Sometimes, you just need to get away…..from your kids….and your husband. Believe me, you are a better mother and wife for it. Or at least that’s what you can say to justify it. Mommy needs a break. Mommy DESERVES a break. So grab your besties and plan a weekend. Here is a perfect weekend escape to Chicago….or Chickago as my friends and I have dubbed it. We even had t-shirts made. We’re kind of crazy that way.
This boutique hotel is located a block from the Magnificent Mile, a shopping mecca, and let’s face it, you want to be close to the shopping on a girls weekend. It’s also reasonably priced at at around $230 USD per night and is within walking distance to many Chicago attractions. The Affinia Chicago is also home to C-View, Chicago’s top rated rooftop lounge. Order Redrums and sit and enjoy the Chicago skyline. Word to the wise; remember what Redrum spells backwards. Go easy.
Ann Taylor, Nordstom and Macy’s, oh my. Filene’s and Coach and Bloomingdale’s, oh my. We’re definitely not in Kansas anymore Toto. The Magnificent Mile really is magnificent. You’ll have a hard time pulling yourself away to go see the other sights. Also, if you have little girls, you must stop in at American Girl. Mommy guilt taken care of. As tempted as you might be to fit the high-fashion bill while strolling The Mile, leave the high heels at home. My feet were sore after wearing running shoes all day. It’s a lot of walking. Which means you’ll burn off enough calories for a fantastic meal (see below).
Ahhhh, you’re away from the minions. You can dress up and not worry about doing the dishes or forcing someone to eat their vegetables. Why dine at the same old, same old? Chicago is known for it’s incredible dining, so you should have no trouble finding a place that makes your mouth water. We found it at Graham Elliot. It was four foodie’s dream come true. Truly divine. You need to reserve a spot here, so as soon you book your flight, book your meal. You won’t regret it. Also, friends don’t let friends drink Chartreuse. Just sayin’.
Fox & Obel
Fox & Obel is a charming market that houses a café and bistro. We went for breakfast at the Café and had one of the best breakfasts I can ever remember. Maybe it had something to do with the company, but damn the food was fine. Homemade pastries, artisan bread, omelets and eggs benny. Sit and enjoy a leisurely breakfast here over big steaming cups of lattes and make that Chartreuse pact. When you’re done roam through the market and ogle the handmade chocolates and spices from around the world. If I lived in Chicago I would never leave here. (Updated: This has since closed. How sad)
On a girls weekend you really should do one stereotypical “touristy” thing. For us it was the double decker bus ride. Worth every penny. Chicago is rich with history and architecture and the bus tours make sure you see as much of it as you can in a short time. We went in late September and it was a little cool up top so dress warm. Chicago really is windy. Go figure.
If you go to Chicago and don’t stop at Garrett Popcorn you are committing an act of sacrilege. Not.Even.Kidding. This popcorn is so good, so delicious, it’s almost better than sex. And this is good right, because you miss your poor husband…who is at home with the kids. Bahahahahaha. Oh, that makes the popcorn even better. I have no personal picture to share with you of the Garrett Popcorn because nobody was willing to put the bag down long enough to take one. It’s that good.
So apparently there’s some debate on where to get the best pizza. Chicago or New York. I’m going to be like Switzerland and stay neutral on this one. If you like cheese, and I mean lots of cheese, Chicago is where you want to be. I think there may have been a pound of it on our pizza at Gino’s East on Superior St. A true deep dish pizza joint, Gino’s had a line-up out the door and down the alley every night we were there. Added bonus: It’s a graffiti friendly zone. Go ahead, write on the walls.
You can pack a lot of fun into a weekend getaway to Chicago. So grab a glass of wine and start planning. That’s half the fun. Talk to @exploreChicago on Twitter and check out the website here for planning tips.
P.S. Chicago is also a great family destination. I’m taking my family back someday for the Children’s Museum at Navy Pier, Shedd Aquarium, a baseball game at either Wrigley Field or Fenway Park, a riverboat ride, The Skydeck and probably American Girl again. Who can resist? Also, Oprah, I know your show is gone, but we’re destined to meet Oprah. I know you feel it too. 😉