Monday, September 9, 2013


 Every once in a while I have to do something spontaneous and break the vicious cycle. It's easy to fall into a funk; especially when so much of our lives are based around routine. Instead of spending a weekend in Charleston, which would have been pretty predictable but nonetheless enjoyable, I decided to fly to Chicago to meet up with my cousins.

Chicago Lakefront at Sunset
It was a quick trip; less than 48 hours spent in a city I had only known for its pizza and sports teams. But I came out of the weekend with such an appreciation for its history, architecture, cuisine, and culture. I proclaimed it "all the good things about New York City and then some more"....

Salted Heirloom Tomatoes with Balsamic Sorbet
Beets and Burratta 
Trenchermen on Urbanspoon 

We had dinner the first night at Trenchermen on W.North Ave. I read about this place in Bon Appetit's guide of the 50 best new restaurants of 2013. Let me tell you this place lived up to its expectations. Great interior space, cool bar, and crazy good food. The Beet and Burrata appetizer is incredible (I single hand-idly ate the whole thing, sorry family!). Other menu highlights were the Pickled Tater Tots appetizer and the Fried Chicken with Grits entree (its more like a roasted chicken). Great way to kick off a weekend in the windy city.

The whole point of our trip was to see the Impression, Fashion, and Modernity Exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago (sorry no pictures allowed). While I was abroad I missed a lot of these famous Impressionist paintings because they had been on loan at this exhibit (oh the irony)! The cool part about this exhibit was that it mixed famous paintings with outfits that were actually from the time period, and some were even featured in a few of the paintings. This exhibition will probably never display again, so it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us.

And of course no trip to Chicago would be complete without a visit to Millennium Park. I don't know if we took enough selfies with the bean...

I couldn't leave without having the infamous Chicago deep dish pizza. We chose Giordano's since it was recommended by almost everyone. I think the general consensus amongst my family was that we couldn't live in a city with pizza this would be far too dangerous.

While wandering around we discovered a Sprinkles Cupcake ATM machine where you can get Sprinkles Cupcakes late night....this is possibly more dangerous than the pizza.

Paris Studio with my cousins from Chicago and New Jersey
We spent our last night at Paris Club where we enjoyed a big dinner with our relatives who live in Chicago. After dinner we went upstairs to the Paris Studio Club which was hilarious considering half of our party was over the age of 40. Nonetheless we had a really great time and I think we definitely kept our parents young for a night.

Thank you so much to my cousins from Chicago who so graciously played tour guide for us and showed us the best of the city in a day. I had such an amazing time, Chicago is a city I could definitely see myself living in some day if I can finally conquer my fear of winter...

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