Sometimes you just a need a quick getaway. A quick getaway to a very large city. Larger than you have ever seen. A quick trip that will really open your eyes to what is out there. What is out there to be explored. What is out there to be enjoyed. What is out there to just be. That quick getaway is to Chicago.
I honestly had the best time in Chicago. The ride from the airport to the hotel really just did me in. From that moment, I knew I could live in a city like Chicago. And by “a city like Chicago” I really mean Chicago. Not only was it a mesmerizing city but I also did this trip with my mom. It was so great to spend some time with her & treat her to a nice little vacation. I owe a lot to my mom, more than I can ever payback so spending the week with her in a BIG city was super cool and I think she also had a grand time.
Now let’s talk about why I loved Chicago!
- Y’all, we all know that Chicago is supposed to be one of the most dangerous cities in the US. Or at least that is what we are led to believe? I just looked it up and Chicago is actually listed #35 in dangerous cities, so is it even dangerous? I feel like everything I knew about Chicago prior to the trip is a lie. I NEVER felt like I was in danger or in a part of town that was unsafe. (I did stay in the loop the majority of the time) I went for a run one morning and felt very safe. Not only did I feel safe but I was overwhelmed with the views, which leads me into my next point.
- This city was soooo clean! You never saw trash on the streets. It never smelt dirty. And my favorite part, you never saw any naked body parts..(if you want to see naked body parts on the street go to NOLA) I only saw dog poop on one crosswalk, so I call that a win.
- The architecture. I think this is what blew me away the most. So many tall buildings. So many tall, beautiful buildings. They contrast each other so well and bring so much character into the city. They are so brilliantly put together and surrounded by water. There are commercial buildings but they have also converted industrial building into soft lofts that over look the Chicago River, Now that is a place I would like to live. *cough cough* After staring at the beautiful skyscrapers for so many days, flying back into Dallas was a total bummer..and driving out of Dallas to my house was even more of a bummer.
- The food. The pizza was literally a PIE. I finally understand why pizza is also called pie. The crust was pie crust, so doughy, so cheesy, so warm. So many options. (I did hear that if you go into a neighborhood outside of the city that their pizza is thin crust but just as good) The hotdog. Okay, the hotdog was a burger, but with a weenie and a hotdog bun. Honestly, you have to try one. I could eat one right now. We got our hotdog at a hotdog stand, of course, and I would do it again and again.
- The subway. I’ve taken the DART once and I did not like it one bit, but I LOVED the subway. It was so fast. So convenient. I swear I was made for public transportation. You just found the line you needed to be on and what stop to get off and BOOM you were there. You can read a freaking book while going from one location to the next. And I mean READ a book, not listen. How freaking cool.
- The people. Honestly everyone was nice but not in a southern way which I appreciate. As an introvert sometimes I feel like we have to be too nice. Talk too much, explain too much, show too much hospitality. Sometimes that really just wears me down. So, being around people that are nice but people that don’t really care about what you’re doing? Love that.
I also learned some cool facts!
- Did you know Chicago is called the Windy City? Of course you did, but did you know it’s because of their politicians, not the weather? Yeah, I didn’t know that either.
- Chicago is called the second city because they had to build it a second time after a huge fire. (that was not started by a cow)
- The second star on the Chicago flag stands for Fire. All of the stars stand for words that start with F.
Anyways, I had the best time. I hope you go visit soon. I will list my itinerary and accommodations below.
Day 1. Leave Dallas at 5:50 PM arrive in Chicago at 8:05 PM. Check into the hotel. Shower. Go to bed.
Day 2. I woke up and went to the hotel gym because it was cold and rainy. Got dressed. Walked by the Riverwalk for a little bit before our architectural boat tour. We did the 10:45 boat tour but I suggest doing the 10:00 boat tour. Our tour was full of high school students. After the boat tour we went a grabbed pizza and a beer at a pizza diner and then walked back to the hotel. From there we took a quick little cat nap before changing and catching the subway to Wrigley Field…where we watched the Cubs lose. After the game we caught the subway back to the hotel and tuckered out.
Day 3. I woke up and went for a run. I ran along the river walk all the way to the Field Museum but the whole time I was mind blown over the views. I walked back to the hotel, showered and got ready for the day. The first thing we did was walk to The Bean. It is so big and has the skyline behind it. Honestly worth the crowds. From there we went to the museum of Illusions and then to the skydeck, which you have to do! After leaving the skydeck we caught the subway to Fulton Market Place, where I had a burger and another local beer. My mom had spicy ramen! After we ate lunch we caught the subway back to our hotel. It was late afternoon and we had a nice dinner to get ready for. We took a quick little rest because we walked a TON and that can be exhausting. Then got dressed and headed to Godfrey’s. I chose this restaurant because I saw that it was “not a tourist trap” but had a great view and awesome food. I would say it was fine but I rate it a 6/10. You can do better. After dinner we walked a mile and a 1/2 back to the hotel. The skyline was so beautiful you just had to soak it all in.
Day 4. We both slept in. Once we woke up and got ready for the day we decided to eat brunch at the hotel restaurant, Fisk & Co. It was really tasty but a small menu. They had no flavors for their lattes and they waiter thought I was insane for asking for a lavender latte. After brunch we caught the bus to Firehouse 51! My mom & I both love Chicago Fire & P.D. so seeing the fire house was super cool! Unfortunately they weren’t filming but it was still awesome. From there we decided to go the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium. Both of these are HUGE and you could spend all day in both. They were great though. So much history, so well done. I totally suggest going to these! (make sure to get the City Pass) Once we finished with those two attractions ( they took like 5 hours) we grabbed a hot dog & ice cream and headed back to the hotel to recharge our phones before heading out again. We were supposed to go on a night kayak ride but unfortunately it was cancelled because of the weather. So instead we drank some beer, walked around and ate some food. After eating dinner we were both pooped so we called it a night.
Day 5. Wake up, pack, catch a flight back to Dallas.
Flights : Southwest (Love Field -> O’Hare) super affordable! Ended up being around $130 per person RT.
Hotel: I have an IHG credit card so I used points to stay at Kimpton Monaco Hotel. It was super nice. A great location. Awesome staff. My mom was so excited to stay somewhere that had robes! 10/10 recommend.
Transportation: Take the subway! You can buy a 3 day pass or a day pass. Way more affordable than Lyft or Uber. Also, be prepared to walk… a lot.
Enjoy some of my favorite photos and follow me on instagram to see my Chicago highlight!
Xx Kailey xX