May 26- 29, 2012: A visit to see Caitlin before she and Kevin head south to Houston.
As is my norm- I flew into Chicago super duper early so I can make the most of the time! We started out with a fun cookout in the city with some of Caitlin's coworkers since it was Memorial Day weekend. There were some cute kids and babies and we ate delicious food. And there was ice cream! yay. Afterwards we met up with some of Kevin's friends at Hopleaf for snacks and delicious beer. Hopleaf is one of the best beer bars in the city and I'd been on my previous trips to Chicago back in 2007. It was great to come back. Their beer selection is amazing. We ended the evening at Acre - enjoying a few more beers before heading back up to Evanston.
We woke up on Sunday morning and went to Caitlin's zumba class. My first time doing zumba! I had a great time- and would love to keep doing it once I get back to DC. We took a metra ride back into the city to grab some lunch at corner bakery before heading to our architecture boat tour. I had done one of these many years back but it was still awesome. Was pretty hot in the city, so the breeze on the water was nice. And learning about the history behind all the building was fun. Afterwards we got much needed ice cream. :) Kevin headed back to Evanston to get some more work done on his dissertation presentation (it was happening on Monday!) Caitlin and I headed over to Millenium Park to wandering, see the bean and stop by the Art Institute. A Roy Lichtensitein exhibit was in town so we explored that and took in some of the other AI favorites before heading back to Evanston for dinner and relaxing.
On my third day in town I got to do a day of exploring by myself. Caitlin joined me for my favorite brunch spot ever - Orange with a Peel!!!! I have eaten at most of them in Chicago over my various trips- but it had been since 2007 when I was last in town that I had eaten at one. We started out with some delicious frushi. And then the Pièce de résistance: Avengers themed pancake flight! Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and Captain America were each a set of mini cakes. Amazing. AHH!! Then Caitlin headed back to Evanston to finish up her thesis and I started wandering through Chicago- stopping at all the spots I went to back in 2007. I made it back to the lakefront, took some nice photos of the Buckingham fountain. Wandered through Grant Park, Lincoln Park, and hitting up some shopping spots. I found the first Francesca's I had ever been to- and of course got a cute dress! Was so much fun to wander the places I used to go when I visited a bunch of times back in the day. I eventually ended up back in Evanston for dinner- homemade pizza again! Love visitin friends and eating their homemade pizza. Then we finished up the evening with bananagrams and boggle.
My final day in Chicago was filled with the botanical gardens. I had never been and we walked all over the place! Lunch at the garden cafe and then on to the waterfall walks, and japanese gardens. It was beautiful and I took so many flower photos it was insane. Before heading to the airport we met up with Kevin (who had just defended successfully!) to go to dinner at revolution brewing. It was a mini- celebration! Yay for more delicious beer, pretzels, and pulled pork on a hamburger.
Chicago- you were amazing yet again. Until next time!! Caitlin and Kevin- next visit will be in Houston!