There’s so much to do and see in Chicago it deserves more than eight hours which is all I could spare this time around, but what a fun journey I had exploring the parks, walking the Riverwalk, looking out over Lake Michigan, enjoying deep-dish Pizza and amazing cupcakes, and staying in a truly historic hotel. Oh, and wandering down Michigan Avenue for some great window shopping.
With my work ending very late in the evening I wandered back to my hotel for a quick bite. I picked the Parker Meridian by Hilton because if was more affordable than the alternatives and it permitted me to walk to my business dealings, and what a treat I was in for. Such fascinating history throughout the hotel from the Peacock Door to the Romeo and Juliet statue, majestic foyer where their restaurant and bar allow you to people watch and enjoy some scrumptious food. My room was quant but refurbished in true art deco form and it didn’t take much for me to imagine what the atmosphere must have been like in its original glory days. I wasted no time, even though it was late, walking past the Riverwalk to Michigan Avenue to take in some amazing window shopping and catch some interesting characters along the way from tourists to musicians.
Bright and early the next morning I bundled up, maps and a check list of stops in hand (remember I do my homework before I leave on my trips), my bags checked with the front desk to grab for my flight home at 6, I headed out on my adventure. First stop was a quick inexpensive bite to go, right next to the start of route 66 in the mid-west. I then sipped my tea walking past the Natural History museum, through the gardens and then to Millennial Park where I took a pic of my reflection in the Bean and of course cajoled someone to take my picture in front of it. There’s so much more to see in Millennial Park than the bean, from the amazing larger than life art pieces to the sprawling amphitheater. Chicago really had a plan for making their city a growing, vibrant, organic, outdoor and easily accessible for walkers to get from one point to another. As I always say, it’s important to have a map in hand in case you take a detour, shortcut, or get stopped in Millennial park by a tourist who had wondered too far and needed help getting back to her hotel. It’s a must to walk through Maggie Daley Park and head through the urban park/highrise areas on your way to Navy Pier. Its very majestic to take in the expanse that is Lake Michigan from the pier and see everyone enjoying the sights, sounds and food.
Somehow it wasn’t on my radar when I created my tour, but I happened past Molly’s Cupcakes when I took a shortcut from the Navy Pier back to the Riverwalk. I could write an entire article about the cupcake and experience I had at Molly’s. I ordered the peach cobbler cupcake and it was AMAZING! I can honestly say it was the most unusual and flavorful pack of peach I’d ever experienced in a cupcake, eating it on a swing. Their cupcakes are fresh and refrigerated because of the special ingredients. Plans are worth wandering away from and another important tip…never stick too closely to your plan or you may miss out on something worth exploring.
With a full belly I headed back to the Riverwalk, wandered into the Apple Store which has expansive views of the river and then headed back up to Michigan Avenue for one last view of the strip before heading back the Parker Meridien to grab my things. I couldn’t leave Chicago without enjoying some amazing Deep-Dish Pizza so my last stop was meeting up with friends at Pequod Pizzeria on the outskirts of the city. It didn’t disappoint with its amazing flavors, perfectly baked crust and terrific service. Just looking at these photos makes me hungry for it again.
After making it through Security at the airport I was told not to leave town without Garrets Popcorn in my bag. My friends were right, I had them bag up the original, cheese, and caramel. Best popcorn I’ve ever eaten.
Thanks Chi-town until next time,
Cheers, The Timeless Blonde