Where to begin... where to begin? Chicago was beautiful. If you're new around here, you may not know that I am a beauty editor for The Everygirl, a website set to inspire career-driven women in all facets of life - travel, living, fashion, food, career & finance, wellness, and of course, beauty. I started this position in January (or was it February?) and since that time, haven't had the opportunity to meet any of my teammates ...until this past week.
Being able to fly to Chicago for the first time and to meet ten amazing and talented women was incredible. Not only was I experiencing a new city (that I absolutely fell in love with, by the way), but I was able to do it with women who inspire me. It was a quick trip and grrr... such a tease! I can't wait to go back for a longer period of time and enjoy more restaurants and do the things all of you recommended.
Let's start with the hotel. We stayed at the W Lakeshore which was perfect because it gave this first-timer a perfect view of Lake Michigan and the cityscapes. The hotel was recently renovated and trust me, the end result is stunning. I took snaps of my room as soon as I got there because well, somehow tiny bags of luggage have the ability to expand five times their size and that's not pretty in photos. These are iPhone photos, by the way. My DSLR just didn't make the Chicago cut since I only traveled with a carry on (tips on how I pack light on the blog tomorrow!).
Nice toiletries make me happy.
...and this is the view from the other side of the hotel. Ok, I had no idea the water was going to be so BLUE! It was gorgeous.
I wasted literally no time at all before running out of the hotel and straight to Michigan Avenue. I was only a few blocks away, so it was perfect for me. I've heard that Chicago is such a great city because of how clean it is. That rumor was definitely true. Everything looked so well maintained. I do realize I was only in one part of the city, but I was impressed. I especially loved all of the landscaping within the sidewalks -tons of little parks, beautiful trees, and lots of flower beds.
The architecture was gorgeous!
And then there was shopping. I found something I really, really love.
After a lot (I repeat, a LOT) of walking, I was starving. Suddenly, it was as if the Heavens opened up and I smelled the most amazing smell in the world... Garrett Popcorn Shop.
I got a (huge) bag of Chicago mix, went back to my room and naturally, put on their cozy white robe, sat by the window, and chowed down.
I got ready for dinner, where I met about half of The Everygirl team (those who came in on Wednesday vs. Thursday) at Current, the restaurant at the hotel. Their executive chef, Gregory Elliott, prepared a tasting of wines and amazing food for us. We definitely had over ten items from the menu on the table for us all to sample and by the end, I almost needed to be wheeled out! It was all so, so good.
At the end of our meal, we were able to see the fireworks at the Navy Pier. That was exciting for me since I didn't have time to see the Pier up close and personal. Made me feel like I experienced at least part of it.
I don't have photos of the actual restaurant, but it's right inside the lobby of the hotel, pictured below.
The next one was taken on Friday afternoon. This bar area had a "trendy, upscale diner" vibe.
That was all just one day's worth! Now, moving on to Thursday, which was spent solely with TEG team. Lots and lots of planning went on at this table.
...and with all good meetings, there's good food. For lunch, we had deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati's and woahh- obsessed doesn't even cut it. Naturally, there was local beer and it, too, was delish.
Later that night, we headed out to Beatrix, a restaurant where the philosophy is "a healthier take on comfort food." That philosophy basically defines my life and general goal when preparing foods at home, by the way. The open-air atmosphere was great and the food, seriously out of this world.
Here's a few of us before dinner.
On Friday, I got to spend the morning walking around this amazing city, trying to take in every last bit I could before my flight.