0 Chicago... in two lovely summer days

Usually when I'm in Chicago I stay out near the airport and my days are a blur of meetings, emails, phonecalls and really bad coffee. I broke that trend a couple of weeks ago when lovely husband C. flew over mid-week to join me so we could explore the city at our leisure over the weekend. And what a lovely weekend it was...

… the people were SO nice and… normal. They smiled and said excuse me and didn't yell at each other for no reason. They struck up random conversations, wore casual clothing and didn't all carry designer handbags. Did I mention they smiled ? It felt just like Melbourne – laidback, relaxed and happy - only in America.  And oh, the coffee! It was such a joy to drink great coffee again – if you're in downtown Chicago, check out Sacred Grounds. I had a skinny latte every day in American sizes (huge!) and I finished every last wonderful drop of it.

There are plenty of things to do in downtown Chicago. We hired "cruisers" (vintage bikes) for the day and spent some time lazily cycling around Lake Michigan. We went to our first baseball game, which was high on atmosphere but low on action (aka home runs). We wandered around Millennium Park and walked the Magnificent Mile (shopping heaven). We admired the architecture in the city, went to the top of the John Hancock Tower and also battled our way through the crowds on Navy Pier. On the food front, we checked out a couple of great restaurants – Hub 51 for a tasty brunch, Osteria Via Stato for thin, delicious pizza and fresh pasta – both of which I highly recommend. We also did as Americans do and ate hotdogs at the baseball and had our first big pretzel from Auntie Anne's.

- I want one of my own now... -
- Not so relaxing days at Lake Michigan -
- Relaxing days at Lake Michigan -
- "I'm coooommmmiiiiinnnnggggg"
- Navy Pier... a food and boat haven -
- The architecture tour -
- The view from the John Hancock Tower -
That thing you hear about mid-western hospitality being some of the best in the world? It's true. We've been asked to go sailing on Lake Michigan and out into the country to stay on a farm… maybe next time we'll have enough time to take everyone up on their offers!

From Chicago, with love xox

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