Back to the USA and being able to spend some time with my girlfriend @ninamclernon always makes me happy. My flight arrived to Chicago last week and I spent a beautiful weekend in the windy city.
One year ago I was blogging for the first time about Chicago and how to experience the best of it in only 24 hours: Make it Count. It’s been so long since last time I was here, it feels like forever!
On Thursday, I arrived to Chicago in the afternoon. The flight was pretty good. I arrived earlier, and had a good conversation on the plane (Hi Ilinca if you’re reading this!). I flew with United Airlines for the first time and I was satisfied with that. The hotel, where I stayed, was close to the airport and there was a shuttle service available for clients.
On Friday, after having breakfast in the hotel, we took the train to go downtown. We spent some time walking around; it was a lovely day. My girlfriend and I decided to rest a little at Millennium Park, known for being a must experience in Chicago.
I love this park for the art collection, architecture, and landscape design. It’s a popular spot and there’s always so much to do and to see: free concerts, famous public art installations, and it’s close to the Loop. The centerpiece of Millennium Park is the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, a flowing Frank Gehry-designed structure that hosts of the city’s biggest outdoor festivals and concerts. That day, a rehearsal for a classical concert was going on. We stopped for a while to listen to it before having lunch.
What’s the first thing you want after being back to the USA? A Burger! I was craving a good burger. My girlfriend looked up a good place for lunch and Yelp brought us to Shack Shack Burger on Michigan Ave. Do you have a restaurant you want to advise to us next time we’re in Chicago? Tell us in the comments below!
Shake Shack started off as a humble little food cart in Madison Square Park New York, but now, just like a little black dress, it’s a classic in the food world. You enter from the lobby of a fancy building with a crystal glass chandelier on the ceiling. Long lines are expected, especially during lunch hours.
I had a Double Shack Burger with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and shack sauce. On the other hand, my girlfriend had a single Shack Burger with fries as a side. The juicy, greasy burger and crinkle cut fries didn’t disappoint us.
It was a sunny hot day and we did not come prepared with sun screen. Our faces became all red from staying outside too much in the hot, summer sun. We had a lovely walk next to Lake Michigan, one of the sixth largest freshwater lake in the world, which took us to Shedd Aquarium, our final destination.
Once you arrive inside of the aquarium, the various exhibits await you. Next to each tank there’s an easy to read description of the creatures you can expect to see inside, as well as a picture of the creatures so you can easily identify them.
There are plenty of fascinating creatures to admire and learn about. You will feel as if you’re taking a journey around the globe and visiting the different oceans and bodies of water.
At the center of all of the exhibits is a massive tank that holds sharks, turtles, and other ocean life.
Their assortment of jellyfish, seahorses, starfish are just incredible. In the amphibians section, there is a colorful assortment of exotic tree frogs as well as lizards.
Don’t miss the Amazon Rising: seasons of the river exhibit housing some of the Amazon’s unique river creatures. The aquarium tour was fun and refreshing!
After the aquarium and walking around a little more between shops, we decided to stop for dinner at one of our favorite spots: Bandera. Last time we were here we had a great dessert and we were looking forward to coming again.
We tried to call during the day to reserve a table for two, but they told us nothing was available before 10pm. We gave it a try anyway, around 7pm we went to the restaurant and the girl at the front desk told us a spot for two in front of the kitchen was ready.
We had one of the house specialties. I ordered the “famous french dip”: thinly sliced prime rip served with au jus. The quality of the meat was good, really tender and juicy. White cheddar butternut enchiladas was my girlfriend’s choice. There are fancier places in the city but for the value, intimacy and service, Bandera is a winner.
On Saturday, after breakfast, we moved to another hotel close to downtown called Cambria. This one was nicer than the previous one; I loved the colors and the atmosphere; second time here and still haven’t checked the rooftop bar, maybe next time? 😄
Our lunch stop was an interesting Mexican restaurant called Broken English. We had really good tacos, so good I forgot to take a picture of it and a big portion of nachos to share.
Next stop was the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain.
Stunning by day and I’m sure by night too with all the lights, Buckingham Fountain is a Chicago landmark in the center of Grant Park with a major water display.
In the afternoon we treated our self with a strawberries nutella crepe at Nutella Cafe, recently opened in May. The line was not relaxing at all; however, being the first stand-alone Nutella Cafe in America so far and coming at a decent hour, I guess it went by pretty smooth and we didn’t have to wait that long.
Last but not least, we had a lovely romantic dinner at Copper Fox to complete our trip to Chicago. Food was good and service was excellent. Price was reasonable; the restaurant offers a variety of food normally seen at an American restaurant, but they stand out by executing dishes flawlessly. I really liked the modern touch of the furniture.
Hope you liked reading about my journey to Chicago and maybe you found out something new about what this great city has to offer!
See you to the next post!
1200 S Lake Shore Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
535 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
166 E Superior St
Chicago, IL 60611