Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Packing In The Activities, Chicago Style

Chicago, what a great town! With no school on the calender last Friday I booked Isabella and I a quick trip to this city. We visited my good friend Lora, who I met when I was hired to nanny her daughter years ago, during a phase when I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life, through the years attending SAIC studying fashion design.

Arriving late Friday afternoon we caught the train downtown and started packing in the activities. Traveling with just one carry on suitcase, I didn't even bring my the pictures aren't so fab, sorry.  And in fact, I was so focused on having a great time that I often forgot to even get pictures! 

After dropping off our single suitcase at the apartment overlooking both the lake and the river...a wow for sure, we hopped in the car and drove up to the restaurant Uncommon Ground for a quick eat before Lora sent us off on our own to see Blue Man Group. And she booked us in the water section, meaning we got to wear the loveliest of rain gear! Seeing what came flying into the first rows, I was happy to have it on!

Though someone else wasn't, as it was major fashion crime.
Have you been to this show? I can't even describe it, performance art of sorts. Loud and crazy.

Afterwards, it was late but the streets were packed and with weather cooperating we walked and walked, going past the building I called home for a dozen years. Not the upper floors, which were fabulous, three full floor 4,000 square foot apartments. That is where Lora and her family lived, I was tucked away in the basement! It was pretty horrid, but oh well, it gave me a lot to dream and strive for! The building is just steps from Sheridan, so after this little walk down memory lane we caught a cab back to the apartment.

And did I mention the views from Lora's new space? Here's the night view from the living room overlooking the river, lit up at night.

And in the morning, the view from my bedroom, out over the harbor and lake.
 Not too bad, I could get used to this.

Heading out that morning, I loved seeing the Aqua building, just down the street from Lora's. It is the tallest building designed by a woman architect, Jeanne Gang, and it truly is a remarkable structure that has received numerous awards. 

Sightseeing and shopping, we then met up with a friend for lunch that I attended design school with, and her daughter who is the same age as Isabella. It was so great to see them, have lunch and shop, but afterwards I realized I hadn't gotten a picture of us! So time.

But I did get a shot of these adorable baby UGGS while hitting a dozen stores including ZARA, Bloomingdale's, Max Mara, H&M and Top Shop...okay, ready for a break!

Heading off Michigan Avenue out to Logan Square we joined Lora and her daughter Mory for manis and pedis...

...followed by a pick me up and a stop at Mory's apartment to grab her husband...

...before having the most fabulous dinner at Cafe Ba Ba Reeba. 

If you haven't been, if you are visiting Chicago, you must go!

A late night.

But wanting to pack as much in on the last day before heading out to catch the plane, 
Sunday morning we visited Millennium Park and the Bean. 

This sculpture is simply amazing and so much fun! I love how the skyline is reflected on the surface, 
and in the below photo, from underneath looking up, all the people.

A perfect fall day! Afterwards we walked all the way down Michigan Avenue to Oak Street, hitting as many shops along the way as possible. Nordstrom for a gift for Lora, Burberry, and Saks. OH MY GOODNESS, what amazing fashion, like a museum nearly. And interestingly, very nice sales people, even as we ogled the laser cut suede detail on the sleeve of a $60,000 fur coat.

At Barney's they were a little less nice, but it didn't stop some trying on of coats of a slightly lesser value and such.

Walking all the way back to the apartment, we gave Lora her gift before catching a cab to the train, to head out to O'Hare. Planes, Trains and Automobiles...lots of walking, visiting and shopping. 

And a quick glance at the Dubuffet sculpture on the way to the train,
I love how many public works of art there are in this city!

Phew, I was tired on the plane home, what a fun packed weekend. 
I can't wait to get  back for another visit.


  1. omg i was just there that same weekend!! we are only 4hrs away driving, so we will be coming back again soon with more time and more $$$ lol..I loved Chicago!!

  2. What a fun (and jam packed) weekend! Chicago looks like such a fun city. Stop by whenever you have time and have a great day.


  3. I have trot to get out more!!! Glad to see you guys had fun! Still loving Isabella's skirt!

  4. What an action packed weekend! I do not know that city, so I loved to see your candid shots of your visit..we could really get the feel of it all. Thanks, Janelle.
    xo Nancy

  5. My hometown! We were probably there at the same time - I went to DePaul University. It's my fav city - don't get there often enough, however. Looks like you had a blast!

  6. Love hometown. How nice you were able to get away with Isabella, just girl time! I'm going to go ahead and ask before someone else that brown purse Coach? I want it!

  7. Purse, no, a sale find at Banana Republic of all places nearly 10 years ago. I didn't use it for the longest time until I realized how great it was! Gotta love a stylish bargain.

  8. What a fabulous weekend...thanks for sharing with us! I love Chicago and would love to go back again soon. Love the purse too...just yesterday I pulled mine out and it looks so similar, purchased at Banana about 3yrs ago. Classic style is never out of date!

  9. Looks like a fabulous time! I really liked visiting Chicago! Love the fall colors by the bean.

  10. Ahhh! So much to do before our trip to Chicago in two weeks that I am not even looking forward to it . . until now. This is just what I needed. Can't wait. And so trying that restaurant you recommended. Thanks for the fun recap. Only taking my camera phone, too and that seems dreamy!

  11. My kind of vacation! I'd love to visit Chicago someday!

  12. What a wonderful weekend you had! My parents both grew up there, met and married there. So much to do and see and of course the wonderful shopping! My aunt still lives there and I am due for a visit back. Your photos are great Janell!

  13. I LOVE Chicago!!! Such a fun city and you managed to pack in pretty much for the short time you were there :)

  14. Hi-I'm going to be in Chicago this weekend-staying at the swisshotel---do you have restaurant recommendations? Something with great ambience??? Unique-not a chain??? Please please...any help?

  15. I can't say enough delicious things about Cafe Baba Reeba, good for a couple or a large group! For a good "cheap eat" I always loved Penny Noodle, a simple and fresh take on Thai food.

  16. I live here in Chicago and I have to agree with you.. LUV LUV LUV LUVV Cafe Baba Reeba ! :) time you will have to try Cafe Iberico for Tapas ...I've been here almost 10 years and have yet to make it to all of the eateries :)


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