The River Was Green, My Toes Were Blue

Alright, I think my liver has stabilized so I am ready to talk about Saint Patrick’s Day without getting queasy…I think.

Going to Chicago for Saint Patrick’s Day has been on our bucket list for quite awhile so we finally decided to do it this year since it was on a Saturday and it worked with our day jobs better. I know, I have to work, no one has offered to pay me to travel. Yeah, I don’t get it either.

We left early, early on that Friday morning and flew into Midway airport. Whenever I have flown to Chicago, it has always been for an international layover at O’Hare and it’s never been thaaaaat pleasant of an experience so I was thrilled to get into Midway, quickly grab our bags, hop in the car and get our vacation going! We stayed in Downtown since we knew the river was a huge part of why we wanted to come and since we are big Marriott fans (my husband worked there in college) we stayed at Hotel Chicago, Downtown which is part of their Autograph Collection. It was beautiful! A great area to be in as everything we wanted to be a part of was down there. Very clean rooms and one of the few Marriott’s I’ve been in recently that is still doing room service!

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How annoyed does he look at me?! So rude.

We were FAMISHED by this time and were looking for a nearby bite so we could plan out the rest of the day. Well, being a Friday around late lunchtime and the weekend of Saint Patrick’s Day, everything was packed but we finally got a seat at Public House Chicago. I think they are mostly famous for those boozy milkshakes that look like death by sugar but the service was great and our food did the job. The Red Sangria on the other hand was deliiiiiicious. Lunch gave me a bit of trepidation as I was almost immediately over the drunk people and my husband only said “This is just the beginning”. Ominous, right? The man watches too much HBO. Below is what we ate, he had the sliders and I had the Mediterranean Salad because I have a naan bread problem and no I will not seek help for it. Their menu looked delicious, though! I would try the flatbreads if we ever went back.

That afternoon, we walked down to the Miracle Mile to do some exploring and shopping! It was soooo cold! I am from the High Desert so I used to be able to do cold but nope, not anymore. The Bay Area has made me soft and I can own that. So exploring and shopping turned into propping ourselves at the bar at the Ritz-Carlton for a few hours. I got copious amounts of champagne and my husband got to walk basketball. It worked out better than any planning I could have done! This bar is worth a stop just to grab a quick drink and feel fancy. The service was wonderful and the bubbly list was spot on. We didn’t realize it but they had just opened so everything was still really shiny and new and we met some great people!

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I never complain about basketball when there is Veuve in front of me!

After one of the games finished up, we met up with a couple friend of ours at Cindy’s Rooftop. I didn’t realize how many rooftop bars there are in Chicago! And every single one has a long line but, fear not, they move quickly so if you are a bit patient, you’ll be up there in no time. Cindy’s has a great vantage point of Millenium Park, some really fun bartenders and a killer burrata dish. If you can’t decide which roof to go to, I would recommend Cindy’s for the picture opportunities alone. Just look at the bean below!

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How pretty is this vantage point?!

Since the next day was THE DAY, we called it an early night, read my book and drank the ridiculously overpriced prosecco from the mini bar.

We woke up around 8:30am and PANICKED! I had read everywhere that the river was dyed at 9am and we were going to miss it!!!!!! I don’t know what I thought they did to magically dye it in thirty seconds flat but whatever, don’t judge me. We hurriedly got ready, I had my sweatshirt and necklace on, Luke had his obnoxious green Eagles jacket and we were out the door.

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LUCKY AND LIT AMIRITE

Well, guys. It takes a looooong time for the river to actually get dyed hahahaha. Luckily, our hotel was right by the spot where the boat sits and sprays the orange liquid (orange I know!!) and it sloooooowly makes its way down the river. IT IS SO GREEN THOUGH. Oh my gosh you guys, the color. It is incredible. What you see online is real. It’s not a filter! Oh, you didn’t think it was? Yeah, me neither…

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It was so cold sitting out there and I watched the green move slower than a snail I was like NAH. So, we went and warmed up at the hotel bar with a coffee and Baileys. I mean, I had hand warmers in my gloves, my shoes, my pockets, my pants, every wheeere! Once I felt that I had finally thawed out, we went to find some brunch.

IF YOU ONLY TAKE AWAY ONE THING FROM THIS POST, MAKE SURE IT IS THIS:

For the love of all that is holy, please make reservations far ahead of time for St. Paddy’s. I’ve said it a million times before and I will say it again. IT IS PACKED. 

Okay, back to regularly scheduled blogging. We put our name in at a spot and walked around for about thirty minutes until we were called. Thirty minutes walking around in this weather is no joke but we were so lucky to only be doing it for an hour. We ended up eating at The Kitchen, a great restaurant right on the river. I’m pretty sure the food was delicious but it could have been because we were so cold and so hungry that we would have eaten anything. I had a slice of the Irish Soda Bread and Grilled Vegetable and Grain Salad and I am still trying to perfect the spiced yogurt dressing. It was to diiiiiie for! Luke had a Corned Beef Hash in true St. Paddy’s fashion. I, of course, washed it all down with some sparkling rose.

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This yogurt dressing guys!!

After we were fat and happy, we walked around a bit more, froze our butts off a bunch more, saw the river a bunch more and then it hit me…

I don’t like people enough to continue to be out here!

Guys, I am 28 years old and I threw in the towel on St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago at…like, 1pm! We went to the little store that is under the hotel, grabbed a bottle of bubbly, and hung out in the room! Ordered some Chicago dogs on DoorDash from Bib Bob and Fritzy’s (They have a veggie dog!), watched Food Network and read my book. I’m a wild animal, ya’ll.

Okay, so it is Sunday now and thank goodness most people are heading back home but we had one more day to explore! We walked down to the river, still super green, then had an AMAZING brunch at this great spot called Beatrix. Please go if you are in Chicago! I had the Lemon Pancakes and a Blueberry Mimosa while my husband had the enchiladas and a Bloody Mary. It was sooo fun! It’s one of those restaurants that makes it so hard to order anything because every thing sounds delicious. If you are in Chicago with a large group, go here and order a ton of different dishes and try them. Then let me know what the best is for next time!

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A lot of window spots for people watching! A must after Saint Patrick’s Day!

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The mimosa had fresh blueberry juice. I didn’t even know that was a thing…

After that amazing brunch, I needed to caffeinate myself a bit so I told my husband we should head to this cute little place called Bodega. Unbeknownst to him, that was the number one place I wanted to go in Chicago..ha! So sneaky. They have the best latte art (that is a surprise to the drinker!) and fun churro flavors! I got the Fruity Pebble at the recommendation of the employee and I DIED. It was so sugary and gross and I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT. I would say minute but it didn’t last a minute…and you know why? Because I am Limited Edition. You have to go here if you are in Chicago if for nothing else but the picture of your latte with the floor.  If you try any of the other churro flavors like Oreo, Red Velvet, or Nutella, please tell me about it IN DETAIL.

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YAAAASSSSS

After the Bodega, we caught a ride to Wrigleyville and, to be honest, meh. It was a bit too college-y for me the day after dealing with so many drunk people but I did get some amazing cheese fries at NOLA and chatted with a really great bartender and saw the Wrigley Field sign (which was surrounded by construction, ugh) but other than that, I was ready to be closer to downtown. I am sure it would have been a much, much more fun experience if I wasn’t so over people and if there was a game going on! There are definitely A TON of places to eat and drink around there so it’s definitely a destination day instead of something for a couple hours like we did.

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FRIIIIIIIES. Extra cheese, obvi.

For Sunday night, we had already purchased tickets for the Chicago Blackhawks hockey game but we had a bit of extra time and while we were exploring on day one, I saw Dylan’s Candy Bar so I begged my husband to go and somehow I won! It’s on the busy Michigan Ave. stretch, a ton of shopping and dining opportunities that we just didn’t get the change to take advantage of but will definitely head back there during our next visit! Dylan’s Candy Bar is everything you think it would be. Just look at it!

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Everything looked incredible except for, of course, anything that’s banana flavored ’cause that’s just gross and my worst nightmare. There was also this Pizza Flavored Candy Bar that honestly could be okay but I am not going to be the person to see. If you have tried it, please let me know.

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Seriously, someone please try it!

After I bought close to $100 worth of candy (sorry, Luke) we dropped it off at the hotel and headed to the hockey arena. We were lucky with this because my husband is a huge fan of basketball and this is also where the Chicago Bulls play so he got to mark another thing off his bucket list and see the Michael Jordan statue! I will only bore you with one of the photos but let me tell you, I gave that man a proper photo shoot. He is so lucky to have me.

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If you are wondering, yes, I picked one with his eyes closed. It’s payback for a picture he posted of me last year in Seattle. I NEVER FORGET.

The game was a blast as well! I have never been to a sporting event where Luke didn’t care about the outcome so instead of apologizing for his language and actions to everyone around me, I actually got to watch it! and hockey fans are so nice! So much better than football games where people lose their damn minds. Granted, this was one game so it’s a small focus group to work off of but just let a girl dream. I would absolutely go to another hockey game! It’s super fast paced, you aren’t stuck sitting in the sun the whole time, and they have nachooooooos! I know you can get nachos at basically any sporting event but again, just let me have this one. We left a game at a normal emotional level which has never happened! We (him really while I pretend like I know what just happened) either leave a game pissed at life or high on life. There is no in-between. Cheers to Hockey!

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They had the flag projected on the ice during the National Anthem. It was very cool!

Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, that was Chicago. After the game, I tuckered out and thank goodness since we had a very, very early flight and thank goodness for that because I was ready to see my pup again.

I really enjoyed Chicago and think it’s a trip every one should do. The people are great and there are endless things to do! I think the three nights we had were perfect to get a feel of the city and know more of what we want to do next time. I heard the zoo and the planetarium were great! As well as Navy Pier. Next time!

Thanks for reading! Until next time, here is a picture of one of the best things I have ever eaten…A Vanilla Cupcake Candy Bar from Dylan’s Candy Bar. Bye all!

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