Chicago

When your parents are only 3 hours away instead of 13, you jump in the car & head to the Windy City. 

I don't mind a mini road trip, but I need to be eating, drinking, or chewing gum the entire time. So Saturday started bright & early, car loaded with overnight oats, fruit, water, coffee, a Monster and a Spotify playlist ready to go. 

I headed straight to my Aunt & Uncle's and after a handful of hugs & kisses, we went off to the Lincoln Park Farmer's Market. It was pretty packed and full of fresh produce that could have filled up your local Aldi. We also got to see homemade crepes made on the fly as well as smell the Cookies & Carnitas. Dave (my dad) made a pit stop at this tent and grabbed two cookies: Peanut Butter & Jelly Oatmeal Dried Fruit. I could have gotten into some deep trouble if I was going to stick around, but I was off to meet a friend for lunch. 

My girl Max just started working at Equinox Gold Coast in Chicago (hit her up!) and we had to grab a quick healthy bite to catch up - Lyfe Kitchen was an easy go to. After (way too much) contemplation, I went for the Mahi Fish Tacos: (chayote slaw, avocado, cilantro, chipotle aioli & corn tortillas). This was just the right about of spicy & salty and creamy whenever you got a mouthful of avo. We paired up our lunch with a mimosa because it's taboo to cheers with water - sparkling or not. 

The night was young and we were welcomed into my parent's friend's house. Not only was this a beautiful home full of exquisite art work and the perfect blend of modern & cozy - they served up a great charcuterie board. With a few cheeses (including the goat cheese & jam preserve that was to die for), some hard salami, and more clutch grabs from the farmer's market...it was a spot that everyone naturally gathered around. 

Big John (my dad's friend) offered up his specialty, which is simple but perfection. Quality bread + Garlic + Olive Oil + Grill + Tomatoes +Balsamic vinegar + Salt & Pepper = Heaven 

16 hours & 10+ miles later, my nightcap was half of a margherita pizza, a few Trader Joe meringues and a comfy bed. 


Sunday morning started off with an hour walk with my mom paired with a free Starbys (perks of being with mom), followed by a workout class with my Aunt at their gym, Lakeshore Sport & Fitness - it kicked my butt. 

The boys went to a Cubs game and The girls ended up back at the gym for brunch to enjoy the beautiful weather on the rooftop patio. I went for the fitness field greens salad...with a fried egg on top, because well...I can. 

Before I left the city, I couldn't pass up on National Ice Cream Day when I was only a few blocks away from Jeni's. The second I stepped in, I was torn with my excitement and my indecisiveness on what flavor to go with. From churro to whiskey pecans to wildberry lavender, there wasn't a drop of creativity missing. After trying a few flavors (with these cute little metal spoons that you get to keep...mini perk) I went with sweet cream & roasted strawberry buttermilk in a waffle cone. Gah I just love me some Jeni's, I want them all!! 

I couldn't be happier that I made the decision to go for the drive and have an amazing weekend in the city. It was full of family times, lots of hugs and of course amazing eats. The only Thing I regret is that I didn't get an extra scoop.