The first time I went to Chicago was senior year of high school for an Orchestra trip and I was so tired from the excitement of going out of the state with my friends that I felt like I missed out on the actual trip. I also felt like I wasn't as interested in traveling back then and as a result, didn't fully appreciate my time in the city. So when my work trip perfectly aligned with a girls' weekend two of my sorority sisters had planned, I knew I couldn't waste a single moment of my second chance at Chicago. As soon as I stepped off the plane in Chicago, I was already impressed by their amazing airport!
We started out our girls weekend in Millennium Park at the shiniest and biggest bean that I've ever seen. Although the sheer amount of people there was definitely overwhelming, I still managed to sneak in a few fun photos. I would suggest coming here earlier in the day though to avoid the crush of people (and photos always look better with less people milling about anyways). The weather was gorgeous that Saturday and I throughly enjoyed my walk through the park. Don't forget to check out the Buckingham Fountain, which is just a 10 minute walk from the Bean! The Fountain reminded me of a smaller scale Versaille style fountain.
Next up on my Chicago bucket list was to drink bubble tea in Chinatown. And even though I do have a major obsession with bubble tea, the giant bottle of tea we received was even too big for me! I did really love the bottle it came in though because it was reuseable and could be put in your bag easily, which means I could take my time drinking the tea without feeling pressured to finish it quickly so I wouldn't have to carry an open cup. One thing that surprised me about Chicago Chinatown was that there weren't too many people walking around. If you've ever been to Chinatown in New York, the sidewalks are packed with people (local and tourists) taking in all the sights and smells or doing their grocery shopping. I thought Chicago's Chinatown would be a similar vibe, but it was pretty much empty on a Saturday afternoon.
As a pizza lover, I wasn't going to leave Chicago without savoring the famous Chicago deep dish pizza. I wasn't 100% sure that the thick crust would taste good to me over my usual thin and crispy crust pizzas. but both Giordano's and Lou Malnati's was delicious! And yes I did eat two different brands of pizza! Although, I found it weird that the tomato sauce would be on top as I personally prefer tons of cheese over sauce, but nevertheless, I still enjoyed the thick crust and various toppings.
Sunday morning we rushed to the Willis Tower (aka Sears Tower) to be one of the first people in line to take those iconic sky ledge photos, but sadly there were TONS of people already in line waiting for the 10am opening. But we weren't going to give up! My friends and I actually waited in 3 separate lines to take photos in 3 separate boxes. Definitely #dedication. The photos were worth it though! In the future if I were to come back, I think I would definitely come on a weekday instead because the number of people there was even more overwhelming that the Bean.
I stayed in the centrally located Hyatt Centric The Loop hotel and absolutely loved it. It was modern and serene and offered the peaceful getaway I needed from the hectic city below me. To be honest, I wasn't use to all the space after being cramped in my tiny New York apartment! Tip- There is a snack and coffee lounge on the 3rd floor of the hotel if you need a quick pick me up.
I'll be posting a separate post detailing all my Chicago food adventures so stay tuned! I ate a LOT when I there.