In Date Night Travel

5 Year Anniversary :: Chicago

This past weekend we jetted off to Chicago for our 5 year wedding anniversary. We both took half days from work and met up at the airport on Friday afternoon. We had big plans to have all the complimentary drinks and watch a movie on the plane, and we were both out cold before take off! #parents When we made it to our hotel (Loews Chicago), we were greeted with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. 

Traffic was awful getting into the city, so we bumped our reservation back an hour and leisurely got ready for the evening. We finally made it to this glorious little corner booth at RPM

We normally don't order steak tartar, because it's neither of our favorite.. but we are SO GLAD we did. Seriously best steak tartar of my life. (Even better than the Crystal! Sorry E :))

AJ got a wagu ribeye and I had the most amazing miso cod. 

Annnddd we got mushroom mac & cheese as our side. The service, the food, the ambiance. I'm seriously about to go write a Yelp review now.. OUT OF THIS WORLD. In fact, AJ said best meal of his life!! Thank you, thank you RPM!! 

And with all that yummy food, we def didn't have room for dessert. So we settled for the complimentary anniversary cotton candy :)

The next morning I was up early watching the royal wedding and AJ ran down and grabbed us coffee. Again we took our time meandering around the hotel room and leisurely getting ready. Isn't it crazy how much time you have on your hands without a kiddo!?! 

The flowers in Chicago were simply amazing. I'm not sure if it's the city maintaining these, or each individual business, but every corner was even better than the one before. 

After lots of walking and shopping, we hit up Lou Malnati's for deep dish pizza. 

They warned us it would take 30+ minutes to cook the pizza, but we didn't mind a bit. We were there pretty early and had the restaurant to ourselves for the most part. We sipped champagne and enjoyed the peace and quiet. 

I'm not real sure why there is a debate between Chicago and New York pizza?? They aren't even the same thing!!! Two totally different experiences, and both have a special place in my heart :) 

These big ole hunks of pizza kept me full to past 8pm! Glad we did a lot of walking! 

We had plans to rent bikes and ride down by the water, but it was just too cold and windy. So we walked back towards our hotel, popping into a few more stores. 

And stopped by Millennium Park.. 

And of course the Bean! 

We went back to our hotel and took a GLORIOUS two hour nap before heading out for the evening. First stop was a little wine (well bubbles for me) and chocolate tasting.

After that we ran and snagged a blanket from Nordstrom for the next day. I saw that it was going to be in the 40s for our boat ride, and this was the best decision I made all weekend! I did NOT pack well for the weekend...

We dropped it off at the hotel then ubered over to Maude. When we have date nights, I always try to go somewhere not kid friendly, that we would normally take MJ too. This was exactly that - loud, dimly lit, and the most pristine French food! 

We had chicken liver mousse (that AJ is STILL talking about), french onion soup dip, and escargot. 

SO much bread, and SO much butter. And I went to sleep VERY happy that night, ha! 

The next morning I stayed in bed until the very last minute to get ready to catch our boat. Hotel sleep is just THE best. And looking out the window from our room, I just knew we were going to be preettyyy cold.

Everyone on our boat architecture tour was SO jealous of our blanket! Solid purchase from the night before. Such a cool experience - would absolutely recommend it as the best way to see Chicago.

After this QUITE chilly boat ride, we thawed out by the fire, had a sushi lunch and made our way to the airport. We were SO eager to see our girl and I swear the travel back to ATL took a million years. Thankfully Mom had passed the baton off to one of our fav babysitters Abby, and she had her cozy and asleep in bed by the time we got home around 10pm. 

We were trying to figure out the last time we took a trip just the two of us.. We are thinking it was Napa back in 2016, which you can read about HERE. Needless to say, we are committed to parents' only travel every 6 months or so moving forward. It's SO GOOD for the soul. It's rejuvenating to not be Mama for a few days, to not cut up any food, or change a diaper, and to give 100% of my attention to the love of my life. Cheers to five years and million more babe! 

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  1. Happy 5 years! Looks like you two had a blast - my favorite picture is of you two at the wine tasting!