Never say No to an adventure with a friend…
My grandmother once said “You travel more than you work” It is true, it may seem like I am always jet setting or on some random adventure. Truth is I like for it to be seen that way, for months leading up to it I am a slave to the man, working three maybe more jobs that I drain my entire being. So where did I go to get my head right, Chicago, The Windy City! And Windy it was. Although our tour guide mentioned that a New York writer’s headline is what gave the city its windy name, not anything having to do with wind but because Chicagoans talk too much. I cannot vouch for that. My friends and I tend to be super self-involved that we end up only talking to each other. (we swear we are funny enough to be on TV, who doesn’t?) Aside from the wind, the chill and the talkative natives everything about Chicago was majestic. Tall unique buildings with a view of the clearest lake water I have seen like ever. Lake Michigan you are a beauty!!! Chicago was so clean, at least from what we saw, the people in that town seriously care about where they live. So much so they even go out in all types of weather. In blizzards, rain, wind, sunshine there is always someone out there with their cool boots, funky hats and polar vortex warm jackets. You will even see a person in flip flops, i swear. I wish I got the memo about this whole North Pole jacket thing, I brought one really awesome jacket, zero hats, velvet boots, and about a million cute shirts to take pictures in. What a momo I was, I was straight out of a Jersey Shore episode no where near prepared but ready to party. And party we did not, except one night where I happened to pee myself, that I had to remove my panties and without taking my “hard to tie up” boots, thought it would be smart enough to just kind of burn them off with a lighter? Yes, lots of Ketel One was involved in making that decision. Anyways, here I am trying to burn my thong on the toilet when two security guards start banging on the door letting me know that I was to be kicked out for smoking. Little did they know the only thing smoking was my cotton Walmart brand thong. All I hear is my sweet drunk friend say “She’s not smoking, I swear”. Even I shout “I don’t even smoke”. None of that worked as they escorted us to the front door where the bouncer questioned our departure. I, of course, tell him because I know no boundaries and the look on his face, you could tell he thought I made this up to get myself back into “da” club. Safe to say we took our asses home only to climb into my bunk bed and find that a person was sleeping in my bed. [Long story short, the first night a girl was sleeping in my bed because she didn’t want the top bunk, so when she left I was still in her bed, front desk had no idea and gave my, well her bed away] Oh I forgot to mention how we almost got kicked out of the hotel for my friend Cher actually smoking in the common area! What a night in the Windy City!
Drunken stories aside, the purpose of this trip was to eat! Eat so much that we would explode from deliciousness. We did eat, but we did not eat as much as we thought we would. The first day, we spent most of the day on a free tour, then the other half of the day finding this chicken & biscuit joint. But man, was it worth it. Cher spoke about those sandwiches for the entire rest of the weekend. NO LIE. I promised to make her some at home if she would not mention it again haha. We went for the egg but showed up five hours late for their brunch menu. How quickly we forgot the egg after just a taste of their macaroni & cheese, so deliciously gooey & flavorful. Top that off with a bread pudding and you will have died and went to southern cuisine heaven. Most times when a joint is located on a corner street with only two tables and not a spot to sit you are in for a treat. The Roost you were the sundae and the cherry that day and every day that followed if you ask Cher. The next day, I woke Cher up at 5:30AM to trek 30 minutes to the beach only to be in the midst of a mini snow storm. Our fingers froze, our toes froze [ we dipped our toes in the lake] our only saving grace was a bottle of vodka soda we brought with us. After downing the bottle, freezing our appendages we were definitely starved! We asked a few workers out in the street who basically told us we should go home and warm up! As we started to walk home we stumbled upon YOLK, it was warm and they served breakfast, THANK YOU JESUS! Not just any breakfast, their breakfast was a TOUCHDOWN with a minute left on the clock. Order their country skillet, then drown it with country gravy your tummy will thank me! We pretty much stayed inside for the rest of the day until it was time to dig into some Chicago pizza. It’s Tradition! Our tour guide told us to go to Lou Malanati’s, our friend swore on Giordano’s so we trusted our friend. I had had Giordano’s once before on a layover in Chicago where I Uber’ed to the pizza joint then came back to enjoy it on the plane. But Cher hadn’t. Let me just say one thing there is no comparison between New York Pizza and Chicago Pizza, its oil and water. The cheese, the sauce, the style you cannot go into either pizza thinking about the other. Chicago pizza is cool, its like a fun way of eating pizza. New York Pizza is convenient, it’s the I’m in a rush but I’m hungry kind of pizza. Both the same thing cheese and sauce! If you are going to Chicago to eat try and step outside the norm. The food outside of pizza and hot dogs really changes your mind about the Chicago food scene. Next time you’re in town hop a train or bus let it take you outside the downtown area like to the Ukranian Village where this place called Whisk will whisk its way into your soul. They’re known for their breakfast but their poutine fries and special of the day pork soup will keep you there until dinner. As we did. All that food in our system there was no denying a walk, so we headed down W. CHICAGO AVE. There you will find many cool shops and food. A must see stop is Alcalas Western Wear a funky not so little place that will have you line dancing down the aisles! It was a great place to conclude our trip.
Chicago you were loved and will be missed. If I could I would travel there every weekend, skipping winter of course. It had the best of both worlds “A bustling city laid out in front of this glorious beach” Being there i was reminded of how much we work, work, work but never smell the roses. In Chicago you are part of the roses and the thorns all in one. The moral of this getaway. Always find time in your crazy hectic schedule to unwind. To depart mentally from your 9 to 5 to explore, to eat, to drink, to make memories. Even if you don’t have the money, anything is possible on a small budget. Most things to do in Chicago you can do for free. Like that 360 view in the John Hancock building, guess where the best view is? In the ladies bathroom, for free! Make the time like right now and go to that place you always wanted to, even if its the park down the street.
Love more, Peace more and Roar more.
Your Wild Spirit Guide,