Monday, July 16, 2012


 Ahhh, Chicago!  We love Chicago and we were so fortunate to be able to extended a work trip for a little extra time in the city last week.

Of course, we took in some of our favorite things and tried out a few new things.  

After my conference wrapped up, we walked to Millennium Park and saw one of my favorite landmarks - Cloud Gate or "The Bean."  The buildings as the backdrop of this popular sculpture always make for a dramatic view.

 We kept moving toward our destination.  And, along the way, we got inspired by some planters in front of The Art Institute of Chicago.  I am filing these ideas away for next year's container gardening.
 We spent our lunch time at The Taste of Chicago - a huge multi-day food festival.  We got to sample offerings from several different Chicago restaurants.  It was fun, but something I wouldn't rush to do again.  The crowds and the heat made it difficult to really enjoy the whole experience.
 On the way back toward our hotel, we walked through the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park.  I am always fascinated by the wildflowers with the cityscape in the background.

We left the park and decided to stop at Starbucks because they had a free drink special that afternoon to showcase a couple of their seasonal drinks.  In full disclosure, we actually stopped at three different Starbucks for free drinks that day.  It was super easy because there was a Starbucks at just about every two blocks.  Thank you, Starbucks, for the Very Berry and Lime Refreshers!

We spent some time in a gift shop and then, the sky cracked open with this huge thunderstorm.  What to do?  Do we wait it out or make a run for it?  Or, do we catch a cab back to the hotel?  We decided to make a run for it.  We got drenched!  Our hotel staff had towels waiting at the door for the guests, thus earning them  high marks for customer service from this self-proclaimed customer service snob.
 We also went to our favorite restaurant - Flaco's Tacos.  We love, love, love this place!  The portions are great and the price is right, and I could go on and on about the flavors.  Chicken quesadillas, veggie torta, chips and guacamole, a frozen margarita, and sangria.  (Plus, a burrito because my husband couldn't resist ordering something else.)
 On our last night, we went on an evening brew cruise.  The price was pretty good for all of the beer you could drink and great skyline views from the lake.  We had a really good time.
Bye, Chicago!  Until next time!

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