A Parents Dream Vacation: Chicago without Kids

Every once in a while Paul and I leave the kids behind to enjoy a grown-up adventure of our own. This time around we headed to Chicago for a few day [working] getaway. I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago for a work conference and I have never been known to say no to an opportunity.

Go Cubs Go!

“Hey, Chicago, what do you say? The Cubs are going to win today!”

This was our first full day in Chicago, childless and with noting on the agenda so, why not catch a game at the iconic Wrigley Field?

Chicago is known for its beautiful architecture, lakeside views, museums, sports, delicious food and the Chicago Dog! Baseball + Hot Dogs goes hand-and-hand, but this dog is like nothing I’ve had before. “A Chicago Style Hot Dog is a steamed all beef Hot Dog topped with yellow mustard, bright green relish, onions, tomato wedges, pickle spear or slice, sport peppers and a dash of celery salt served in the all-important steamed poppy seed bun.”

Nothing goes better with a hot dog and a baseball game than a cold craft beer. We were kid-less, took public transportation to the game, giving us the freedom to kick back, relax and enjoys some brews.

It goes without saying that Wrigley Field is a historic landmark and a must-see baseball stadium for any baseball fan. The feeling and the ambiance in Wrigley Field was unparalleled to any field that we’ve ever been to. The crowd was electric. My absolute favorite part of the night was at the very end, after the cubs won the series, all the fans sang together in unison while waving their white “w” flags.

Going in Deep [Dish]

No trip to Chicago would be complete without a cheese filled bite of the World Famous Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza. The weather was absolutely breathtaking and we decided to walk to lunch at Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria. The pizzeria was in walking distance from the river and a perfect place for us to have another cold beer and an individual deep dish pizza.

An individual pizza was definitely the way to go. Paul is a meat lover kinda guy and I’m a plain jane cheese kinda girl. I couldn’t wait to sink my teething into that warm bubbly cheese, sweet tomatoes, flaky buttery crust, and I was not disappointed (ok, the crust needed a bit more salt, but it was great overall).

Down by the River

To walk off the deep dish pizza we decided to head down to the Chicago River. The best way to see a city is to walk its paths and the River Walk was the perfect way to people watch and see the city on a different level.

The River Walk has changed since the last time we were in Chicago and there are now so many beautiful things to do and see along the river side. There are some great seating areas perfect people watching (one of my favorite pastimes). The River Walk was also filled with people exercising and enjoying the beautiful day.

A walk along the river would not have be complete without a cold drink, after all, we were completely child free, and we had two free hands for rose’ and a craft beer. We sat along the riverside at the City Winery On the River and watched the pedestrians, runners, bikers and the boat tour’s go by.

A Night Out with a Little Goat

I made reservations a few months in advance of our trip for the Little Goat Diner (and I suggest you do too if you plan on going). I had read so many wonderful reviews about the diner and was given a few recommendations, that I knew we couldn’t miss it.

The Little Goat is the punky,cool little sister to the Girl and the Goat. It has a laid back diner vibe and serves up elevated culinary inspired diner dishes. Think sandwiches, hamburgers, all-day breakfast and milkshakes.

Paul and I shared the Hot Crab Dip as an appetizer and it was warm, fresh, and gooey. I ordered the Bahn Mi Style burger and it was phenomenal. BUT lets talk about the PORK . BELLY . HOME . FRIES, holy wow, out of this world, oh my goodness gracious…I want them NOW! Everything was so good…go…go now!

I’ve got the Blues

It’s nights like this that we don’t take advantage of when we have kids. A night spent with your husband, dinner, drinks and some live music. The Kingston Mines Blues Club is an unpolished gem, hidden on the north side of town, away from the buzz of downtown. It’s unassuming on the exterior but boy do they know how to get down and jam! The drinks were great and what I’ve been told so is the food.

“Good Guys Wear Black”

It was only fair to head to the south side of Chicago to catch a White Sox game. Having already been to Wrigley, we were excited that the Sox were in town on the same weekend.

We took advantage of only needing to purchase two seats and we looked for the best seats available, which happened to be right on the first baseline. We were a fingers touch away from the outfield and it was an incredible experience. To let you in on a secret, we waited until we were on the way to the park to purchase these seats…they were a STEAL at only $20 a piece. It doesn’t get much better than this!

If you are craft brew lovers like we are, I suggest visiting one of the many local craft brew stands around the stadium. I got my hands on a Three Floyds Gumballhead and it was the perfect refreshing brew for the night.

A Shore Thing

On our last day we decided to take it slow. We slept in, we didn’t rush and decided to take a slow stroll along the lake.

Growing up in Florida I have grown somewhat accustomed to looking out at the ocean but even that did not prepare me for the magnitude of Lake Michigan. It is never ending with no shoreline in sight.

We enjoyed the quite stillness of our lake shore walk, knowing that the next day would be full of travel and excitement from seeing the boys.

As a bonus to this walk you also get a great outsiders view of the skyline.

Soup[er] Ramen

Soup is truly good for the soul and so was this trip. While we love traveling with our kids, and at times we felt lost without them, it was so nice to have this time together…ALONE.

Paul and I walked across the street from our hotel to a small local noodle bar, Ramen-San and it was the perfect way to end a phenomenal trip. I was tired from my work conference (I swear I did work while I was here) and this was such a soul soothing meal. I had the Pork Belly Ramen with extra crispy fried garlic and a molten egg. As if that wasn’t enough, the Express Lunch came with vegetable fried rice, a ginger salad and cucumbers. It was everything my soul needed and more.

Oh, you thought we were done…Sike!

Ok, seriously, we couldn’t be done without one more craft beer stop. We were staying near Wrigleyville with family for our last night and were told about a great neighborhood brewery near their house. With our suitcase and all, we strolled into the Half Acre Beer Company.

We had time on our side, so we made the best of it knowing this would be our last childless beer in a while.

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