Monday, January 3, 2011

the windy city.... Chicago!

We just returned from a well needed 'mini-vacation'! Instead of gifts under the tree, we decided to take the kids to Chicago for four days.  We left right after Christmas. Of course the kids were tired out because of all of their Christmas 'hopping' with the different families. However, that did not stop us from having a fantastic time in the Windy City. We ate ourselves silly, found new restaurants and spent two days inside the Museum of Science and Industry.  I just wanted to give my readers a peak at some of the wonderful things we did and even a few glimpses of fantastic food....specifically Xoco..... Rick Bayless' terriffic and affordable restaurant. I did die and go to heaven! We also made a quick stop to Devon Street and ate delicious South Indian fare. We shopped a bit at one of the local stores that was head to toe chocked full of amazing wares from India. We also received a fat $60.00 parking ticket. That was the down side to the Indian meal.  Bummer. We hid it in the glove compartment as we didn't want to be reminded of it the rest of the trip. I better grab it out now so the city of Chicago doesn't take any more of our hard earned cash! An expensive lesson, read the parking signs twice!

I think this will be the last year that we share a single hotel room with our every growing family of four. It was tight quarters at the hotel... I vote for adjoining rooms next time! The kids loved the elevator and our hotel... a great deal from The hotel was situated right on Lakeshore Drive, across from Navy Pier. The gentleman at the front desk gave us a room on the top floor. This made for dizzying rides up the elevator but fantastic views once we were at the top.

My good friend Jenny has always told me that she wants to retire in Chicago. Most people think warm. places for returement... Florida, Mexico or Arizona, but not Jenny. She and her family adore the city and after our latest trip, I can see why. You could just spend hours on one city block. The city has so many wonderful things to offer. We barely brushed the surface with our four day trip. One could spend months in the city just visiting all of the amazing museums. I unfortunately did not get to venture into the Art Institute this time. I was voted down. boo hoo. Science won over art.... There is always next time.

Enjoy the pictures of our mini holiday! 
Sleeping Beauty!
Vim was happy and finally awake...
Mysore Woodlands.. Devon Street
Mysore Coffee... this was soooo strong! I could not sleep that evening. It could have been the partying hotel neighbors that kept me awake. I could hear their champagne bottles pop and the loud cheers let out by the girls!
Masala Dosai.... larger than my son!
The daily Thali offering!
Navy Pier out our window - beautiful at night!
The kids going crazy in the hotel room!
Cool Ice out our window

Navy Pier in the morning -

A tight squeeze for our museum parking!  We thought we would never get out!

My daughters Hitchhiker's thumb!
New born chicks!
How tall am I?
Newton's Cradle
Fun with colored lights
Watching the train exhibit
Amazing interactive shadow play... the more you hold still, the more butterflies that will land on you!
Fun house mirrors
Water Tower

my son... posing with a lion
Salute Wine Bar... our dinner one evening... very cozy and good!

Entering Xoxo.... a delicious entrance
Fresh cocoa.... being chopped, waiting to be made into the best warm drinks you will ever taste!

Pork.... slow cooking in a huge copper vat.... I am sure the witch from Hansel and Gretel would have appreciated this!
The wood burning oven cooking my chilaquiles.
Enjoying  un "champurrado"
Delicious wood-fired french toast with bacon and pecans
Can you guess?
My chilaquiles... the best I have had since Mexico!

 Back to the museum... day 2- Check out these lines for the museum! CRAZY!!!

Museum Gift Shops have it all!

Another cool light display at the MS&I
A Segway tour.... this cracked us all up for one reason or another! I think it was the attractive yellow vests,,,, as if we did not see 15 people on wheels!
There you have it folks! A quick inside view into our mini - vaycay to Chitown! 

loads of foodie love! Megan


  1. What fun, Megan - makes me want to do this. I love the shots of Navy Pier.

  2. I love it! I couldn't believe this was actually Chicago as I read it, such an amazing city, and I didn't recognize any of the places you went! You have an adorable family, lots of love from the very cold Northeast! Gree

  3. Looks like a whirlwind tour - what WERE the kids doing??? That's the funniest, most awesome photo!

  4. Lovely pictures--looks and sounds like a fun time. I visited myself last month and caught the first snowfall, I fell in love with Chicago. There was something about the city I really liked. Thanks for sharing your trip with your family. It reminded me that I'd like to return...and soon! Happy New Year. :-)

  5. Sounds like a fun-filled and busy holiday! The food and sights look amazing.

  6. Welcome back, Megan dear! What a wonderful 4 days trip. Frankly, I don't mind squeezing in one bedroom with my kids. It's fun & we can chat all night long. You will miss all this adventure together in another few more years. So, I prefer to stick to it for a while. :o) Thanks so much for sharing & taking us along the trip. Super love those pictures. Yes, the view from your window is absolutely breathtaking. How I wish I could visit there too. And the food! Are there more to show us? hehe... Hope you're enjoying the day.
    Cheers, Kristy

  7. Looks like you all had a lovely a time!! I would love to visit Chicago one day!

    OMG that wood-fired Bacon French toast looks absolutely divine!!! Must try that- minus the wood fire!

    Gorgeous photos and even more gorgeous family!

  8. Megan,
    I live in the burbs, so I know about most of the places that you went. I haven't even been to Xoco yet, but it's on the list. Your pice are amazing. Parking is a problem in the city.

    I would suggest parking in the hotel garage, and taking public transportation, buses, etc. if you come in the summer, there are free trolleys, that go all over the loop. Also there is a water taxi
    that you can get from Navy Pier that goes to the museum campus! So sorry about your parking ticket. Glad that you had a good time otherwise!

  9. What a great trip! I loved your family photos. The museum looked fun (if insanely crowded!) and the segway shot is terrific. We're at the stage now where our girls need a separate room. They love it!

  10. I love Chicago. Although I am not sure I would love it as much in the winter as I have in the spring and summer. But really, probably no colder or more miserable than here in Boston. Thanks for sharing your family vacation with us!

  11. I love Chicago! My family used to live in Naperville, a southwestern suburb, but I was already in college and didn't get to take advantage of the city as much as I had wanted. THe BH and I want to go back for a long weekend and do what you did! Love the pics!

  12. I have a son and daughter in law that live in Chicago and they love it. I like to visit but I'm not sure I'd like that much cold weather. It looks like you had a lovely trip! Happy New Year!

  13. Hi Megan! Had to come back for a reread. Love Chicago! Was there for a long weekend last May. Such an easy 'town' with so much to see and do. And of course great food! All the best in 2011!


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