I traveled to Chicago recently for work and since it was Memorial Day weekend, Mr. GoodLife joined me for a 3 day getaway.
I grew up in a big cosmopolitan city (Sao Paulo, Brazil) so I am not usually impressed by big sky rises, glitz and glam, but Chicago’s flower lined streets, beautiful people, curvy waterways, wonderful food and fantastic architecture elevated the city to the top of my favorite US cities to visit in the summer. I absolutely fell in love with Chi-Town!
We stayed in two hotels at the Magnificent Mile, the Marriott and The Tremont and both were fantastic choices.
The view from the 44th floor in our room at the Marriott was absolutely amazing specially as the rain poured outside and the lightning lit up the sky. The only thing more interesting in this hotel was the “Beards and Leather meet-up” happening every night at hotel bar and the guys walking around the hotel wearing tight leather shorts and sporting vests (bare chested).
The location of the Tremont was convenient. It was located a block from the Magnificent Mile, John Hancock Center, Loyola University and the tourist office.
So what did we do during the long weekend?
We decided to skip most of the paid touristy stuff, partly because we can’t stand to wait in line and partly because we wanted a low key, spontaneous trip, away from the crowds that visit the 3rd most populated US city in the summer.
The day after I was done with work, we visited the local tourist office to get a free map and peruse possible attractions. The weather was so good we strolled a couple blocks towards the lake, stopped at the “beach” and ended up at the Navy Pier sitting on a bench lazily watching the boats go by.
We headed towards Millennium Park to visit the Cloud Gate sculpture best known as the Bean. I wonder what the sculptor thinks about the nickname given to his mercury inspired design. One thing he should be certainly proud is its popularity as people flock around and under it to take a cool selfie.
We ended the night trying some Korean fast food at Wow Bao- absolutely the best homemade Ginger Ale in history. The delicious steamed buns filled with meat, vegetable or chocolate are also delicious.
The next day we decided to buy a day pass (U$10) and take the “L” (subway/train) to Chinatown to see what we could find. After walking around the charming neighborhood and visiting the local park, we headed to the Randolph Street Vintage Market.
We spent the rest of the day perusing gorgeous handmade furniture, crafts and re-purposed items that I would have bought in a heartbeat if only I could carry back with me. I settled for good food, beautiful people and live music.
The next morning before heading back home, we wrapped up our long weekend with a stroll along the river, a visit to the marina and to Allen Edmonds to buy Mr. GoodLife a pair of good looking shoes that he had been coveting for our approaching anniversary.
His practical nature and overall full contentment with life make him an impossible person to shop for, so I was happy he was asking for something he wanted and not something he needed.
The shoes may have seemed like a splurge, until the saleswoman began telling me about the benefits of an Allen Edmonds pair of shoes. I can’t remember the whole thing, but basically the shoes are darn comfortable, built by hand and can last for the next 10-15 years. You can take it in for tune-ups and re-builds for 1/3 of the price when needed. I was sold. I just wished I had found out about them earlier and that they made comfortable and yet stylish women shoes.
There will be no more racking my brain during birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. Thank you Allen Edmonds and thank you Chi-Town for a wonderful weekend!!!
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