Midwestern adventure

I’d been promising my friend Alexis a visit to Chicago for a while (read: years) now, and last weekend, I finally made it up there with friend Stone in tow. We lucked out with gorgeous weather, which provided nice relief from the 95-degree step-outside-into-pudding ambiance we’d been enjoying here in North Carolina.

The weekend was jam-packed with activities: an architecture tour of the city (via boat), shopping on Michigan Avenue, drinks at the top of the Hancock Building, a trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo, mani/pedis at a BYOB salon (awesome!) and eating… lots of eating.

And the food was fabulous. Alexis knows how to eat (and knows Stone and I share her affinity), and planned the weekend’s culinary adventures accordingly. I kind of loved how many restaurants were BYOB too — apparently liquor licenses are super expensive in Chicago, so lots of places just focus on the food and let people bring their own booze.One of my favorite spots was Orange, which we hit up for brunch and its famed frushi. Right up my alley.

I’d never been to Chicago before, or any of the Midwest really (save a trip to visit cousins in St. Louis when I was 8), and I was surprised as how un-midwestern it felt. The lake really does feel like an ocean, and gives the city that awesome water vibe I’m so fond of (though it might not seem so friendly with winds whipping across it in sub-zero temperatures come January). Moreover, Chicago has an accessible neighborhood feel to it, which so many cities lack (I’m looking at you, New York).

All in all, a nice weekend to catch up with friends. Hope I’ll be back soon (though I might have to skip the next season or two).

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