I thought now would be as good a time as any as I people watch at MidWay airport in Chicago to chat about the last few days in Chi! For the of you who might not know, Chicago is my second home. My mom’s side of the family is here and I was brought here at least once a year since I was only a few months old. I also chose to attend DePaul University for my undergrad education which is between downtown and Lincoln Park. Needless to say, I’ve done my fair share of exploring here. I hold Chicago so close to my heart because of my family and friends here and for the massive amount of growing up that I experienced in this place.
Chicago was the first place I ever was on my own. I lived with roommates, learned how to deal with paying bills, got jobs, made mistakes, studied hard, cried hard, and experienced a lot of love at the same time. This trip was my first time being back since graduation not even a year ago in June 2016. It literally felt like I never left as I walked down the street and ran into people at every corner. Yeah yeah, I know some of you are going to be like “duh Connie” you barely left but honestly SO MUCH has happened in the time that I’ve left it feels like forever ago. I’m nearly a year done with a FULL YEAR of graduate school and this blog at the time of graduation was still something I wasn’t sure of.
Staring at the skyline on the Chicago river this time around felt good. I had a wonderful time with friends and family and I thought I would share the hi-lights with you!
Day 1: Wednesday I stayed with my sorority little/best friend Dani who is one of my biggest cheerleaders and is one of the most faith filled humans I know. Getting to spend time with her made my heart feel at rest and I needed that. I cooked us dinner and we went out to one of the popular Wednesday night bars. It was basically a one stop shop to see everyone in a matter of 2 hours- just what I needed! I also found my new favorite wine! A sauvignon blanc from whole foods 365 from California 2013 I think!
Day 2: Thursday- Coffee date at La Colombe with Dani before she went to work was first. I got to see my sweet friend Amira and the professor we both were TAs for in human anatomy and physiology. Being a TA was one of the best experiences of my undergrad career and my professor was a huge inspiration and help for my grad school applications. I also went to the Macy’s flower show with my family! For those of you wondering who the cute kid in all my IG stories was it’s my cousin Ella aka my best bud. The second my cousins Jocelyn and Jason brought her home from China my sophomore year I fell in love and we have been close ever since. She is such a light in our lives!
Day 3: Friday- My sister came in late Thursday night and went out with her best friend who is my best friend’s sister ( it’s so perfect) and we just decided to meet up Friday for the day. We headed to La Colombe coffee with Dani before work again and then went to Real Good Juice Co for an Acai Bowl and some killer Avo Toast! We walked around Southport and then headed downtown to grab some Kefir from Lifeway before my soul cycle ride I was hosting on Saturday.
We went to the river- yes it was freezing- but I needed to be there since it’s my favorite view of the city. After a day of exploring Kate and I headed to our cousins for dinner where Jocelyn made Hot Pot! She is one heck of a cook and is amazing at dishes that she learned while traveling in China.
Day 4: We SLEPT IN. 10 hours of sleep never felt better. We then grabbed Ella and headed to brunch at Uncommon Ground for an amazing spread. Kate and I split the 10 grain pancakes and the breakfast sandwich filled with pork sausage, cheese, eggs, and breakfast potatoes on a brioche bun! Ella got french toast. Also I might add the the coffee here is UNREAL.
Post brunch we headed to the park to burn some energy off Ella and spend some time with her. We ran a few errands and headed to Soul Cycle Southport to a 4 pm class that I was hosting! I am so happy I got to meet some of you Chicago readers! I brought snacks from LifeWay, Salba Chia, and This Bar! Everyone loved it! We headed home to shower and then grabbed a pizza from the best Italian in Chicago in my opinion- PR Italian Bistro. Post pizza we got Jeni’s Ice cream because when in Chicago you get Jeni’s. Ella, Dani, Kate, and I shared 3 flavors, The Darkest Chocolate, Supermoon, and Salted Peanut Butter and Chocolate Flecks– HIT THE SPOT. We walked back about a mile to the apartment to watch movies and crash.
(Post soul 1)
Day 5: Sunday was Addie’s soul cycle ride and I got to see her and May for a second time- YAY! Kate and I stopped by my FAVORITE cafe ever Floriole in Lincoln Park. We got fresh bread with butter and jam with almond milk lattes with house made almond milk. Also they do 1 dollar coffee refills sooooo. I didn’t have much time before Soul so I really couldn’t eat a big breakfast. I had a scoop of Siggis as I left my cousin’s house before toast!
(Did you even go to grandma’s house without eating pie and ice cream? We usually have Valpo Velvet but they had just gotten back from Arizona and the house was empty!)
It was a perfect couple of days in Chi but reality hit me FAST. I literally feel like I’m up to my eyeballs in assignments. I’m just going to leave this last photo here to remind me to not stress. Life is GOOD.