Monday, August 26, 2013

Mini Vacation in Chicago

My family and I did a mini vacation in Chicago on Friday, August 16 through Sunday, August 18. One week before the trip, my sister and I were super excited. Once we crossed the Illinois border, we were jumping up and down excited. There's so much to discuss in this post, so it'll be long.
I love Chicago. It's a beautiful, but hectic city. Despite you can't see the stars in the sky, the high-rise buildings will leave you speechless. Don't even get me started on North Michigan Avenue also known as The Magnificent Mile. I could write an entire post about the shopping center of Downtown Chicago. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
Swissotel Chicago
View of the Chicago River
We stayed at Swissotel for two nights. I loved everything about the hotel. It's very contemporary with awesome views. The service and concierge are wonderful. The bedrooms and bathrooms are clean and heavenly. Swissotel is walking distance to the Magnificent Mile and the Navy Pier.
On Friday, my family and I checked-in at Swissotel and relaxed for awhile. Then we walked along North Michigan Avenue and ate at an terrible Thai restaurant.
At the Riva Restaurant eating Clam Chowder.
On Saturday morning, my family and I took a taxi to the Navy Pier. We ate at the Riva Restaurant, shopped at a handful of stores, and looked at the gorgeous view.
To finish off the mid-afternoon, we had seen Shrek The Musical at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. I loved the play and the musical numbers. It's a very memorable experience.
After spending a good time on the Navy Pier, we walked for awhile to get a taxi to North Michigan Avenue. I did not want to stop walking on the Magnificent Mile. The street is  all kinds of awesome and I couldn't get enough of it. The negative side of shopping in Chicago is you have to pay a ridiculous sales tax which is 9.25%, so it's like a $1.00 or more.
When I bought something on the Magnificent Mile, I saved the receipt for memorabilia. Believe it or not, I freaked out when the receipt said "_ _ _ North Michigan Avenue"! I think North Michigan Avenue might be my favorite street in Chicago. Once you're walking on the street, you're addicted to it. It was an honor to walk along the Magnificent Mile.

The Trump Tower
After my family and I shopped on North Michigan Avenue, we ate dinner at Bella Bacino's (recommended by Swissotel concierge). We also received a bonus - a view of the Trump Tower! I ate Shrimp Risotto and Tiramisu. Bella's Tiramisu is to die for. I'm craving some now. If only I could go back to Chicago just for the heavenly dessert.
On our way back to Swissotel, we stopped by Fannie May. I was in heaven in the store. I wanted to buy every truffle they had there, but I did not. At the end of the day, my sister and I swam in the hot tub and pool in the hotel. It was refreshing and ah-mazing.
The Bean
The Gold Coast
On Sunday, my family and I checked-out of Swissotel and drove around Downtown Chicago. We had a glimpse of The Loop, The Bean, and The Gold Coast. We also shopped in a few more stores on the Magnificent Mile.
Chicago had to come to an end at some point and it did. We headed home to Wisconsin with memories. Ultimately, Chicago is a dreamy city with prestigious streets. It's so much more than that when you vacation in Chicago.


  1. Glad you had a good time and got to see the Bean.
    Bad Thai food? That is unspeakable!!

  2. Chicago looks stunning!

    Glad you had a great time. Will you send me a link with your movie blog because I seem to miss your reviews

    K :-)

  3. I know several people who have visited Chicago and they've all came back with positive things to say about their trip. Thanks for the highlights and the pics, maybe one day I'll be able to visit Chicago too. Until then, I'm craving Clam Chowder!

  4. Sounds like you had fun! And I'm glad you got to experience Chicago. Michigan Avenue is one of my favorite streets too; I like walking up and down it and watching all the people. I love the Shakespeare Theater; it's great because you get a good view of the stage no matter where you sit.

  5. I LOVE Chicago! Looks like you had a fabulous time!