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A Trip To Chicago

by - Monday, May 26, 2014

Last month, we managed to sneak away for a few days in Chicago. I've been there twice before but  I never realized how similar Chicago is to my own hometown of Toronto. It feels like Toronto's big sister in a way... the people are friendly, the city is well laid out and easy to get around. One thing though that Chicago excels at is its appreciation of art and architecture.

It's a city with an exciting mix of old ornate structures and new modern masterpieces. Unlike my city where many old buildings have given way to nondescript condos, Chicago has found a way to give you a sense of history and a look into the future all at once.

No matter where I looked, up at the tall towers or down the L tracks, there was something that was picture-worthy. I loved walking the streets with HandyMan as he told me all about the birth of the skyscraper and the prairie style structures of Frank Lloyd Wright and beautiful homes in Oak Park.

There are few things I think are a "must do" if you're ever in Chicago:
1. Visit the Art Institute of Chicago. I can't tell you how stunning this museum is. From Monet's Water Lillies to Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, Van Gogh's self portrait and Warhol's Mao portrait, the Art Institute houses a comprehensive and stunning array of art. I sat and stared at Grant Wood's American Gothic for a very very long time. So many beautiful pieces of art to uplift and stir the soul!

2. Eat your way through Eataly. This is one place that stimulates your senses like no other. I've been to Eataly in New York and loved it so this was a definite stop on our tour. Its a store best experienced by eating your way through it. The pungent cheeses, the gorgeous food packaging... its no wonder we went there two days in a row :)

3. Grab a weekday lunch at Berghoff Cafe. Maybe it was seeing the office crowd grabbing their favourite lunch specials before heading back to work or the seemingly crazy ordering system that somehow worked, but I felt like I was seeing the "local Chicago" when we stepped into this gem of a restaurant. I found it on Urban Spoon (seriously, the best find to great eats when you're travelling) and though it was noisy, crowded, and busy, it was the best and cheapest meal we ate in the city. I'm still dreaming about those Tilapia Tacos.

Have you been to Chicago? I can't wait to go back!

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