Chicago! Part 1

I've finally gotten a chance to take some time and share our anniversary trip to Chicago with you!
{Warning! This is a heavy picture post!}

Michael and I decided to travel this year for our anniversary, as some years we've chosen to go camping. After making our top 10 U.S. cities to travel to (I'll share that soon!), we decided on Chicago (higher on my list, but featured on his as well). Chicago is an incredible city. I loved every minute of it. Coming from Dallas,  a city that's more like a grown-up small town, Chicago was more than I could have hoped for.

On the first day, we were greeted by a warm, 85-degree day. We stopped into our hotel and checked in early. We opened the curtains, and this was our view.
The view from our room in the Hyatt,
overlooking the Chicago river, and North Michigan Avenue.
After getting settled, we headed out for lunch. We stopped at a Chicago pizza favorite, Giordano's.  It was just as delicious as I was told by the handful of folks that suggested it. We ordered personal-sized pizzas to avoid the 45-minute cooking time for the regular sized pies. It's so thick it needs that long to cook!
Personal-sized deep dish pizza from Giordano's.
 To walk off our lunch, we walked through Millennium Park, and viewed the fountains, sculpture and grassy areas. Gorgeous!
"Scaffolding" over Millennium Park
"Cloud Gate," or as everyone calls it, The Bean.
 As it began to drizzle because of the cold front moving in, we stepped into the Art Institute of Chicago.  What a gorgeous museum.
 Afterwards, we went by the Macy's (Marshall Field's, actually), on State St. Yes, we have Macy's in Dallas. I hear you. However, this Macy's is the original, and it's a city block wide.  We didn't' buy anything, but instead marveled at this huge store.

Then, we walked to Avec, a restaurant that's a favorite by chefs such as Anne Burrell. It was not a disappointment. We enjoyed wine, chorizo-stuffed dates, a smoked whitefish (Brandade) dish, pulled pork with black rice, and peppercorn-crusted hanger steak. Delicious!

Michael and I at Avec
(Ignore the drowned rat look from the rain!)

chorizo-stuffed medjool dates with smoked bacon
and piquillo pepper-tomato sauc
They love their large metal spoons at Avec.

whipped brandade (white fish) with garlic bread and chives
wood-oven roasted pork shoulder with roasted baby carrots,
black rice and basil pistou
Everything was delicious, especially that pork fat-soaked black rice. Ridiculous. 
marinated hanger steak with puy lentils, melted bone marrow,
spinach, tomato, oranges and fried caper
We honestly plan to visit Avec or it's sister restaurant, Blackbird, each time we roll into Chicago. Can't wait! 
Avec on Urbanspoon

Once we finished dinner, we took a cab over to Willis Tower, formerly Sears Tower.  It's not too far from Avec, but my feet were killing me from all the walking we'd done that day.  We went up more than 300 floors to see the SkyDeck. The city lights at night were gorgeous, especially with the 360-degree views.
Our feet and the street as we look down
from one of the observation  boxes.
Next up: Day two!

*Note: We purchased the City Pass, and saved a bundle on all of the attractions people usually visit in larger cities. The company has passes for many major cities in the U.S. and Canada. Check it out!


  1. Giordano's is the best. :)

  2. Nice photos and recap of your Chicago trip! CityPASS has a new online travel community called City Traveler and if you'd like to post anything/tips in our Forums, please do!

    Thanks and Happy Traveling,

    Melissa @CityPASS

  3. Nice photos and recap of your Chicago trip - glad to hear you had a great anniversary!
    If you'd like to share tips or advice, CityPASS has a new online travel community called City Traveler. Stop by and post in the Forums!


    Melissa @CityPASS


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