We had the chance to visit Illinois at the beginning of the year, and it was the first time we’ve experienced below zero weather. I’m not sure if I want to re-live those experiences, but we did want to re-live visiting Illinois again, just in nicer weather.
My brother and his girlfriend expanded their family and welcomed another baby girl into their family in June, so my family and I decided to go visit them.
After a long day of traveling and literally being up for 24 hours, we finally arrived in Chicago, Illinois. Still, my brother lives about 2 hours away from Chicago, so we still had to drive to their town. Once we arrived in Bloomington, Illinois we immediately went straight to their house and hung out with them for a bit before checking into our hotel.
Bloomington/Normal is pretty small, and there really isn’t much to do there, so we decided to check out their Farmer’s Market. Believe it or not, I was actually surprised by how big their Farmer’s Market actually was! It’s actually bigger than our’s here in Las Vegas. After walking around and the kids meeting Abraham Lincoln, they played some games and planted some flowers (that they were able to take home with them).
The following day we had a little pool party at our hotel. The hotel we stayed at, says that their pool is heated, but it’s not! That was very disappointing, because the water was freezing (can you tell by Avery’s purple lips)!! However, when you’re a kid, that doesn’t matter!
After spending 3 days in Bloomington hanging out with my brother and his family, we headed to Chicago, where we were spending a couple of days there before heading back home.
We stayed at the The Congress Hotel. I loved how the hotel was literally across from Grant Park, however, the rooms were VERY vintage. If you’re into that type of style, then this hotel is right for you! I would say I like more of a modern feel, but hey we only needed the hotel for us to sleep at!
After checking into our hotel, we decided to have lunch at Pizano’s Pizza & Pasta. Their food was delicious. I had their chicken parmesan sandwich which was delicious and had a lot of flavor. If you come here, please do yourself a favor and have their Root Beer (if it’s not already sold out). It was the best Root Beer I’ve ever had!
After lunch, we headed to Millennium Park and of course took a MILLION pictures with the famous Cloud Gate or also known as the “bean”.
Also right in front of the park are the Crown Fountains, which are faces of actual Chicago residents. It’s also a nice place for kids to cool off at.
The following morning, we had breakfast at Yolk. I had their delicious, yet very sweet, banana nut bread french toast with sausage/bacon/eggs. YUMMMMM!
Across from breakfast was Grant park. Their laid beautiful art work called, Agora. It is 106 headless and armless iron sculptures. It was definitely amazing to see!
Coming back from Grant Park were so many other beautiful and peaceful sceneries.
We also visited the Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park, then walked all to way to Millennium Park to check out the play ground for the kids, which they of course loved!
That night we had dinner at The Dearborn. OMG, let me just tell you. I was a bit iffy about this place because the options on the menu were VERY limited. I choose the short ribs, and MAN have I never had short ribs like that before! It was on the pricey side, but sooo worth every penny in my book! The only problem is that the portion was not enough for my husband. It was definitely enough for me and I was satisfied after dinner, but for my husband, he looked at it like that was just his appetizer. Now, if we did order an appetizer to begin with, maybe his meal would have been enough, but we didn’t, so he was definitely still hungry afterwards.
Our last full day in Chicago. We went to have breakfast at Wildberry Cafe. I had the biscuits and gravy Benedict, and it was different yet delicious.
Navy Pier, you were a long walk from our breakfast spot, but our kids had a blast here. They rode on some rides, and then went to the fun house. Which let me just say, I went in there with the kids since they were too scared to go alone and it was the CRAZIEST fun house that I’ve ever been to! I swear we couldn’t get past the mirror maze for like 10 minutes!!! SO WORTH THE MONEY! It is a little scary, so I wouldn’t recommend it for the little ones under 5. My kids are 7 and 5 and only went once because they were way too scared to go again!
Dinner time came, and we uber’d to Chinatown. We had yet another delicious dinner there and celebrated my mom’s birthday!
Chicago reminds me a lot of New York in a way. It’s like a mini NY. Be prepared to do ALOT of walking, unless you are planning on taking a taxi/Uber/Lyft everywhere or even ride the light rail.
It was so worth coming back when the weather was a lot nicer. We were able to enjoy it more, and so were my kids. Can’t wait to come back again. There is so much that I wanted to do, but didn’t. Next time, I’m definitely going up on the Willis Tower and doing the river cruise!