Before this weekend, I hadn’t been to Chicago since I was 8 years old, so I don’t really remember much other than pizza and SUE the T. Rex. When a work conference put me in the midwest the week before, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and make a vacation out of it. Let me tell you, it is HOT in Chicago this time of year. Nevertheless, we had a wonderful time!

The Hotel

We stayed at the Thompson Hotel in the Gold Coast District. From the minute you walk through the front door you are surrounded by charm and luxury. The room was small but comfortable, and offered a great view of the city.

The Food

Across the street from our hotel was Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House. This seafood restaurant had a fun atmosphere and a diverse menu. We met up with some family here for dinner, and there was something for everyone. The food is a little pricey, but it was delicious, so worth the cost if you ask me.

Of course, you can’t go to Chicago without getting Chicago style pizza. We went to Pizzeria Uno, the inventors of deep-dish pizza. If you really want to get the Chicago pizza experience, go here. Absolutely delicious. We went for pepperoni and sausage, but I can’t imagine any option being wrong here. Be prepared for a wait, potentially a long one. It’s worth it, though. Trust me.

One of our fanciest meals was at the top of the Hancock building in the Signature Lounge at the 96th. There is also a restaurant on the 95th floor, but you need a reservation for that, and we decided at the last minute to try this. There were enough small plate options on the lounge menu to fill us up, and the cocktails, while expensive, were very good. After a brief wait in a line for the elevator, we were quickly lifted to the 96th floor. We managed to get a seat near the window, and the views were truly stunning. There was a storm while we were eating, and my husband got a really cool picture of lightning striking over the lake. Fun fact: there are also a bunch of spiders that live on the outside of the skyscrapers in Chicago. It’s a really neat example of nature adapting to human influence, but I’ll admit I am a tiny bit terrified of spiders.

Chicago Attractions

We crammed a lot into a 3 day weekend. We went to Cloud Gate, the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, and Lincoln Park Zoo.

Cloud Gate, or “the bean”, was crowded. I mean really crowded. It was a holiday weekend, so I shouldn’t be too surprised. We got the obligatory reflection selfie, but then we got out of there. It wasn’t really all it’s hyped up to be in my opinion.


Being an animal lover, I was pretty excited for the Shedd Aquarium. This place is educational and entertaining for adults and kids alike. You get to see animals up close that most of us will never see in the wild. Also, it was a rainy day, and this is the perfect indoor activity for such days. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Close to Shedd Aquarium is the Field Museum. That was our next stop. Unfortunately, SUE was not on display when we were there. That was a little disappointing, but there was still plenty more to see including fossils, taxidermy specimens, mummies, and more.

The Lincoln Park Zoo is a great free attraction in Chicago. Again, I love animals, so this was a must for me. I have been to many zoos in the U.S., and this is truly a quality institution. It isn’t a large zoo, but the exhibits are modern and spacious, and they have a nice variety of species.

Despite the crowds and hot temperatures, our visit to Chicago was a blast. Transportation was easy with the “L” transit system and many things were within walking distance from our hotel. I can’t wait for our next visit to this wonderful city.