Travel: Chicago, Day 1

As I shared in this post, my mom, sister & I have started a tradition of annual girl’s trips.  Last year we visited New York City & this year we wandered through the streets of Chicago for a long weekend.

Three days was the perfect amount of time in the windy city & we easily checked everything off our to do list.

Friday morning we woke up at the butt-crack of dawn.  No really, we did – 2:15 AM, to hop on the Amtrak out of Milwaukee headed to Chicago.  Upon arrival, we were able to check into our hotel & we were early enough to still catch the hotel breakfast.  Score!

FYI -- If you’re looking for a hotel in downtown Chicago, I highly recommend the Embassy Suites on North Columbus.  It's centrally located, just a couple blocks from all the major attractions (Navy Pier, Michigan Ave, Millennium Park, etc.).  Their continental breakfast includes made-to-order omelets, hash browns, pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs & the whole nine yards.  Additionally, they have a complimentary cocktail hour in the evening.  Moreover, the Concierge was wonderful in getting us tickets to our architectural cruise & priority seating at a local restaurant – more on that later!

So after we grabbed a bite to eat, we navigated the streets to Millennium Park – home of the coveted Cloud Gate, better known as “The Bean”.

foggy Chicago skyline

sept 11
The Bean, Cloud Gate

It was a bit of a rainy day, but we lucked out... the fact that it was rainy meant that there weren't so many people at The Bean!

The Bean selfies

Pictures at the Bean

Girls at the Bean

The sun came out for a bit, so we took our obligatory pictures, and then headed over to Navy Pier.

We might not have taken the friendliest walking route, but had we not, we would not have walked through this wonderful residential garden area...

purple flowers

chicago skyline with flowers

mom walking with umbrella

raindrops on roses

Nor would we have been able to snap these pics…

Chicago Skyline

mom and becky

becky and katie

Chicago Riverwalk

Two steps into the shops at Navy Pier and it started to DOWN POUR.  Again, counting our blessing that we could shop indoors while it rained outside.  It rained for awhile, so we had a little snack & rested our feet.

Navy Pier

cool light fixtures

'fountains at navy pier

After Navy Pier, we did some shopping on Michigan Ave, and got to enjoy all the shops that little Northeast Wisconsin does not have to offer ... Charming Charlie's, Anthropologie, Zara, Crate & Barrel, etc.

I was basically in heaven, even if I couldn't afford anything in the shops that lined Michigan Ave.  It's still fun to look!

Magnificent Mile

After our arms were full with packages, we walked back to our hotel & freshened up for dinner at RPM Italian (thanks to Erin for this post).

RPM Italian
image from my Instagram

We had made reservations about 2 weeks prior & although we were not fortunate enough to spot Giuliana or Bill, we did enjoy some of the best moscato I’ve ever tasted & we had a lovely dinner.  You best bet I will be trying to recreate the zucchini fritti appetizer we had, too.  YUM!!!

After dinner, we walked back to the hotel & called it an early night.

Stay tuned for a recap of Day 2!


  1. Gorgeous pictures! That picture of you jumping in front of the bean is so fun!

  2. What an awesome day spent in Chicago - isn't the city the best? And yaaaaaay, you got to experience RPM Italian! So glad you enjoyed it despite G&B not being there. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Loved all your pics!


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