Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Mom's Weekend Out... Visiting Chicago

Well, it has been forever! 

So every now and then, I'd get these ideas in my head to type up some thoughts for this site.. but then somehow they just slip away into the depths of sleep.  This period of motherhood has been physically draining but I feel I'm in that turning point now... where my younger two kids are still pretty hands on physically demanding, the older two have slipped into the emotional drama world of the pre-tween years!

Therefore, a weekend away with my roomie from college was a welcome break from reality. So it turned out to be a pretty windy, cold, and wet weekend in Chicago... but that was the city we picked... a mid point between Cali and PA.  Despite the miserable weather, I still had a blast.  Not so sure it was as rewarding for my friend because she had to leave sunny, gorgeous San Francisco... but maybe next time we'll choose somewhere in the middle... but south!

Now about Chicago... I want to write a bit about this city.  I've never really spent much time here before and I love to visit different places.

I learned a lot about the history of the city and the architecture of the buildings making up the Chicago skyline on this fabulous river tour called River Cruise Tour.  Too bad it was freezing cold... lasted as long as we could on the top deck listening to the tour guide and gazing at all the tall buildings before heading inside for hot drinks and defrosting.

So what is there to do in a city when it is windy, cold, and wet?  Why, go shopping and visit museums of course! The Magnificent Mile  really does have a ton of stores. My friend bought a scarf and umbrella on this mile. I bought some tasty homemade toffee for my kids at the One of a Kind Spring Show. We also visited the  Art Institute of Chicago and spent most of our time admiring  Thorne’s Miniature Room display.
Doesn't this look real?

Now, a weekend is not complete without good eats.  Boy, we sure hit some yummy spots. Our hosts at our B&B Sono were super nice and made us delicious breakfast every morning.

Wild Berry Pancakes & Cafe  had amazing brunch food, so well worth the wait!  Totally get why they got 2260 reviews on yelp.
This was the mexicana sizzlin' skillet.  Mmmmm!

It was also nice that this place was right next to The Bean ...popular tourist attraction.

Shaw’s Crab House was pricey but a great place for seafood.

The Russian Teatime was probably my favorite. This was surprisingly filling!  We were so full from the top and middle plates that we packed the dessert plate to go.

Café Ba Ba Reeba for Spanish tapas was our last stop before we hit the airport.

Now thinking back to all of the places we visited in Chicago, I was most surprisingly impressed with the Lincoln Park Zoo.
For one thing, it is free... but what's more I loved how they organized and displayed all the different animals. It seems much effort was made to present each habitat to closely resemble the animal's natural habitat... more so than any other zoo I've visited... creative and artistic.
Look, you can almost touch this lion!

I now so want to take my kids here. We will have to plan a family trip here... but that will be a very different kind of trip.