Chicago: a city full of historical architecture. A city where you can see the skyscrapers from the beach. A city where you will eat the best pizza and the best hotdog.
Chicago: the city where my husband and I found ourselves kid free for the first time in years. A city where we made new discoveries and refueled our passion for creativity.
“Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world”- Frank Lloyd Wright. (A native Chicagoan and architect). As we spent several days walking around this culturally and historically rich city it was easy to see why.
Warehouses built decades ago became the main offices for major modern day cooperations. Buildings from different era’s were stacked side by side. Architects from different generations payed homage to the designers and architects who came before them.
As beautiful as the city was it is worth noting the best parts of this trip were the simplest. The little things you learn to appreciate when you have small children. Like drinking a cup of coffee while its still hot. Taking a shower because you feel like it.
Eating out somewhere you’ve never been to. Or ordering in food instead of cooking it yourself. Taking the scenic route home. These are really the perks of any vacation or trip. A break from “normal” life.
We saw and did so much while we were in Chicago. But what I enjoyed the most was the change of environment. And how a new environment invoked a new sense of wonder.
Wondering how people live the way they do, the purpose behind why something was made, wondering about the meaning of the beauty around me. Seeing what existed beyond my own small world made me want to learn more and create more.
On the first day we went on an architecture boat tour. As overrated as it seemed it turned out to be one of the best things we did. Seeing the city from the view of the river and learning the history behind each building was fascinating.
We saw the famous “ bean” sculpture located in millennium park. It reflects the entire city behind you as well as your own reflection. We couldn’t be tourists in Chicago and not see “the bean.”
We were so lucky to have a local show us the sights. It meant we saw most of the things on the “must see” list for Chicago but also beautiful places that didn’t make the list. The Chicago Public Library was one such place.
The outside alone was stunning. Then we went to the top floor and it was an oasis. Huge windows reaching from floor to ceiling filled the room with natural light. The ceiling and walls were built with a bluish/greenish marble. Plants were everywhere. And such sweet silence. I could have stayed there for the rest of the trip.
After a full day of seeing all the things we ended it the only way you can end a full day in Chicago. With a deep dish pizza from Lou Malnatis .
You truly haven’t eaten pizza until you eat a deep dish pizza. The thick flaky crust, the sausage and the sauce on top of the cheese. It was all mouthwatering.
On the second day we went to Garfield park conservatory. Easily my favorite place we visited during our whole stay in Chicago. Every room was like a portal to another place.
My favorite rooms were the dessert room and the fern room. It was like one huge gorgeous indoor garden. The ceilings were built of all windows and there was lush greenery everywhere. A photographers dream and a nature lovers dream.
Then we headed to the “beach” or more appropriately the shores of Lake Michigan. Since I am from Texas seeing water on the shore that wasn’t colored dark brown was a pleasure all its own.
The breeze blew stronger on the shore. We were able to see the water meet the sky in one direction. And in another-direction there were sky scrapers and the city.
We finished off day two with an Italian beef sandwich from LuLu’s and grabbed drinks on the 96th floor at the Hancock tower. The best view was in the women’s bathroom. I’ve never seen such a view in my life.
Being on the 96th floor with the love of my life led me to thinking. Thinking of what the past 5 years had held for us. Taking in this view together was one of the most profound moments of our journey in Chicago.
The third day of our journey held so much excitement. We got coffee and donuts from Stans. I’ve never been overly fond of donuts but the coconut cake and old fashioned blueberry were to die for. We followed up donuts and coffee with several hours walking around at the multi-cultural building and the art institute.
Both the multi-cultural building and the art institute were so inspiring. Being able to see art that has been preserved for hundred of years. Especially art that no one in our modern society would have the patience to create was truly thought provoking.
Art for the sake of art and beauty apart from function have always been one of my favorite things. I saw works by Picasso, Cy Twombali, and Andy Warhol. Even if you can’t travel all the way to Chicago I highly recommend a journey to an Art museum closest to you.
Our tastebuds had the most explosive experience at Portillos on day 3. Hotdogs are not one of my favorite things. But a Chicago dog is.
A hotdog with relish and mustard, tomatoes, a pickle, and a sesame seed bun is so much more delicious than I could ever describe. We topped that off with a chocolate cake shake. About the cake shake I will just say it is the best idea ever.
Every city has it’s own unique beauty, history, culture, sights and flavors. There are so many reasons to go see, taste, and explore Chicago. But for us our trip to Chicago was more than just having fun and eating good food.
It was experiencing new things together and reconnecting with each other in a new way. Discovering Chicago fed our passion for creating. And that is always a worthwhile reason to travel.
About the Blogger: Hannah Lacy
Hannah is a mother, wife, photographer and writer who enjoys sharing stories. She is passionate about creativity and womanhood. She spends her days surrounded by her boys.