Eric and I had a BLAST in Chicago! It was our first time there and I think it has moved to the top of our list of ‘favorite cities.’ I went because of the Healthy Living Summit. Between me and Eric, we took a lot of photos, so for my sanity I am going to break it out by day.
We flew in Friday afternoon on the always reliable Southwest. I have deep ties to Southwest because I used to fly them every two weeks to visit Eric when we were doing the long-distance thing, and I also worked for their in-flight magazine! It was fun to see what all my old co-workers were up to.
Once we arrive we boarded one of the trains and took it straight to our hotel. I hate to complain about Philly’s public transportation, because we atleast have some, but Philly needs to get it together. Eric and I were able to buy a 3 day pass and used it to go everywhere. Philly has zones and coins and it’s expensive to go to and from the airport.
We were staying at the Congress Plaza hotel in downtown, which is apparently one of the most haunted spots in Chicago. It was definitely an odd hotel, very old.
After checking in I quickly cleaned up and headed to the Healthy Living Summit cocktail party.
While I went to the cocktail party, Eric went to a nearby bar.
Random fact about me, I am painfully shy and have severe social anxiety. I surprised myself, as well as Eric, when I registered to attend an event with complete random strangers. I do ok in small groups, but put me with a bunch of people and I get overwhelmed. So that pretty much sums up the cocktail party. I tried to talk to people, and sucked at it. I did work up the courage to introduce myself to atleast one person, and it happened to be Nicole from Another One Bites the Crust. We talked for a bit then decided to head out and meet up with Eric.
We headed to another part of Chicago to get some food and drinks at The Handlebar. Prior to our trip I had asked another internet friend for some Chicago suggestions and she mentioned this place. It seemed right up our alley, so I was excited to go there.
Eric’s friend Ryan came and met us as well.
The menu had a lot of good options, and it was hard to decide. We started with fried pickles, a favorite of mine.
For our meals I ordered the trio of sides, and got salad, french fries and rice…a classic Lauren meal.
Eric ordered the Buffalo ‘Chicken’ Wrap with mashed potatoes.
And Nicole got the Grilled Tofu Sandwich.
This ol’ blog isn’t my first go round at blogging. I have consistently been blogging on Livejournal for about 10 years. I have made some really good internet friends over there and just can’t seem to let it go. One of my ‘friends’, named Ramsey, lives in Chicago, so I got in touch with her to try to meet up. I was pretty excited to meet her, because we have been online friends for about 5 years. She’s also the one who told me about The Handlebar, as well as a bunch of other awesome places to try in Chicago.
Super old internet friend on the left, and brand new internet friend on the right.
We ended our meal with a fried peach turnover type of dish, then headed back to the hotel.
And that concludes part 1.