Another one of my favorite adventures has been Chicago. So full of life and culture. I must admit I am a bit of an architecture geek. Not kidding, I dare to admit I actually have a Frank Loyd Wright Coloring Book, and I may or may not actually have colored it in with the precise Pantone shades, LOL. Speaking of being an architecture geek, the hotel I stayed at was Embassy Suites in Rosemont just a block or so from the Airport, it is with in walking distance from the subway station. This hotel is an homage to Frank Loyd Wright. The hotel has windows, carpeting and many other details that all reflect the images of FLR inspiration. The crown moldings and traditional recessed wainscoting treatments on the walls and it has a very craftsman type feel. The hotel did not disappoint. I can say the Hilton brands in general never disappoint me and always go above and beyond my service and quality expectations. The complimentary breakfast was hot, fresh and made to order.
The first thing I did after getting settled into my room was to grab a bite to eat for lunch at Basil's (the hotel's restaurant and bar) I had a refreshing summer salad and a tall glass of unsweet tea (why yes, yes I am a northerner lol). I went back to my room and enjoyed a nap. It sounds like a waste of time but that bed was so fluffy and soft! As a mom to three kids, I take advantage of nap time when I can. After my nap I was able to explore a bit and found out from the friendly front desk staff that there was a free concert and fireworks show in the park across from the hotel later that evening. I spent the rest of my afternoon exploring the Rosemont area and found there was a large outlet mall and a King's concept bowling alley/gaming center with food and drinks. I also discovered an I-fly indoor skydiving center nearby.
The next day was an all day conference and they brought in Giordano's deep dish Chicago style pizza for lunch! Giordano's is something one must experience while in Chicago, I am more of a Brooklyn style pizza lover but Giordano's was really good. Once the conference was finished, I decided to jump on the subway and take the blue line to downtown. Once downtown,I walked around a bit to see what I could see. Then I ran across a BIG BUS tour. In just about every major city in the U.S and abroad you can find Big Bus. They allow you to hop on and hop off as much as you like throughout your day and you pay a flat rate or a multi day rate. There are also several different tours you can choose from. It's an inexpensive mode of transport too. I am just going to let my photos speak for themselves. I had a terrific time.
So much to do and so much to see in this amazing city. Since I was actually here for a business convention, I only had one day to see and do it all. I took in as much as possible, the bus tour helped me to see a lot of the city and get some great photos. I kept hearing about this great place I just had to try called Eataly. Eataly is an authentic Italian dining and shopping experience. When you walk in the door downstairs you are surrounded by all sorts of Italian wines, spices, and pastas for purchase, just off to your right there are several different dessert counters, offering Gelato, and countless hand made desserts ordered ala carte and customized to your liking. I tried the salted caramel chocolate gelato with chili. It was a party on my lips! Afterwards, I headed upstairs for appetizers and the main course: Yes, I ate dessert first! Upstairs there were many different food counters to choose from: a caprese bar, a micro brewery, wine and antipasti specialties, and of course fresh from scratch pizza and pastas. I sampled several of the charcuteries and then had the house made goat cheese Agnolotti with a Granita. I finished off my Eataly experience with a nice limoncello.
The nice thing about Chicago is that it is a very walkable city, I took the L train from the airport to the down town red line and was able to safely walk and explore everywhere I wanted to go. I left Eatly, and headed a few blocks away to the Navy Pier. The Navy is an iconic Chicago landmark housing a plethora of local city vendors, arts and cultural acts. The city holds many different cultural, artistic and community events. The day arrived they were actually hosting a community foam party in the front of the venue and everyone was invited to participate but I refrained. The pier was bustling with people, there were all sorts of shops and what I like to consider carnival or fair type food vendors. The Navy pier has a giant Ferris wheel and snack vendors of all types and in the summer on Saturday nights they offer a complimentary fireworks show that would put most 4th of July shows to shame.The fire works were spectacular, I sat on the steps of the venue with many other viewers taking in every moment!
Photo Courtesty of https://navypier.org/