TAKE ME BACK! | Chicago Trip 2016

On Thursday September 8th 2016, my sisters and I embarked on a memorable trip to Rosemont, Chicago Illinois. This “sisters only” vacation trip was relaxing, eventful and filled with tons of happy moments. Having been to Chicago since my first visit with the entire family at 12 years old I was super excited to return. However, I must admit, I haven’t been on a plane in over 20 years ( Still in my 20’s guys, not that old…yet) and although I was excited about the trip I  was super nervous about the what was essentially my first real flight experience.

The 3 hr flight was surprisingly not as bad as I expected, thanks in part to flight tips from my brothers and dad. The pilot talked through most of the flight to Chicago mentioning the total altitude, current weather, and upcoming turbulence as per intercepted; this helped to put my nerves at ease, the complimentary pretzels and juice together with the comfort of my little sister beside me also helped a great deal too.

Ok, enough about my flight, here is a glance of my “sisters only” trip to Chicago:

WHERE I STAYED……….

After landing we arrived at the Chicago O’hare International Airport, I immediately began to feel nostalgic as it was the airport where the classic HOME ALONE 2 was filmed. It was an incredibly frivolous moment as all I wanted to do was snap pictures  to commemorate the moment, all while thinking “Please don’t let me become separated from my sisters like Kevin did in the movie. Ok maybe I was over thinking a little but I couldn’t help but feel like I was apart of the movie, besides my sisters would never allow that to happen anyway.

Photo by Brittney Grant
Our hotel was super close to the airport, a mere 8 minutes away and offered complimentary shuttle van service to and from the hotel. The HYATT PLACE Chicago and it’s hotel staff made a great first impression as were immediately greeted by vale who helped us transport our luggage. After checking in we were given a tour of the hotel which was absolutely stunning as it featured a complimentary indoor pool, 24 hour gym, 2 dining halls, and 24 room service.

Photo by Brittney Grant

Photo by Brittney Grant
Our room was a deluxe sweet that featured two queen sized beds, a full kitchen with a fridge, microwave, cabinets for storage,a large sink, and dinning table. In addition, our suite came with a double bathroom + shower, cable television, and a  lounge area that featured a sectional sofa with a built in queen pull-out bed, overhead lighting and coffee table.

Photo by Brittney Grant
Of course the beds were perfectly made when we first arrived in the suite but soon became messy after my sisters and I decided to do the commonly known hotel bed jumping tradition in case you missed it from the photo.

Photo by Brittney Grant

Photo by Brittney Grant
An even better the hotel offered complimentary breakfast every morning. The breakfast was served buffet style and featured lots of great options including freshly squeezed juice bar, yogurt bar, fresh fruits, bread/pastry bar and tons of great options for a main dish.

Photo by Brittney Grant
Photo by Brittney Grant

Photo by Brittney Grant


WHAT I DID……….

I went to CHILLI’S for the very first time and the food was way better than I anticipated. For appetizers we ordered our usual  buffalo wings and spinach/artichoke dip, both tasted amazing, in fact the buffalo wings were some of the best I’ve ever had. For the main course I ordered my usual turkey burger, fries and ice water with lemon which was great as well.

Photo by Brittney Grant
I also visited the popular MARGARITAVILLE  BAR & GRILL for the first time and had the completely opposite experience as I was anticipating that the food would be good. We ordered our usual buffalo wing and spinach/artichoke dip appetizer combo which in my opinion was terrible as the wings were extremely salty and the spinach/artichoke dip was simply not that great. I decided to go on a whim and order the piña colada which wasn’t great either, thank goodness the ambiance and customer service was amazing.

Photo by Brittney Grant

Of course it wouldn’t be a good vacation without a trip to the mall. The Fashion Outlets Of Chicago was a short 8 minute ride from our hotel and boy was it worth the trip! The mall is absolutely beautiful on the inside and out and featured great places to shop and eat.

Tried Garret Popcorn for the first time and fell completely in love! The carmel crisp popcorn was everything I desired and more. The deep buttery, sweet brown sugar flavor was the perfect combination of warm and savory sweet, the popcorn literally melted in my mouth. Getting hungry just talking about it. If your in the Chicago area and happen to find a Garret Popcorn near by, go in and give it a try you won’t be disappointed trust me!


PLACES I VISTED……….

NAVY PIER 

NAVY PIER
Photo by Brittney Grant

NAV PIER
Photo by Brittney Grant
CRYSTAL GARDENS  at the Navy Pier is a beautiful indoor, one‐acre, botanical garden filled with live palm trees, lush foliage, hanging twinkle lights and dancing leapfrog fountains. This was my favorite part of the Navy Pier, the view was simply breath taking and serene. The beautiful views of the lakefront, Chicago skyline and Navy Pier Ferris Wheel enhanced the scenery and ambiance even more, the perfect location to host a social or corporate event.

Photo by Brittney Grant
Another great attribute of Crystal Gardens was the seating, it great way to get up close and personal with the plant life as it was the perfect way to relax and feel serene all while soaking in the beautiful views. My sisters and I sat here for quite some time before heading off to our next destination.

WILLIS TOWER

Front Entry to Willis Tower / Photo by Brittney Grant
The Willis Tower is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. It stands at 1,353 feet in the air and the Ledge’s glass boxes extend out 4.3 feet from the Skydeck. At first this sounded like a great ideal but when we arrived, the lines were extremely long and not to mention the wait time which was a over an hour and and a half. My sisters and I opted out due to the long wait time and besides I chicken out the moment we walked into the building after seeing how tall the building actually was and  the crowd of people waiting; after all I am completely afraid of heights.

ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO

Interior view, Art Institute of Chicago/ Photo by Brittney Grant

Kemeys, bronze 1893/ Photo by Brittney Grant
The Art Institute of Chicago was another one of my favorite places to visit on the trip as the museum featured works of arts—ranging from ancient art through to work being created by today’s foremost artists. As a creative myself it as brings me as much joy as it brings me inspiration to see the works of other artist and creatives, I couldn’t help but feel inspired especially since I’ve been sorta lacking in creative confidence lately. One of the two Lion statues side long the Institute’s main entrances. My sisters and I named them guardian of museum.

South Garden at The Art Institute of Chicago/ Photo by Brittney Grant
The South Garden at The Art Institute of Chicago was the perfect place to relax, recharge and feel inspired. It was designed to provide visitors to the Museum with a shady, peaceful enclave from the Institute’s urban surrounds.

SHEDD AQUARIUM 

Man With Fish Statue at Shedd Aquarium Entrance/ Photo by Brittney Grant
The Shedd Aquarium was awesome, we got to see the live dolphin show, and got a closer look at how animals like beluga whales, sea lions and dolphins at Shedd are cared for every day by their trainers.

MILLENNIUM  PARK

Millennium Park Entry / Photo by Brittney Grant
Millennium park is a public park  located in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois. The park features a state-of-the-art collection of architecture, landscape design the perfect location for frequent local exhibitions, concerts, tours and family activities.

Crown Fountain, Millennium Park designed by Jaume Plensa  / Photo by Brittney Grant
Crown Fountain is an interactive work of public art and video sculpture featured in Chicago’s Millennium Park.  The fountain is composed of a black granite reflecting pool placed between a pair of glass brick towers and stands 50 feet high. The fountain features digital video displays on their inward faces displayed using light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

Cloud Gate located in Millennium Park / Photo by Brittney Grant
Cloud Gate or “the bean” which the sculpture is most commonly referred to is a public outdoor sculpture designed by British artist Anish Kapoor. If can’t already tell from the photo, it is a popular tourist attraction in Chicago as it is one of the largest of it’s kind in the world. The 12-foot-high arch provides a “gate” to the concave chamber beneath the sculpture, inviting visitors to touch its mirror-like surface and see their image reflected back from a variety of perspectives. We were lucky enough to snap a few good photos together.


That pretty much sums up my “sisters only” trip to Chicago, I had an amazing time and planning to return some time late next year.

Photo by Brittney Grant

Have you ever been to Chicago? Please share your experience below.

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