The Chicago Picture Fest Part 1

While I went to Chicago for the race, I definitely planned an extended weekend around it. We packed a lot of fun into five days, so here are some of the things we did as told by my cell phone camera. Also, get ready for some food pictures. Hubs asked why I always take pictures of my meals because I never use them. Since I don’t appreciate being called out or other people being right, I’m going to use them now.


We arrived in Chicago around noon. We took our first Uber to the hotel, dropped off our bags, and went to EPIC for lunch. After we sat down, we  noticed everyone in the restaurant was in suit and tie business attire and we were in jeans. It was awkward but they seated us so we owned it by putting our elbows on the table in defiance. We had the crab cakes as an appetizer and they were really good.

I also had a beet salad with a fried egg on top. Not something I would usually order because runny yolks = no, but I liked it. My taste buds are changing and that’s confusing hubs. He stared at the salad for awhile because he couldn’t believe I ordered it. I forgot to get a picture but I’ll make it up to you with a bunch of other pictures of food you don’t care about.

After lunch, we slept. For three and a half hours. It was glorious not being woken up by an alarm or needing to be somewhere at a particular time. Here is a view from our room at the SpringHill Suites in River North. (Super friendly staff there, by the way.)

Thursday night, we went out with our friend Roxie (far left).

Roxie moved to Chicago a year ago but we haven’t seen her in two years. She took the metra an hour into Chicago from Orland Park to see us because she’s awesome like that. We went many places and drank many drinks. But first, we tested the resilance of our arteries with a bacon mac and cheese burger from The Squared Circle.

The best burger I’ve ever had is here in Orlando and that burger rivaled it. It was ahhmazing and I felt like complete shit after eating it because I was so full. Although, that probably had to do with the fact that I also had an appetizer and pizza just before it.

Our first Chicago pizza was gluten free, because Roxie has Celiac, and I thought it was pretty good considering I like my pizza with extra gluten.

Toward the end of the night, we wanted to go somewhere else but weren’t sure where. I suggested The Ory and Roxie busted out laughing.

You know what, if you want your establishment pronounced correctly, don’t put a big O in the middle. That’s all I have to say about that. Anyway, we had a really great first night and it was a lot of fun catching up with an old friend.


Friday morning, hubs and I missed breakfast at the hotel by 12 minutes so we walked down the street to Lyfe Kitchen. Lyfe Kitchen has a super healthy menu which we were pretty happy about after the dinner we had the night before. I had the spinach and avocado frittata.

Hubs and I shared a banana kale smoothie because I figured I should probably eat a vegetable.

Both were really good. They also had your choice of water – ambient (??), chilled, or chilled sparkling. I felt fancy and confused all at once, especially since there was no charge for the sparkling.

After breakfast, hubs and I walked over to the bean. I just love this picture. Hubs hated the bean so much that his reaction to it was the best part of seeing it.

Hates beans.

We took another picture under the bean that hubs quickly pointed out looks like a vagina.

Can you find us in the vagina?

After our close encounter of the bean kind, we walked back to the hotel to meet up with my big brother, Tom!


He and my SIL drove in from Cary (about 45 min away) to see us. Get this: I hadn’t seen him in 15 years. I don’t even know how that’s possible or how we could allow that to happen. He was supposed to give me away at my wedding but wasn’t able to travel because of many slipped discs in his back. Since walking isn’t the greatest on his back, we walked to lunch right by the hotel at Harry Caray’s.

I thought Harry Caray’s was going to be a pub. Nope. Super expensive steakhouse with table cloths. So I ordered off the super cheap lunch menu and got half a corned beef sandwich (that was still huge) and a wedge salad.

After lunch, hubs, my SIL, and brother sat in the hotel lobby for awhile chatting and catching up. It was nice to see them. It was the first time my hubs met my brother and the first thing he said after my brother left was, “well, now I know why you talk about your poop so much.” #truth

Friday night, we met up with Michelle and her family and Melissa and her family at Lou Malnati’s, aka, the best pizza IN DA LAND.

I grew up on Lou Malnati’s. My mother put me on diets because of Lou Malanti’s.

Hello lovah

The Lou’s in River North is a new location and it doesn’t have the ambiance of the other location I used to frequent. So I was a little disappointed that hubs didn’t see the Lou’s that I grew up loving. The pizza is amazing but it’s also about the atmosphere for me. Lou’s at Christmastime is the absolute best. They deck out the whole restaurant with decorations and anamatronics. I get warm fuzzies remembering the times I would go there with my Dad and how much I loved it.

After dinner, we went back to the hotel and took a nap that lasted 11 hours.



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11 responses to “The Chicago Picture Fest Part 1

  1. so cool you got to see your brother after 15 years!

    Bacon mac and cheese burger!!! Looks so good, I miss you America

  2. Damn you Paula! You’ve made me hungry and that’s not good for this pregnant lady. That bacon mac and cheese looks killer good though. And how crazy you haven’t seen your brother in that long!

  3. Julie16750

    I feel full after reading this post.

    That bacon mac n cheese burger looks amazing though.

  4. Love the food pictures! It looks like you had a great time in Chicago.

  5. Terri

    I want to eat everything now. That burger… oh that burger has my hands up in the air and clapping with glee. I must eat that burger one day… and were those sweet potato fries? Ugh… I could just roll around on that plate.

    Okay… I need to back away slowly now…

  6. I seriously do not know, or understand, how you didn’t poop after eating all of that food.

  7. Oh, I love Chicago! Mainly for the pizza, but hey.

  8. Pingback: The Chicago Picture Fest Part 2

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