Chicago for New Years


We are back from Chicago! Well we've been back since Tuesday. We landed in Houston at 11PM. 
Chicago is so beautiful! It's expensive, the food was great, it really is known as the windiest city and it had a lot to offer. I also didn't know that Carlos has family there, so it's a possibility that we will go back- yay! I'm hoping during Summer now that we experienced it in Winter.
 
First thing first: The Parking Spot. I definitely recommend using it when you don't want to bother anyone for a ride to and from the airport, it also costs about the same or perhaps even cheaper than Uber! Uber estimated to about $50 to just drop us off at the airport. No thanks. So, we reserved with The Parking Spot (got covered parking btw) for 5 nights and the total was $53! You could request your car to be washed for an additional fee, you keep your own car keys and they have a shuttle bus that pick you up/drop off literally right from your car (same as airport return). It felt safer, considering the fact that we cam back to Houston around 12AM. I'll definitely be signing up to be a member so I can score some free rides!

The flight going to Chicago was horrible. I had a little girl kicking my seat and I was on 2 hours of sleep. I don't recommend flying with Spirit. I flew with them once before and warned Carlos bc I had a horrible experience. But at the time of booking, it was the cheapest so he didn't care to listen. Needless to say, he experienced it himself and refuses to fly with them for future trips- lol.

Look at all that snow! I was so excited!
 
DAY 1
 
We arrived Friday morning, our duration stay was 5 nights from 12/29-1/03. In case anyone is wanting to go when it snows. I also checked Chicago's weather when we got back to Houston and it snowed some more the first week of January!

We settled into the Hotel and took a long nap. Y'all this nap was much needed considering the fact that we didn't get any sleep the night before because we were to excited for the trip. I woke up first having to force Carlos to wake up or else he'd be asleep all day, which he would. We decided to walk around the Downtown/Loop where we stayed, wanting to see what was around us. And boy did I sure got to experience the windy city! It was like 4 degrees out! I think we were starting to regret walking around but glad we did because we seen a lot of locations that later on during our stay, knew where to go.

We really didn't do anything the first day, I just wanted to tour our area, eat and enjoy Chicago. We found Giordano's, one of the well know pizza places, just 15 minutes from the Hotel. I ordered a personal size deep dish pizza and Carlos got something else, embarrassed to order and eat the Large pizza. Now thinking about it. I regret getting myself a personal size and we should've ordered the Large deep dish, so don't make my mistake! Indulge!

After our lunch we kept walking forward and ended at Grant Park. It was a 15 minute walk from Giordano's so 30 mins from the Hotel total. We were pretty excited to see the entire park covered in SNOW! We took tons of pictures and it even starting snowing during our stay and on our walk back. The remainder of our first day, we ate dinner at the Hotel and slept the entire night.
 
 
 
DAY 2
 
We had breakfast at the Hotel and walked (15 mins) to the first attraction, Skydeck at Willis Tower. One of the highest observation decks in the U.S! There's an all glass ledge that you walk into and take awesome photos of yourself with the City in the background. It's on the 103rd floor and the elevator went so fast, we got there within 1 minute! I recommend coming here early in the morning to avoid long lines. We got there when it opened at 9AM, left about 11AM and the line was looong on the way out! I recommend going to 360 Chicago in the evening/night as the view is better and they have a bar!
 
After Willis Tower we walked over to the Art Institute and Field Museum. I'm not much of a fan of education on my vacation buuuuut as being somewhere new, you gotta go everywhere!
I didn't know this then but apparently there is a canvas painting at the Art Institute that also appeared in the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off". If I would've paid attention, I totally would have done a reenactment!
 
We walked over to eat at Shake Shack across from Millennium Park, where the Bean (aka Cloud Gate) is known to be at. Just your typical burger joint except that this place offers doggie bags for your little fur friends! Now to think of it, I should've gotten Togepi a bag ):
 
The Bean is a very crowded attraction so I recommend coming in early in the morning to avoid people in the background if you want it all to yourself. It'll be busy throughout the entire day/night. Also don't miss the opportunity to take a photo underneath the Bean too.
If interested, there is a skating rink at the park. I didn't get the chance because I simply don't understand why anyone would want to skate in 2 degree weather!?
 
Afterwards we walked back to the Hotel and of course after freezing our butts off we stopped by this cute French themed café, Toni Patisserie Café. Honestly one of my fave cafes in Chicago! They had sweets, macarons, caffeine, marble tables and light lunch, simply just picturesque.
 


 
 



Field Museum hosted a Jurassic Park for a limited time.
 

 
DAY 3
 
We woke up early in the morning, took an uber and went to Shedd Aquarium, good thing we did because visiting this Aquarium was HUGE! You're going to need a good 4 hours touring this place, there is just so many creatures to see! And their shows?! They have a show like every 30mins to an hour. We luckily got to see the dolphin show, however the seals and penguins made an appearance! So I recommend going early so you can sit at the very front and see all the action!
 
After, we took another uber to drop us off at Magnificent Mile. MM is a shopping street with dining and lot's of stores. They even have Macys in a street corner which of course upon entering, leads to the Mall. Prepare to wear some comfy shoes because Magnificent Mile is a long walk with endless of stops! And if you go during Winter, not many cafes so bring a thermostat lol.
 

DAY 4

We had breakfast with Carlos' family. We went over to his Aunt's house, had pizza from Lou Malnati's, which btw in my opinion was way better than Gio's! We had a great time with his cousin, whom showed us around and even took us to a local bar. However the bar isn't in the Downtown area.
 
After spending and learning about Carlos' family, his cousin was nice enough to drop us off at Navy Pier. There wasn't much to do there so avoid that if you go during Winter, I definitely want to give it another show during a warmer season. There are tons of gift shops, they have a food court, a movie theater, a cool ship you can eat in and a bar.
 
We took an Uber to Portillos and had hot dogs! I tried their Chicago style hot dog and it was amazing. I should've gotten a 2nd! Did you know they can SHIP you their hotdogs?! Of course you'll have to make them once delivered but I'm not sure who would want to spend $75+ lol.
 
To end the night, we went to 360 Chicago at John Hancock Center. It's a floor that has windows all around viewing the City at every angle, hence the name. They even have a tilt experience where you step onto the ledge, grab the handles and the ledge actually moves forward separating from the building and slowly tilts over giving you that thrill of seeing the streets below you! AHH! It's only $11 per person and it lasts no more than 1.5 minutes. I recommend coming here at night, like I mentioned before, they have a bar. So enjoy a cocktail while overlooking the City.





 
 
 
DAY 5
 
Our last morning we deicded to keep it chill, we've seen all the attractions and wanted to just relax around the Hotel since the next day I had to go back to work. Instead of eating breakfast at the Hotel, we went to Goddess and the Baker. If you're the type of person that Instagrams their avocado toast (like me) then this is the place for you! They have a huge "EAT NOW caffeinate" sign that is picturesque, and you won't regret sitting across snapping that perfect latte shot with a marble table background. Try their rainbow cake!
 
 
Note that these activities are all in particular order during the duration of our stay. We stayed in the Downtown/Loop area where all of the attractions are nearby and were about a 15-30 minute walk all in the exception of Magnificent Mile, 360 Chicago, Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum.
 
 EATS
 
Goddess and the Baker (Multiple locations)
 
Portillo's (Multiple locations) 

Giordano's (Multiple locations)
 
Lou Malnati's (Multiple locations)
 
Toni Patisserie (65 E Washington St, Chicago IL 60602)
 
WHAT TO DO

Grant Park (337 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601)

Willis Tower - Sky Deck (233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606)

Art Institute (111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603)

Field Museum (1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605)

Cloud Gate *The Bean (201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602)

Shedd Aquarium (1200 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605)


Navy Pier (600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611)

360 Chicago (875 N Michigan Avenue, 94th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611)
 
WHAT TO WEAR FOR WINTER
 
Head: Ear muffs, Beanies, Hoodies, Scarfs
 
Tops: Long sleeve armor shirt (basically your skin), 1st layer long sleeve shirt, sweater, jacket, gloves
 
Bottoms: Long johns (like underwear), thick leggings, jeans
 
Feet: Socks, 2nd layer of long socks, boots (water and snow resistant) 

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