Hello & Happy Sunday to you all! Hoping everyone had a beautiful weekend. I'm starting this post from 35k feet, daydreaming out into the glorious clouds and feeling so incredibly happy & thankful for all positive things and wonderful people I have in my life. Heading home from an amazing weekend in Chicago with my mom and business partner... The 3 of us had the best time running around the Windy City (literally) checking out all the concepts on our list gathering ideas and gaining insight for our new business venture.
It was my first time to Chicago and OMG, what a fantastic city!! No doubt, gives NYC a little run for its money. There certainly is a special quality to Chicago that you just don't feel in New York. Spectacular city filled with high rises, eclectic architecture -- European even, AMAZING food, make-your-eyes-light-up shopping and warm & friendly people that actually make eye contact and say hello to you in passing on a slightly smaller scale. The city was super clean and had so many beautiful flowers and sweet, tree lined streets. If you've never been, definitely add to your list of cities to experience!
Now to get you caught up on the weekend...
Landed at O'Hare around 6pm, hopped in an Uber and headed to our hotel. Stayed at the Park Hyatt on Michigan Ave - awesome hotel & location. I was wishing this Park Hyatt was going to have a custom scent like the Park Hyatt Vendôme in Paris buuuut, immediately found out they didn't when I walked into the lobby and my nose was not greeted by some kind of magical scent! Meh ... Not complaining, tho! The hotel was totally gorgeous.
Park Hyatt Lobby. So Beautiful!
My mom & I's room! Beds were heavenly!
I swear one day I'm going to buy some Hotel bedding. It's like no other!
So no custom scent but they did have these lovely bath products - Neroli 36. Totally got extras to take home with me!! One of my other obsessions besides scarves would be scents!
I Just had to take a pic of this! My mom and I were cracking up...just in case you didn't already know....
Got all checked into our rooms, freshened up and headed upstairs to the hotels restaurant/lounge - NoMI. Kicked off the trip with a glass of champagne, naturally! :) just one quick drink here and headed to dinner at Arun's. This place came highly recommended by a good friend who swore it was the most amazing Thai food & experience. Ever. We were served a 12 course meal that consisted of 6 appetizers, (tapas style) 4 sharing entrees and 2 desserts. There are no menus and they only ask if you have any food allergies before they just start cooking and bringing food out to the table. Really awesome, memorable dining experience and authentic Thai food.
Our first two apps. One of the left was SO spicy and had a whole lotta flavors going on. Second, delicious coconut soup.
Apps 3 & 4.
Greens with a stuffed puffed pastry & tomato. Fried tiger prawn, with some rice noodles on top of a paper thin sheet made of eggs.
Last 2 cucumber and beef - crazy spicy!! Broth based soup with mushrooms and egg noddles. More spice! Mouth was on fire at this point.
Annnd... more food!
Yes, that is Nemo you see there on the plate - made of carrots! Amazing! Such talent.
Finished up this incredible meal with these pretty desserts! Needless to say, the entire night was quite the treat!
730am... Rise & Shine! Coffee, fruit, shower and ready to start our day! We hit bout 6 different concepts all over the city. To make life easy, we used an Uber for the day which turned out to be really cool and got a pretty neat tour of the city.
What I Wore:
Plaid Button Down: Ralph Lauren.
First stop, The Protein Bar. Between the 3 of us, we tried 2 smoothies and their quinoa breakfast bowl. So good & fresh. Loved this place. Second spot was not exactly what we were expecting. Next, over to Peeled Juice Bar. Another really cool, local juice concept. I had a juice called Focus'd - made up of carrot, pineapple, lemon & ginger. So refreshing!
Hit up a couple more places on our list, drank plenTy more smoothies. Last stop, Earth's Healing Cafe where I tried this little immune booster with ginger root, orange, cayenne and echinacea. I was NOT expecting this to be SO insanely hot! I felt like my insides where on fire! After our tour we decided to enjoy ourselves and actually get something to eat that didn't come thru a straw! We headed over to Blackfinn for some afternoon drinkies and ordered up some awesome pulled pork nachos - so good!
Hung out at blackfinn for a couple hours, did some more exploring the city, chilled out in the room and kicked up our feet for a bit and then met back up for dinner. Went to an amazing restaurant - The Gage. Definitely one of the best meals I've ever had. LOVED the decor here.. So warm and inviting. Country french, my fave. Great company, way too much wine and some really good food and I was ready to hit the sheets.
Saturday Along The Way.....
Our first stop, The Protein Bar. I had quinoa with almond milk, cinnamon, raspberries and slivered almonds. Also, shared a green smooth and their seasonal smoothie which also had quinoa, banana & pumpkin puree. NomNoms. Loved these witty little one-liners on the wall.
One place we checked out, Earth's Healing Cafe. I got this tiny little, super powerful Immune Booster. Good Lord! Was it spicy. Ginger Root, Orange, Cayenne & Echinacea. I have to say tho, I has crazy amounts of energy after drinking this. Got some of this "Brain Power" tea to take home. I'm a total sucker for stuff like this...I just love teas and they really do have such amazing health benefits & properties.
After running around all day and existing off of smoothies we decided to indulge a bit at Blackfunn AmeriPub...Nachos & Wine! Really cool Blackfinn location, completely different from the one we have in Charlotte. Had the Look & feel of a Yard House Restaurant.
Dinner at The Gage
Just loved this restaurant. French cuisine with a warm, bistro look & feel. Excellent spot. Definitely check it out if your in Chicago.
Slept hard but woke up early and couldn't really fall back asleep...Oh, thank you wine. Ugh! Ordered up some coffee and fruit, lazed about, showered, packed and then breakfast just me and mom at this adorable french bistro - Pierrot Gourmet. Everything that came out of their kitchen looked phenomenal.
Breakfast Flatbread. OMG. Ultra thin crust, gruyere, eggs, bacon, roasted tomatoes.
Frittata with Spinach, roasted tomatoes & feta. Best frittata I've ever had.
Finished up breakfast with just about an hour left until we needed to head to the airport. So grateful for such a wonderful weekend in Chicago. Hope everyone had an awesome weekend! I'll be posting another little short photo diary of Chicago this week!