only was the trip fun for me, but it was also special!
4 am wakeup calls lead to delirious selfies and insta-worthy sunsets. The flight might’ve been early, but it’s also one of the smartest moves we made.
And of course, being in Chicago, you’ve got to check out The Bean. And take more selfies.
I’ve been to The Bean more times than I can count, but I still think it is a totally cool tourist spot. The mirrored piece of art is so much fun to look at and admire.
It’s not Chicago without Lou Malnatti’s. This is my favorite pizza EVER and you have to try it when you come into the city. This place is famous for their deep dish pizza and I gotta say – I know exactly why.
Another fun thing we checked out was the Christkindlmarket. This is a fun annual German holiday fest. I might be smiling in this picture, but I was NOT a huge fan of the spiced mulled wine. The souvenir mugs my boyfriend and I got were very cute though.
The Shedd Aquarium is one of my favorite things in Chicago and by far, the best aquarium I’ve ever been to. Look at how cool those seahorses are! They also have a huge blue lobster, which is very rare to find.
One of my boyfriend’s requests was going to a steakhouse in Chicago. My grandpa suggested Gene & Georgetti, which was super delicious. I had a limone veal and my boyfriend had a filet mignon. We split a huge helping of garlic mashed potatoes.
The Palmer House where we stayed was absolutely beautiful and I’d go back in a heartbeat. I felt so glamorous staying at this gorgeous, historic hotel.
Being in Boston, we also had to check out some of the coolest blues joints in the city. We went to a really awesome show at the Kingston Mines, where we watched bands perform on two different stages.
Even though it was extremely foggy, I wanted to show my boyfriend the Chicago skyline. We visited the John Hancock Tower and went to the Signature Lounge on the Ninety-Fifth. A bit pricey, but it was all for that view.
Look at that gorgeous lobby and that stunning tree – seriously I couldn’t get enough.
We also went to the cutest lil cafe (that totally belongs in Cambridge) called Goddess and the Baker. We stopped here before meeting my family for brunch, so we grabbed some caffeine to recharge after a long, jazzy night.
For brunch with my family, we hit up a place called Uncle Julio’s, which is right up my alley. Perfect combo of breakfast and Tex-Mex.
What I love about any city in December is their own dressed up rendition of celebrating the holidays. And let’s just say, Chicago did not disappoint. I couldn’t help but get into the Christmas spirit.
I can’t wait to go back in the summer! What is your favorite thing to do in Chicago? What do you always want to try in a new city?
Until next time – stay curious!