Chicago Recap & My 2017 Christmas Card

Last Sunday, we headed to Chicago.  I have said it before, but it's my favorite city and I was super excited to go during the holiday season.  (To make it easier, at the very bottom of the post are my recommendations for Chicago.)

We got there later on Sunday, so we just check into our hotel and walked around a bit before grabbing something to eat at a restaurant close to our hotel. 

I made it to the hotel gym on Monday to start off the week right, although I do have to say it was the only day I actually made it there.  Breakfast was complimentary with our stay, so we ended up doing that each morning we were there, because it was super easy, free and really good!  One really cool thing about our hotel, was that it had two robots, that would bring up small items if need be.  We accidently got two shower gels and no lotion, and I hadn't packed any, so we texted down and a few minutes later, the robot, Cleo, was at our door, with the lotion.  It was the craziest thing!  My cousin told me about this restaurant, Au Cheval, and said that they may have the best burger he has ever eaten.  He said the wait is usually insane, so we made sure to get there early (10:45), and I have to say, had we gotten there much later, we would have had a bit of a wait.  The food was delicious, and I would highly recommend going there if you are a burger fan.  On our walk back, I saw a sign for the Little French Market, so we walked on over there.  It kind of was like a food court, with a few other odds and ends there.  It was neat to see all the different types of food, and also what stations people were lined up for.  I wanted to check out the Macy's tree and the store windows, so that was up next on the agenda.  Growing up, we would occasionally go to the city to see the store lights, so it was fun to do that again.  With all the walking, we worked up an appetite for a treat, so we headed to Firecakes for their ice cream donut sandwich.  It's heavenly!  It was nice to get back to the hotel to rest a bit, and then we headed to dinner.  My cousin said great things about Eataly, so we headed over there for dinner.  It was amazing.  If you are ever in a city that has one, you must go.

Tuesday morning we got breakfast at the hotel again, and then headed to the Museum of Science and Industry.  During the holidays they have trees decorated for each country.  It's always so neat to see.  My favorite was the Czech tree, which is fitting since that is what my mom's side of the family is!  We also had to go see the fairy castle, which has always been my favorite, and yesterday's main street.  The museum just never disappoints.  We wanted to go a little lighter for lunch, so we checked out a Mediterranean place, Ema.  Another great restaurant!  The temperature had dropped a ton on Tuesday and it was crazy windy, so we just headed back to the hotel and stayed in for awhile.  We had made plans to go see the zoo lights with my cousin, but it was pretty miserable, so we headed back to Eataly for dinner.  I know there are so many great places to eat in Chicago, but I seriously dreamed about the pasta I had there, I loved it so much.  After dinner we walked along the river and back to the hotel.  It's funny, because my cousin and I used to be terrible to each other when we were little, but now we are great friends.  


The weather was still kind of crappy on Wednesday, but we braved it for a little shopping.  First up was lunch at Portillo's, one of my favorite places.  It's a chain, but they have the best Chicago style hot dogs and chocolate shakes!  My go to order there.  Even though it was cold, we headed to the Chriskindlmarket, which was surprisingly busy!  It's a little German market that has lots of vendors - both food and goods.  I picked up some ornaments and a little nesting santa.  After resting at the hotel, it was back out to do some browsing on Michigan Avenue and warming up with a coffee.  


Our last day was Thursday, and it was spent just getting ready to go.  It flurried a bit when we left, which was so pretty to see!  We met my grandma and mom for lunch at Riverside Restaurant, a Bohemian place that is one of my grandma's favorites.  I went once before and it was just as good the second time.  Since we were passing by, we stopped by to see my dad at his shop.  The rest of the drive was uneventful, at least until St. Louis.  Because it was right around rush hour, the GPS had us going all these crazy ways to avoid traffic.  Definitely not the usual way home!  

We took Friday off, too, and it was nice to spend it relaxing at home.  We did make it out for a movie, The Disaster Artist, which was good.  Kind of odd, but still good.  I wasn't familiar with the story behind it, but it's based on this guy that makes a movie that is terrible, but has this crazy cult-like following.  They showed side by side of the actual movie and how they remade it, and it's amazing to see how it is almost exact, which was really neat.

It was nice to have a full week off work, although this coming week is going to be nuts!  Tis the season, I guess!

Now, onto my 2017 Christmas card!  I used Shutterfly this year, and was really happy with how they turned out!

Chicago Recommendations
Where to stay:
Hotel EMC2

Things to do:
Museum of Science & Industry
Macy's Christmas Tree / Store Windows

Eataly (the tagliatelle was out of this world!)
Au Cheval (get the cheeseburger!)
Portillo's (my order is always the hotdog with everything and a chocolate shake)
Ema (the hummus is amazing, and so is the halluomi cheese)

Linking up with Biana, Sarah and Victoria.



  1. It's always so much fun to enjoy the city at Christmas time! Looks like a great time!

  2. We've officially entered the future with robots bringing you things in hotels!! That sounds like a wonderful trip girl! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  3. I've heard great things about Au Cheval. It's on my list for next time! Also, have you ever heard of Shake Shack?! It's my fave. But as of today (!!), there will be one in CWE! Chicago used to have the closest one. :)

  4. LOVE seeing you in my favorite city!! You look adorable and what a fun time!! Portillos is a huge fave and we are actually getting one close by. Hope your week starts off grand pretty lady!

  5. Oh my...I would be having to call for things just to experience the robot delivery! I didn't know your moms side was Czech (or maybe I've just forgotten) but that is what my husbands side of the family is! What a fun getaway. Thanks for sharing all this stuff....Chicago is on my list!

  6. Chicago during the holidays is so magical! Glad you had an awesome time :)
    xx Tess | Sequins are the New Black

  7. I've always wanted to visit Chicago and NOW, it must be during Christmas. Your card is lovely!

  8. So glad you had a great trip! I have never been to Chicago for fun so I would love to go. Love your Christmas card, too!

  9. Chicago is one of my favorites too!! I only visited once around Christmas and it was so pretty! It looks like you had a great time. Sierra~Beautifully Candid

  10. First of all, I'm so glad that you guys had a great time! What an amazing way to spend your time during the holidays! Second of all, props to you for making it to the gym on vacay... I don't think I've ever once done that. Third, B and I almost went to see The Disaster Artist on Friday but we both thought it looked a little too out there for us... maybe we'll wait to see it when it's on Netflix! And finally I LOVE your card! It's been hanging on our card holder ever since we received it and it makes me smile every single time I see it! Have a great week, Emily!

  11. I have always wanted to go to Chicago at Christmas time. I have been to NYC during Christmas, but never Chicago. I love how the robot brought you the lotion to your door. So cool. Love all the food recommendations and I will definitely use them next time I am there for work. Love your Christmas card!

  12. Can I tag along with y'all next time?! haha The food sounds the best!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

  13. LOVE Chicago! Such a great city to explore and eat at good restaurants. You look so pretty all bundled up as it bet it was freezing! Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis

  14. Oh so pretty! I've only ever been to Chicago during the spring or summer, but it would be a fun place to visit during the holidays. Also, I'm so intrigued by the robots at your hotel-- were they small or more full size?? That would be so cool!

  15. Chicago is so beautiful, especially this time of year! I can't believe a robot was bringing you things at your hotel?! where did you stay? So much fun you had!!!

  16. Looks like you had a good time in Chicago. Those trees are very pretty.