A Weekend in Chicago

As promised, here is a recap of the weekend I recently spent with my mom, aunt, and cousin in Chicago.  You might be thinking, why would someone who supposedly blogs about health be writing about a trip?  Well, I believe that your health is much more than just what you eat or how much you weigh.  You have to have joy and fun in your life or it doesn't matter if you eat the cleanest diet in the world. Experiencing things that connect you with others, make you smile, inspire you, teach you....all nourish you.  Combine this with some good food and activity and you've got a healthy life. A true equation for health.

So....here is our trip.  4 days of conversation, connection, lots of walking, sunshine, shopping and good food. We had a great time.  We had all been to Chicago before but it fit the bill for our trip....easy travel, lots of stuff to do, not too expensive.  We stayed at the Burnham Hotel, which is  a Kimpton hotel.  I can't say enough good things about the hotel.  It was located in the theatre district/the Loop and is a short walk to the river, Millennium Park, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Magnificent Mile.  Kimpton Hotels are in restored buildings and, in my experience, are unique and beautiful.  This one was no exception.  Overall, the decor is a combination of vintage and industrial.  The staff were friendly and helpful, and they had happy hour with free wine every day from 5 to 6pm.  Fruit infused water available all day, and a nice selection of newspapers every morning. It is also quite reasonably priced.  We were able to walk almost everywhere but we ran out of time and energy and missed the art museum.  Next time! Here's a little sampling of our stay.  I didn't take my good camera so these are just iphone pictures....

We had lunch our first day at a great French cafe,  Toni Patisserie and Cafe, owned and run by a woman who was the pastry chef at Disney in Paris.  The food was so good we went back the next morning for breakfast.  I had a crepe with ratatouille for lunch and, since it was $1 macaron day, mom and I each had a chocolate with salted caramel for dessert. 

We walked through what was the original Chicago public library that is now the Chicago Cultural Center.  It was beautiful with a Tiffany glass dome....

We took a boat tour which was amazing.  The Chicago Architecture Foundation runs a tour that over 1 1/2 hours teaches you about all the buildings, the history of Chicago and how they all relate to each other.  I learned so much.  It was blazing hot, but well worth it. 

We shared an amazing cheese board at dinner one night....

Here is the view from out hotel room.  The building across the street had grass growing on the roof! Tom told me he heard an NPR story about how Chicago uses vegetation to counteract the heat of all the concrete. 

Here are a few more random photos...the stairway in the hotel. the street while we were shopping...

Lastly, Kristin and I went to the Coldplay concert Saturday night at Soldier Field. We had it all figured out....it was about a 2 mile walk each way.  We wore the right shoes, clothes to stay cool.  Easy-peasy. We just never figured there would be an epic storm that evening.  We walked over in intermittent rain, stopping for cover under trees, an overhang, and a tent set up for Lollapalooza the next week.  Right when we got to the stadium we made a run for it while a giant black cloud zoomed up.  We just made it.  We got a $45 t-shirt and a beer and rode it out.  The stadium made everyone take cover inside for about 1 1/2 half.  It cooled off so much I thought I was going to have to spring for the $60 hoodie! The two warm up bands were cancelled and Coldplay had to stop about 30 minutes early when the second wave made its way in.  We waited for the worst to pass before we walked home, but had 2 miles of rain and lightning when we finally decided to follow the crowd out. For me, it was  totally worth it!  I have a couple of videos from the show....I can't figure out how to post them here but will put them on my facebook page.  They were so good that I am heading up to Pittsburgh this week to catch their show again!

I almost forgot...I bought a beautiful Coach wallet while in Chicago, but they had to ship the one I wanted from their warehouse in FL.  It is a really nice canvas fabric and has enough room to hold my phone.  It was pricey but I think it will last forever.  And this is what the package looked like.  Beautiful!  You get what you pay for! 

Have a good week.  I'll be back soon with a delicious green bean recipe!