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Trip Report Weekend in Chicago -Trip Report

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I just got home from a short but fun trip to Chicago. My sister and I drove up from Indianapolis. She was going to a sorority sister's bridal tea/bachelorette party and I was just going along to play in the city.

We stayed at the Swissotel on E. Wacker. The location was basically good for what we were doing, and on a weekend when many hotels were sold out, I was grateful to get a rate of $209. Our room had been recently renovated and was very clean with comfortable beds and a good sized bathroom. Our room also had a wonderful view of the river. We arrived at the hotel at noon and they were kind enough to let us check in and store our luggage until 3pm, the official check-in time. The desk clerk said that ordinarily we would likely have been able to get our room at noon, but they had been sold out on Friday night with mostly vacation travelers, who (according to him) don't check out of the hotel as early as business travelers.

We left the hotel to find parking for the car, because the valet parking at the hotel was $52. I know there are probably cheaper garages out there, but we wound up at the Marshall Field's/Macy's garage on Randolph, because it was relatively close to where we needed to go at the time. It was $30 for 24 hours, so it was a savings over the hotel parking.

We ate a quick lunch at the PotBelly Sandwich Works on State St. and then separated for the afternoon. I walked down to the Bank of America Theatre to see Jersey Boys, which was wonderful! After the show, I strolled back up to Randolph, grabbed a latte at Cafe Intelligentsia, and took my time walking back up Michigan Ave. to the hotel.

Dinner was on my own, so I walked over to Fox and Obel on E. Illinois and had a delicious salad (grilled skirt steak) followed by a coconut cupcake from their bakery. I walked off my dinner by heading back down Michigan Avenue, popping in the souvenir shops along the way to find a Cubs shirt for a friend.

That evening, I went out with my sister and her friends. They had a trolley reserved for the evening and that was a fun experience. The weather was perfect for riding an open air vehicle through the city. We had cocktails at Fulton's on the River and ended the evening at Market, in the West Loop. The rooftop bar area was packed with people, but offered a spectacular view of the Sear's tower and the skyline.

Sunday morning, we left the hotel at 9am and headed to the Bongo Room in the South Loop. We got there just a few minutes after they opened and didn't have to wait to get in, but even if we'd waited, it would have been worth it! We had the most amazing pancakes ever! I had lemon ricotta pancakes with coconut and ginger snap butter and my sister had four berry white chocolate pancakes. We only had the short order and were unable to finish, but every bite was delicious.

After breakfast, we walked (lumbered) up State St. to pick up the car at the garage. The walk was about a mile, but we needed it after that breakfast! We left the garage, headed to the Lincoln Park area to visit some of my sister's college friends.

The Lincoln Park visit (free parking at the friend's condo!) included a trip to Oz Park, the Lincoln Park Zoo, checking out some of the shops on N. Halsted, and a late lunch/early dinner at Minnie's. Minnie's is fun, because everything is miniature. Their menu is various types of sliders and you can mix and match the different sandwiches or scoops of salad. I had a minnie cheeseburger, minnie grilled cheese, and minnie chicken salad. All three were good, but the chicken salad was outstanding.

After the meal, we attempted to head back to the Interstate, but the route our friend recommended was blocked off by the Taste of Lincoln Ave festival. I had never seen Wrigley Field and since we were so far north already, we decided to drive up there and then find another street to take us over to the interstate. After our stadium drive-by, we cut over to Lakeshore Dr. and followed it down to I-90/94. The drive down Lakeshore was gorgeous and worth the extra time we added to the trip. Since we weren't really in a hurry, and the weather was nice, even the traffic didn't bother us.

This was my third trip to Chicago and like the other two, it has left me wanting to see more. I can't wait to go back again! :)

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