Another trip to my favorite city in the books! Welcoming in the New Year in Chicago with my best friends is just what I needed to kick off 2013. I hope you all had a fantastic celebration as well!
Chicago is simply the best. Even though I could be considered a southern girl, being raised in Virginia, I really am a midwesterner by heart. Maybe because my grandparents called Michigan home when my mom was born? I don’t know if its in my blood, but I do know the closer I am to Lake Michigan the more I smile.
I spent the last five days pretending I lived in the Windy City…meandering streets, checking out yoga studios, bar hopping, eating all of the food and just plain hanging with my bffs. Since Caitlin lives in Chicago now and Stef and I have both visited a bunch of times, we didn’t feel the need to sightsee or do anything too touristy. A pretty laidback vacation fit the bill.
I arrived Friday and got the chance to see a friend who was on a layover at O’Hare, with his baby!!! Ahh cuteness overload to start the trip!
Saturday was spent around town – breakfast at The Twisted Baker, shopping along Mag Mile, stopping in the Drake Hotel and digging into deep dish at Lou Malnati’s for dinner (okay, maybe we played tourist a little!).
Saturday night included some bar hoping around Old Town. After dinner we made our way to Old Town Social (cool vibe, young crowd), Old Town Alehouse otherwise known as “the best dive bar in Chicago” (interesting artwork and not so nice smell), Declan’s Irish Pub (fun people, normal scene) and finally McFadden’s (don’t worry, I’m judging myself). Somehow we managed to stay out to last call – 4am. Whaaaat?? Crazy town.
Sunday was appropriately lazy given our night out – starting with a delicious brunch spread at Nookie’s. If you are looking for a solid brunch option in Chi-town, Nookie’s will not disappoint. And, it’s BYOB (or for my preference, BOYChampagne). Solid.
Sunday evening kicked off with an experience I’m not sure I ever imagined… Beer and Bacon tasting at Paddy Long’s. I know bacon is super trendy, but I’d never been to a restaurant who has dedicated itself to serving up a bacon inspired menu.
They’ve gone as far as creating a scary bacon challenge – “The Bomb”. Five pounds of ground sausage, pork and beef mixed with spices, and then wrapped in a weave of brown sugar bacon and slow cooked on a pig roaster. If you can down it in 45 minutes you make it to their Wall of Fame. The fastest guy did it in just under 10 minutes! That’s sick!
Once our bellies were full of bacon, we made our way to Racine Plumbing. Yes, another bar! I really wasn’t kidding about eating all of the food and drinking all of the booze in Chicago. The Redskins were playing and fried cookie dough was in order.
We ended up meeting a group of guys from Arlington (VA woot woot) watching the Skins game too, so another late night ensued. A stop at Rose’s Lounge and then a dance party at Kingston Mines. Kingston Mines has two stages for amazing blues bands to battle the night away. A must do/see in Chicago. Open til 5am on Saturdays. Makes for a late brunch the next day!
We were a bit more respectable with our activities on New Year’s Eve/Day… details on Friday! Time to get back to reality, I guess.