How to Spend a Weekend in Chicago: Days #2 and #3
Day 2 involved A LOT OF WALKING. Looking at my Apple Fitness app, it said I walked about 8 miles that day, which is close to how much I walked in Paris. We covered a lot of ground the second day in Chicago and managed to see and do a lot.
Again, how to spend a weekend in Chicago? While the first day is more about getting acclimated to the city, the following days are about hitting the ground running and getting to know the city. The thing I do appreciate about traveling with Robert the most is we don’t look like tourists when we’re out of town. We do what the locals do from restaurants to attractions to sporting events.
We ate like former President Obama at one of his favorite restaurants in the city. Valois is different from any restaurant I’ve ever been to. This is the first time I’ve seen an assembly line used for taking orders and making food…and it was SO EFFICIENT. By the time I got to the register not even a minute later, my meal was more than ready. Obama’s favorite meals were all super simple and not fussy at all. I kept my order super simple: two eggs, bacon, hash browns, and toast.
Valois is in the Hyde Park neighborhood so it was fun to walk around and look around the area. The coolest thing is seeing were the Obamas had their first kiss! There’s a rock right in front of where a Baskin Robbins used to be They reminded me of some of the older homes in either South Tampa or Seminole Heights; they were so gorgeous.
After eating breakfast, we took the scenic route to the museum. It has several exhibitions inside that range from the March on Washington to Black women’s roles in WW1(that on was most interesting to me). The March on Washington exhibit is an immersive, virtual reality exhibit executive produced by Viola Davis and TIME Magazine that puts you right in the thick of the march…it really felt like I was talking to Martin and ’em y’all! It’s funny because although it’s not real, the fact I could turn around and “see” other people attending the festivities was mind-blowing.
The downstairs part of the museum told the story of the Chicago Riot of 1919, which set off Red Summer of 1919. What is the most jaw-dropping aspect is the slave ship with slave artifacts up to Barack Obama winning his first presidency.
Shawn Michelle’s Homemade Ice Cream
Snack time! Shawn Michelle’s is a #BlackOwned ice cream spot less than a 10 minute drive away from the DuSable. When it comes to ice cream, I’m a maximalist; I like all the sprinkles, syrups, non-traditional flavors…all that. Their menu is really cool and chock full of several different flavors like Coco-Mango, Bronzeville Vanilla, and vegan flavors like banana pudding. Like I said…I enjoy the not-so-basic flavors so I went with their “The Chocolate Turtle” sundae. My inner child definitely enjoyed watching the process of the bomb ass sundae being made for real. There wasn’t any indoor seating but we were able to find a park around the corner to eat our ice cream. It was cute lil’ date or whateva.
I mean, when in Rome right? If you spend a weekend in Chicago and don’t go get a piece of Harold’s, you’re missing out. After a full day of walking and riding, we rode the train to Harold’s Chicken for a bite to eat before we went to the hotel then the Bulls game. Robert ordered food and we got back on the train to head back to the hotel. When we got back in the room, I couldn’t wait to buss down on it all. Who can resist some good, crispy fried chicken and fries?! Needless to say, I knocked out shortly after eating this. #WorthIt
Chicago Bulls Season Opener
OMG THIS WAS SO MUCH FUN! It’s been a while since I’ve been to a basketball game opener(the last time might’ve been 2015 for a Miami Heat game). I wanted to wear my vintage Dennis Rodman jersey but found my vintage Michael Jordan jersey instead. I haven’t worn that jersey in forever so either way, it was fun to wear one of them to an actual Chicago Bulls game.
Being the tourist that I am, I had to take a pic in front of the Michael Jordan statue inside the stadium like everyone else. We stayed the entire game; it was a bit of a shitshow trying to find a city bus to take us back the closest to our hotel but seeing everyone wearing their Bull colors was refreshing. Needless to say, I got to spend a weekend in Chicago checking off a travel bucket list thing I never even considered.
Our first stop before we headed back to the airport was breakfast at Kanela in the Streeterville neighborhood. It was packed inside so we sat outside near a heat lamp because it was COLD cold. Again, I kept it simple with their fried chicken & waffles and I enjoyed every moment of it. The dish comes with a honey sriracha sauce on the side that wasn’t as spicy as I thought it was going to be. I poured it over the entire meal then ate it all until the very last bite. My chicken was crispy like I like while the waffle was soft and fluffy like I like too.
We checked out of the hotel but had them keep our stuff behind the desk since it was going to be a while before our flight. Millennium Park was packed with people. The main draw at the park is the Cloud Gate statue aka “The Bean”. I found my spot and the light for the right pic and video. I thought it was an older piece of art but its only been around since 2004. The Bean is so huge; there is plenty enough room for everyone and their mama to get a good selfie off.
A quick bus ride from Millennium Park, the Navy Pier is like a big year-round carnival. There’s a ferris wheel, carousel, and other theme park rides. It has a view of Chicago’s skyline that is *chef’s kiss* beautiful and so scenic. We went there to get some souvenirs before returning to the hotel to get our suitcases and head back home. There’s even a children museum there I didn’t realize was a whole building with the museum and restaurants; I thought it was a separate thing and it caught me by surprise. The Navy Pier really is a place that’s perfect for any kind of occasion from a family day to a casual date night. Who wouldn’t want to buss down on some food then be cute on the carousel or ferris wheel?