Trains, pastries and stretchy pants

Yesterday my boyfriend and I arrived in Chicago. His brothers wedding is this weekend and so far I am loving this city. I have only been to Chicago once but it was several years ago, I think I was 13.  So we landed around noon and we immediately headed to a place called Portillo’s. Boyfriends family lives a couple hours outside of Chicago and Portillo’s was on the drive home. I was told this is the best place to get a true Chicago hot dog, which I have never had. We walked in this adorable, almost diner type restaurant and I told boyfriend (yes I am just referring to him as boyfriend from now on) to just order me whatever he wanted me to try. So I ended up with a jumbo Chicago dog. I have to say, I was a little questionable on a hot dog with celery salt, tomatoes and a giant pickle on it. But oh my was it delicious. I downed almost the entire thing. My inner fat kid came out immediately in Chicago and its day 2 and I haven’t slowed down one bit. Boyfriend ate two jumbo Chicago dogs, making me feel a little less like a cow. We then made a stop at Men’s Warehouse for the boyfriend and his dad to try on their suits one last time before the wedding. I immediately hear boyfriend say in the dressing room, “thank goodness these dress pants have an adjustable waistband”, as I am sitting there thinking about that size 0 dress I have to get into in a few days. Sigh. Oh well, I’m also thinking about what’s for dinner. We head back to boyfriends family’s house. After a very warm welcome, I immediately get to see a ton of childhood pictures of boyfriend, which was wonderfully entertaining. After saying we probably wouldn’t eat dinner because we were still full from lunch, we found ourselves talking about what’s for dinner. We ended up deciding on Redamak’s, a burger place down the road. You know, just a light dinner. After considering a salad or a cup of soup, I forgot that thought and decided on a cheeseburger with grilled onions and fries. (Just going all out at this point) Again, boyfriend made me feel a little better and ordered a “double ultimate cheeseburger with bacon”. This was was an unbelievable 18 ounces of burger. Holy cow (had to put that pun in, couldn’t help myself.) We finished off the night with a bang, ice cream. Adorable ice cream shop called Oinks. I had a cup of “Toffee Fantastic” and it completely lived up to the name. Chicago food: 1 jeans button: 0

Boyfriend and I decided to take an early train ride into Chicago and spend the day there. I had done some pinteresting yesterday trying to find some of the best places to go. We mapped it all out and decided to start the day at Skydeck, then head to Millenium Park, stop at an awesome bakery I found and check out the Shedd Aquarium. After an hour train ride into Chicago, we got our Starbucks and started on our 20 minute walk to the Skydeck. It opens at 9am and I had read it is best to arrive as soon as it opened so it wouldn’t be too busy. We walked in right at 9:10, nailed it. We purchased our tickets and headed to the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower. The view of the Chicago skyline is truly unbelieveable up there. You can see for miles. They have these glass boxes that you can go stand in, literally clear glass on the floor… standing on the 103rd floor. Yep, I definitely panicked a little as I stepped onto that glass floor and looked down. Boyfriend that is afraid of heights actually handled it better than me. But so glad we went here and experienced this, totally worth it. We got our awesome pictures and a couple souvineers and headed back down to the ground. After the Skydeck we walked to Millenium Park. We were so lucky with the weather today, it was a gorgeous 70 degrees and sunny. Coming from 500 degrees in south Florida, this is truly a breath of fresh air. We walked around the whole park and of course we were full on tourists and had our picture taken in front of The Bean. It’s a beautiful park and the walking was much needed after the marathon of carbs yesterday. I had planned to go to this cute little bakery for lunch that offered wonderful healthy choices plus some delicious pastries for after. But…. we decided that deep dish pizza in Chicago was a must. I mean we’re in Chicago, we had the Chicago dog, we have to have the Chicago pizza right? Planning on wearing stretchy pants to the wedding at this point. A friend of mine told me to try Pizanos and it happened to be a very short walk from the park. Thank you for the suggestion, Lauren because it was wonderful. We had a Hawaiian deep dish.  We sat outside in the beautiful weather and downed pretty much the whole thing, shocker I know. After stuffing ourselves, we headed to the Shedd Aquariam. I was hoping we would be able to walk everywhere, but we decided a 45 minute walk from Pizanos was a little much and grabbed a cab. The aquarium was definitely worth it. We walked around and saw all of the cool fish and reptiles. Got to see an anaconda which was pretty amazing but it left Sirmixalot stuck in my head for the rest of the day.  Last but certainly not least, we headed to Goddess and The Baker. I saw lots of recommendations on Instagram and Pinterest for this bakery and I had to give it a try. No cupcake left behind right? They are known for their coffee and after all of our walking we certainly could use some caffeine. We walked in and I immediately turned googly eyed by the huge case of pastries. After an eye roll from boyfriend, I again reminded him that he was not to judge my inner Fat Monica. They had everything you would want in a classic bakery. Cupcakes, brownies, croissants, cookies and full on cakes. I decided to “keep it light” and get a couple macaroons. I got Nutella and lemon. As for the coffee, I got a Goddess Sweet Cream Cold brew and boyfriend got a Tommy Zs Rocket Fuel.  Mine was a double shot cold brew with steamed sweet cream and was delicious. Boyfriends was no joke. I took a sip and it was literally a smack in the face but was divine. It was espresso mixed with honey, cold brew and a dash of bitters. Rocket fuel is definitely a perfect name. That will wake you up no problem. We headed back to the South Shore Line train station and headed back home. Note to self: when you’re hopped up on coffee/slightly delirious, don’t pick the “Quite car” to sit in. This would have been great for a nap but you’re literally not allowed to talk on this train and when you have a case of the giggles, it makes for a long hour train ride. So two days complete in Chicago and we are in stretchy pants on the couch binge watching Netflix and I’m happy as a clam. Just sitting here talking about how much we are going to work out tomorrow. Maybe a solid 24 hours? 

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