HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAZ!!!!
This entire post is dedicated to my trip to Chicago for my friend Jaz's 26th Birthday. And for those that didn't catch the hint(All Falls Down by Kanye West lyric) from the title, we went to Chicago!
This trip was seriously a last minute thing. We booked our flight probably about 3-4 weeks(give or take a week or two) out and we booked our hotel the day before flying out! But for this trip to be spur of the moment it was a super amazing time.
We had a plan, Jaz did all the booking of flights and the hotel, Sek and I were in charge of activities. Somehow my job became being in charge of where to eat. Best job ever might I add.
Jaz and I flew out on Thursday afternoon, Sek flew out Thursday evening. The first day we explored a little, Jaz and I went out to eat at this place called Tapas Valencia. If you like tapas styled food, then this would be a decent place to eat. You can check it out here. The staff was very attentive and the customer service was excellent. Sek arrived late that night and we were sleeping when he got in.
The hotel we stayed at was the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. Lovely place, connected to the Convention Center. Only thing I will say is that they have pretty early quiet hours. 9PM to 5AM. There were a lot of early risers at that hotel, I believe because of different conferences being held at the Convention Center. So if you're a light sleeper and you like to sleep in, I wouldn't recommend this place for you. It's more of a business hotel. We lucked up by snagging a room the night before our plane left. But that's another story for another post.
Sight Seeing & Meeting Old Friends
I had french toast donuts, simply heaven. I have yet to taste anything as amazing as those donuts. I need to make them myself. Let me know down below if y'all would want me to make french toast donuts and share the recipe. Jaz had an omelet skillet. Sek had smoked salmon eggs benedict. And we shared brunch nachos. SO GOOD! I will let the pictures do the talking for these meals.
Unfortunately they don't have a website (that I could find) but if you Google "Brunch Chicago" it'll be right on the side with their address and phone number. Also, they take reservations via Open Table so you can always go that route to secure a spot for your brunch experience. Seriously, try it out. And be sure to get the pomegranate blueberry mimosa, you won't regret it!
After Brunch we did a little sight seeing. We took pics at the Chicago River and met up with my friend Kyra. She is the sweetest girl on earth, you guys. Sometimes we make internet friends and nothing really comes from it, but this girl is a true friend! We've known each other since around 2009/2010 but we met for the first time on my trip to Chicago. I most definitely have to go visit her again!
We tried to go to Harold's Chicken but it relocated. So next time I'm in Chicago I have to try Harold's. I hear its a place that you HAVE to visit, if not you didn't do your Chicago trip correctly. So I most definitely have to go back and get some chicken from Harold's. But instead Kyra took us to The Bean, Grant Park & Millennium Park and we got to take some really nice pics, cause you know we had to do touristy things!
After parting ways with Kyra we went to a rooftop bar called Cindy's on S. Michigan Ave. This was probably one of my favorite things of the whole trip. It gave such a great view of the city and the Lake. It was really nice to take it all in from so high up (which you'll later see that I went even higher and got an even better view of the city later in the trip). We stayed there for about an hour and watched the sun set, well kind of, it was pretty foggy up there. I was so excited to see the buildings light up. Sue me, its the little things in life that make me happy. After we went bar hopping. It was a cool night out. Very chill, nothing too fancy.
Magnificent Coloring Day - Chance The Rapper & Friends
Our best day in Chicago was Saturday. So, backstory, Sek and I were trying to figure out exactly what we wanted to do to celebrate Jaz's birthday while we were there. Sek saw that Chance the Rapper was having a concert and said we HAD to go. This was the perfect birthday present for Jaz. So we snagged tickets just in time. Because shortly after they sold out. Literally the day before we left to go to Chicago she saw a flyer for the concert and saw that it was sold out. She was so sad! I felt bad that we couldn't tell her right then but it was worth the wait.
We went to Kanela Breakfast Club in Old Town. It was pretty lit. We also got to try an apple cider mimosa. So bomb! Listen, Chicago knows how to do brunch!! The couple next to us was intrigued by the fact that I was taking pictures of our drinks. So I had to explain why I was taking a picture. But shout out to them for letting me take pictures of their food. It made it on the blog!
After eating we sang Happy Birthday to Jaz and surprised her with the tickets. I got it all on video and even though she's going to hate me for it, I posted it on my new Instagram page. Be sure to check it out there and follow me if you aren't already! Surprising one of my dearest and oldest friends and seeing her over come with emotion made me so happy. I love to do things for my loved ones so this brought me so much joy. Highlight of the trip!
After all the tears were wiped away we made our way to U.S. Cellular Field for the Magnificent Coloring Day concert. You guys, most lit concert award goes to Chance the Rapper. He really pulled out all the stops for his city. It was really amazing to go to a concert in another city and see how much love artists get when they are back at home.
The line up was pretty dope. We didn't get there on time so we missed two of the opening acts. But we got to see Tyler the Creator, John Legend, Collegrove(Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz), Alicia Keys & Chance. There were a few, surprise guests that we were not expecting. John Legend brought Common on stage during his set and they sang Glory. Kanye came out and sang a lot of his great hits. Chicago went crazy. Shoot, we went crazy too. It's Kanye West, he's a dope artist! It was awesome to experience Ye for the first time in Chicago.
|Chance was chilling right above us before his set.|
The concert was an all day event. We arrived at 3pm and didn't leave until around 11pm. Oh no to mention guys, Chicago traffic is horrendous. It took us over an hour to get to the concert by Uber. The drive itself was only supposed to take about 20 minutes, tops. Then trying to get an Uber back to our hotel was crazy. It took nearly an hour and 2 Uber drivers later for us to finally get picked up. But its safe to say that Chicago showed up and out for Chance.
Navy Pier & Willis Tower
We went o the Navy Pier to check it out. We kept hearing good things about it from locals so we had to check it out. Its a big space with plenty of restaurants, shops and touristy attractions. There were some gorgeous boats where you could sight see, have lunch/dinner, etc. It was really a one stop shop for everything Chicago.
We ate at a Mexican restaurant, the food and drinks were pretty good. But I think there are plenty of other places you can go eat as well. You can't go wrong with your choice. If you have children with you the Chicago Children's Museum is located at Navy Pier as well. I was trying to convince my friends to go but they weren't really having it.We took what felt like a million photos. All trip I kept saying, "Wait, I have to get a picture for my blog!" Listen being a blogger is hard work, haha.
We went to the Chicago Sky Deck in the Willis Tower. It was our last day and we wanted to continue the tourist activities. The Sky Deck was such an amazing experience. We were able to look out at the whole city of Chicago. If you guys want to check it out for yourself you can go here. I suggest doing it, but if you're afraid of heights you don't have to go out on the ledge (pictured below). But the room has windows that allow you to look out over the city. Very reminiscent to the scene in Lion King where Mufasa tells Simba that everything the light touches is their kingdom.
I tried to squeeze as much as I could into one post for my Chicago trip. I hope you all enjoyed reading about my trip to Chicago. I had a wonderful time and cannot wait to go back. Also guys, be sure not to allow the media to stop you from traveling to different places. Do your research on where you should stay and some fun things to do. A lot of people had concerns for my safety for my trip, but I didn't. I did my research about everywhere my friends and I went. Google is most definitely your friend! See you guys in my next post.
|Soldier Field home of the Chicago Bears|