Travel: #emnbtoCHI

In case you missed our Chicago Eats check them out here! Beyond wanting to eat as much yummy food as possible, we also wanted to be just plain tourists and checkout the best spots, while also getting a taste of the life of locals – which I think we did a nice balance of! So without further ado, here is the rest of our CHI-town round-up!

Skydeck at Willis Tower: With views from the 103 floor, you get 360 views of the city, Lake Michigan and every skyscraper in between!  The going rate to get up to the top floor is $25 per person (which is much cheaper than the Empire State Building). It was really fun to soak in all of the city views, plus we had perfect blue skies.

Pro-tip #1: Buy your tickets ahead of time to skip the line!
Pro-tip #2: You get 60-seconds on the glass ledge, so plan your angles ahead of time!
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Cloud Gate aka the Bean at Millennium Park: I mean, we had to check it out right? Everyone that goes to Chicago gets an iconic picture in front of the bean! Our bean pics were anything but iconic – I’m not sure why everyone is so obsessed with it because it just stretches out your face. If the weather was a little nicer, we would’ve explored the rest of the park a bit more!
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Run Through Lincoln Park & the Lakefront Trail: This was honestly my favorite part of our trip – our little 4 mile run through Lincoln Park and then popping over to the Lakefront Trail for stellar views of the Chicago skyline was an absolutely perfect start to our Friday.  Our hotel was about 2 blocks from entering Lincoln Park, so we ventured down the brownstone lined streets through the quiet of the morning before all the hustle and bustle. Lincoln Park was filled with doggy play dates, other runners and we even got to see some Zebra’s from the zoo!
CHI Recap - the bee life (3)The Chicago River: We were able to enjoy the stunning views of the Chicago river as we ventured to Willis Tower and the back to our hotel and down the Magnificent Mile back to the Gold Coast where we stayed. Again, because it was super chilly unless you were in direct sunlight, we weren’t able to take the 1.25 mile Riverwalk, but next time we go in the summer it will be a must!

Fun fact: The River was NOT still green after St. Patrick’s Day.
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A few other fun sightings we were able to soak in was the Chicago Tribune (Never Been Kissed) – our hotel even had a valet that didn’t allow you to self-park, so immediately our trip was starting out like a Ferris Bueller movie. We can’t wait to get back to CHI when the weather is a little nicer so we can explore on feet a little more; even though we still racked up 10.3 miles between our run and walking adventures!

What’re you favorite Chicago landmarks?

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12 hours in the city

15.5 hours on a bus.
12 hours in the city.
19.1 miles walked.
33,768 steps.
Countless memories.

Yes. you read that correctly we did it again.

B got us tickets to New York City for my birthday back in March, and this past weekend was finally our trip! We took the megabus overnight from Rochester to the city, arriving mostly on-time at 7:30AM. First stop: Starbucks for some coffee, food and freshening up.

From there my detailed itinerary led the way for our adventures for the day. Next stop was Washington Square Park, the iconic spot from many movies but especially one of my favorites, When Harry Met Sally. To get there we were able to travel through Chelsea and Greenwich – and then finally to the arch.  It was massive! And the park was beautiful with a large fountain, it was so quiet and peaceful.

Next we ventured through SOHO – which was fabulous early in the morning, before everyone was awake.  We got to see a film crew filming TMNT – 2, but did not see anyone famous.  Is anyone famous even in that movie? We finally made our way to the 9/11 Memorial Fountains. It was breathtaking, I got a bit choked up reading some of the names and being at the memorial, it was beautiful and they are completely massive. The new building, One World Trade Center is quite the site to see as well, standing tall over the two memorials.  This was one of B’s favorite parts of the trip too.

We then walked the Hudson River Greenway down to Battery Park. Where we were able to get on the Statue Cruises ferry to visit Liberty Island and Ellis Island. This is the first time that B and I got to see the Statue of Liberty, and wow, seeing her close up is incredible, there is nothing like it. We had way to much fun taking selfie’s with her, and watching the million of tourists with their selfie sticks taking pictures with her too… so many selfie sticks.  Not to mention, the views of the city were remarkable, talk about a skyline.

We jumped back on the ferry to pop over to Ellis Island, where we did not stay too long.  It was a beautiful place, and the museum was massive – B and I don’t like crowds and the amount of people running around that place just sent us in a head spin. We got back on the Ferry and headed back to the mainland. Next stop: Wall Street and the famous bull.  Both were packed/surrounded by tourists – you literally couldn’t even get a clean photo with the bull because people where just swarming it, I wasn’t even interested after seeing that… We ventured over to the Seaport area and found a little Italian place to eat called Il Brigante Restaurant. The salad and pizza we shared were amazing.

Then my feet were killing me. So we just briefly checked out the Brooklyn Bridge – it was PACKED with people. It would’ve been so obnoxious to try and walk the whole thing, definitely an early morning activity for our next trip. We made our way back to SOHO and I found a Crocs store (not my first choice, but a last resort).  They surprisingly have super cute shoes! I got a cute pair for a steal of $20 and my feet where like brand new.  By this point in the day the rain had started to fall a little more steadily.  We Starbucks hopped and made our way over to where the megabus would be picking us up… only after getting completely soaked in the rain.

Our bus was 45-minutes late, causing us to get even more soaked standing outside waiting for it, we were a little miserable.  The 8-hour bus ride back was just as freezing sitting in wet clothes with air blowing on you. It was nice to get into my parents car around 3:30AM with warm sweatshirts, a blanket and Miss. Mozi!

Despite the cold miserable ending, B and I had a great trip… another adventure for us to look back on and remember.  I love going on adventures with B, exploring new places and seeing beautiful places.

We both agreed next time we visit NYC, we will be flying and staying in a hotel – no more megabus. Although we’ve loved the trips we have had, they’re definitely a whirlwind.