We had a great time in Chicago earlier this month. It was chilly, but not so much that it wasn’t tolerable. We just had to keep bundled up when we were outside. The drive there went pretty well. The kids didn’t complain at all since they had more room in our new Yukon. It is bigger inside compared to my Acadia, but the trunk space is quite small. We liked that we were driving into Chicago at night…it makes it so much more exciting for the kids since it was their first time there. They were awed by all the lights and traffic.
We stayed in a suite on the top floor (46th) of the Marriott Downtown – Magnificent Mile right on Michigan Avenue so we were right by all the shopping. I have no complaints about the hotel, it was very nice and I would certainly return. However I did call down to complain that they wanted to charge us an additional $15 a day for internet connection, haha! They gave it to us at no cost after I said we were already paying so much for our room. I wouldn’t even have cared about the internet, but Ken freaks out if he can’t check email at least once a day because of our business. Truth is he was probably worried his mafia would die off or something (from Facebook, nevermind if you don’t know what I am talking about.) We didn’t take our car anywhere while we were there. Which the hotel charges $45 a day for parking your car in their lot. I have heard that some people will find a cheaper place to park and take a taxi or walk to the hotel, but we opted not to do that will all the luggage and stuff the kids had brought with them.
Nothing is cheap in Chicago. We took a taxi a few times, like to the Navy Pier, but most of the time we walked everywhere. We did take a horse and carriage ride one night. The kids thought that was pretty cool. We ate at all really good restaurants- Giordano’s, Ditka’s, (we made reservations for this place) Rockit Bar and Grill, and Pizza Uno. We did lots of shopping of course! Karli had a blast at the American Girl store and had no idea what we bought for her for Christmas. She also picked out some stuff at the Disney Store. Andrew bought a winter coat at North Face which we allowed him to wear because he was “too cool” to bring his heavy coat to Chicago, but later realized he made a mistake. After we returned home I made him give me the coat and told him it was part of his Christmas presents! Blake and Chase didn’t really get anything big, just some small stuff. I bought my very first Louis Vuitton purse. Well actually it’s not a purse…it’s a Pouchette, which is basically like a clutch. I wanted something to carry just my money, credit card, keys, and cell phone around. I’ve joked and said whenever I close my own job I am going to treat myself to a matching purse. My pochette is a Christmas present too.
We also went ice skating at the Wonderfest at the Navy Pier. The kids all did very well except for Karli. She had a hard time and was either hanging on me or the wall. Chase was a total natural. The funniest and possibly most annoying (in a funny way) part of Chicago is the boys all kept doing these “Parkour” tricks. They would jump off walls, benches, etc and yell “Parkour”. The funniest part is the entire time we were in Chicago I thought they were saying Hard Core…not Parkour! LOL!
Tips: Giordano’s is the best thickest pizza – a must have when in Chicago. If you go to the Rockit Bar and Grill the macaroni and cheese it to die for! Wear comfy shoes because you will be walking a lot! And bring lots of spending money – they are a lot of unique stores you don’t see in many cities.
We also made a pit stop at the Notre Dame bookstore on the way home and everyone got lots of goodies from there as well.