Back from Chicago and over the post-vacation blues

My vacation trip to Chicago was so much fun that I had some bad post-vacation blues for a couple weeks since coming back to reality.  Now that I’ve been able to pick myself back up, I’m finally ready to share some highlights from the amazing city. 

My hubby and I stayed at the Hotel Sax, which is above the House of Blues and overlooks the river.  It is within walking distance to the Magnificent Mile and all the awe its storefronts have to offer.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to do a whole lot of shopping, but still had a great time looking and admiring, a la Katt Williams.    The cleanliness and service of this hotel were impeccable and it is now the only place I will stay on my trips to Chi-town. 

View from our room

View from our room

During our stay, we were fortunate to get a reservation at one of the city’s hottest restaurants, Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard’s Girl and the Goat.  This restaurant provided me THE best dining experience of my life.  The service was amazing, the restaurant is beautiful and rustic with a business casual crowd, not stuffy at all.  All flavors were balanced to utter perfection and the execution was to the highest standard.  I look forward to visiting again the next time we’re in town.  My hubby and I shared the following courses and drinks:

  • Goat liver mousse with peach mostarda, com relish, crumpets
  • Hamachi crudo with crispy pork belly, chili aioli and caperberries
  • Wood oven roasted pig face with sunny side egg, tamarind, cilantro, red wine-maple, potato stix.
  • Raw Chef Creek Muscatel radish mignonette, tarragon
  • Wagyu tartare smoked uni with summer apples, shiitake
  • Pear parsnip cheesecake
  • Claire’s Cooler Zaya 12 year Gran Reserva, Germain Robin Absinthe, Lime, Peychaud’s Bitters and basil
  • Imperial Stout . Goose Island Bourbon County Stout Chicago, IL . 15%

Girl-and-the-Goat

We also drove up to beautiful Wisconsin to visit some friends during our stay.  We visited the famous Mars Cheese Castle, which VP Joe Biden had just stopped at a week earlier.  This place is chock full of all kinds of queso and we ended up buying up a pretty big stock.  If you’re a cheese fan, this place is dangerous!  My favorite varieties were the 13 yr old aged cheddar which is mellow and nutty, their cheese curds are squeaky and delightful, they have a chocolate cheese which tastes fudgy and light and creamy.  In addition to fab cheese, Wisconsin is home to some super nice locals.  Everyone we met had a good attitude.  I’d live there.

castle

This trip really focused on fun times with friends and fam, lots of walking to check out the gorgeous architecture around the city (Frank Lloys Wright galore!), and of course, lots of tasty treats.  I really wanted to see some snow, but wasn’t lucky enough for that this time.  Oh!  We were also in town on election day and I must say the city was all abuzz  when the best man for the job won!  That was an added bonus.  Who wouldn’t be blue after so much fun packed into 10 days?  😉

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Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio

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University of Chicago campus

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Another Frank Lloyd Wright house in Oak Park

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University of Chicago campus

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University of Chicago campus

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University of Chicago campus

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Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House

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Crowd at the CNN election party just before the results were announced

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Our celebratory bottle of champagne after the election results were announced

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Mural in the Pilsen neighborhood

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Doorway in the Pilsen neighborhood

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View during our walk back from Girl and the Goat

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I heard President Obama has Harold’s flown in from time to time. I believe it. It’s that good!

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River walk

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I still haven’t taken the El yet.

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Anyone know this building?

I ❤ Chicago. 

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