Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Chicago, Illinois

After our NYC weekend getaway we started thinking we should do trips like that more often!  With that, we started entertaining ideas as to where we should go.  Joe was supposed to have Alta playoffs November 14 and 15 but they got postponed a week because of all the rain we had been getting and matches were not getting done.  That Thursday we entertained the idea of going to Chicago for a weekend getaway.  I texted Agatha, who is one of my good friends that lives there, to see if she was available.  Conveniently, it was her boyfriend’s birthday weekend so they had a party planned and that was all!  Friday morning we booked some last minute flights to leave at 6 AM Saturday morning.  We were super excited for a quick trip to visit some of our favorite people!
 This was the first time we had flown Frontier, but with flights under $200/person and booking them the day before we left we felt like it was a deal that we could not give up!  We woke up bright and early Saturday morning thinking our flight was at 6:45 and headed to the airport.  We figured the airport would be pretty dead and the security line would be short.  We got there shocked to find the line incredibly wrong, and our flight was at 6:15, not 6:45.  After a very stressful long wait in the security line, we took our bags and rushed to the gate which was terminal B.  After running with our luggage (we only had backpacks to save money and not pay for baggage) and getting to the farthest gate on terminal B the gate agent tells us the flight was moved to terminal D and we had 3 minutes to get there before the gate closed.  There was another lady behind us so we quickly turned around and made a mad dash to terminal D where we were once again at the farthest gate.  Sweating in our winter coats, we made it just in time before the doors closed.  It seems that it happened to a lot of people because there were quite a few people running through the airport to our gate.  Sweating in our winter coats, we were just happy to have made the flight!
After a quick flight we landed in Chicago and then took the train into the city where Ag lives.  We walked past a cute farmers market before making it to her apartment which is a beautiful apartment in a highrise overlooking the lake!  Man do I miss Chicago with that view!  Once we arrived Ag cooked up an amazing breakfast with eggs, sautéed veggies, bacon, and sweet potatoes.  We sipped on our coffee and tea and enjoyed catching up.  After that it was time to spend some time outside.  The perk about booking a last minute flight is that you know what weather you will be having.  This has been an oddly warm winter so we were coming into 60+ degree weather in November in Chicago!  We had to spend some time outside!  We walked down the lake, went to the pier and relaxed there for a while, and then headed back to Agatha’s place.  After a couple hours outdoors and an early flight we needed a nap before dinner time!  After a quick nap it was time to get dressed and head to dinner!
Agatha had made reservations at Frontier which is a well-known restaurant in Chicago.  Although you can order whole animals, including alligator, we went for a lot of appetizers and split two entrees.  We enjoyed so many unique foods like duck tacos, duck heart skewers, turtle bolognese, rabbit liver, alligator legs, and I am sure so much more!  Joe and I split the chicken sandwich which I am pretty sure was the most amazing chicken sandwich I have ever had while Agatha and Wojciech had some elk brisket.  Everything was amazing and I think it is one of our top restaurants we have eaten at because it wasn’t super expensive and the food was right up our alley!  After that we headed to Wojciech’s party!  He rented out a room at The Bedford which was a really cool bar that had been converted from an old bank.  It was such a neat setting and we had a room in the back with our own bartender and some amazing appetizers that were passed around.  It was fun seeing some old friends that I had met in my short stint in Chicago and meeting new friends! Joe and I got tired pretty early since it had been such a long day so we headed to bed before it got too late.  We took an Uber back to Agatha’s place and were fast asleep in no time!
We woke up bright and early in the morning since the sun rises right where the windows are looking over the lake.  We laid around for a while before getting dressed and meeting one of Joe’s friends for brunch at Elly’s Pancake House.  I had the most amazing crepes there that were super healthy!  They were filled with Greek yogurt and berries and drizzled with honey on top!  I could eat those every day.  We had the best company for brunch, and then after brunch we met back up with Agatha and Wojciech at their brunch/lunch location.  They finished up eating and then we picked up the bikes to go on a bike ride!  Ag had 4 bikes so we hit the road with the bike squad and drove down to the peer and then saw some sail boat racing going on a bit past the peer.  We made it to Millennium Park where a lot has changed since I was living there.  We explored the park and then made our way back home.  We then packed up our stuff and headed down closer to downtown to have some reach Chicago hotdogs (I got an Italian sausage) from Downtown Dogs and grabbed desert from Ghirardelli.  Desert was to die for…the salted caramel hot chocolate was quite amazing and the Sunday we got was just the cherry on top of our mini trip!  Sadly, it was time to head to the airport to catch a late night flight back home and rejoin the real world.  We are so lucky to have such wonderful friends that entertained us all weekend and we absolutely adore them.  It makes me miss Chicago so much, but for now weekend getaways there will have to suffice.   
Two cuties bike riding

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