With Little Pit safely ensconced at my parents house for the weekend, Mr. Pit and I hopped a Southwest flight to get out to Chicago mid-afternoon on Friday. We checked into our suite at the W-City Center, and it was awesome. All of the W's lobbies are cool, but this one was amazing. They had these HUGE 20 foot tall lamps in the middle, and I definitely didn't feel like I was cool enough to be staying in such a swank hotel!
A few hours of rest later, we headed over to The Aviary and again, felt WAY not cool enough to be going into this bar. We actually got to sit downstairs in what they call 'The Office' and we enjoyed super cool cocktails and managed to get a tour of their ice room at the end of our visit. They have one person whose entire job it is to make ice. ALL.NIGHT.LONG. He can make ice spheres, ice coatings on the inside of the glass, ice infused with the liquor inside...I can't even explain. SOOO cool. Check out the website, it is definitely worth a look if you like cool cocktails. One of the drinks even comes with a sling shot that you have to use to break open your cocktail filled ice ball!
Then we were off to Blackbird , which is the first Michelin rated restaurant I've ever eaten in. TOTALLY delicious. The menu was a bit overwhelming at first, but I ordered the duck, and a fun basil infused cocktail and I was totally blown away by how great everything tasted.
I also have to say that the service at both the Aviary and Blackbird were phenomenal. A LOT of Philly restaurants should take note of how they do things in the midwest. They were helpful, friendly and always there without ever hovering.
After dinner we went straight back to the hotel and my friend N and I went up to bed while the boys stayed up WAY too late drinking at the hotel bar. The next morning was an early one though, so I was glad I went to sleep when I did.
The next morning Mr. Pit and I went to breakfast at Lou Mitchell's which we were told was a Chicago breakfast institution. I have to agree with all the feedback we got and the line was definitely worth the wait. The best part is that they give you Milkduds on your way out of the restaurant. A place where I can eat and then they give me my favorite candy as dessert, sign me up!
After breakfast we headed down to the lobby to get in the car for the trip down to South Bend. Having never been to a large college football game (and since my Alma Mater had a whopping 3400 students TOTAL), this was the most amazing part of the weekend. The tailgaiting setups for home games at Notre Dame are just amazing. Everyone has custom made flags that they put on these HUGE flagpoles near their car and they fill up parking lot after parking lot of cars and cars and cars and people eat and drink and hang out ALL day. I know I sound like a complete idiot when I explain it, but seriously, I've never seen anything like it. I know all the girls from the South are probably saying...well DUH, that's how the SEC does it...but you have to understand...outside of the NFL, the largest football game I have been to was Princeton/Penn, and that doesn't get 1/1oth the people that Notre Dame gets at EVERY home game!
Anyways, the tailgating was awesome, walking around campus (even in rival USC gear) was really fun and everyone was incredibly friendly. The game was great (yay Trojans!) and we didn't even get yelled at even though we were flies in the milk (the ONLY two people in our section wearing Red in a sea of Green and Gold).
Then less than 12 hours later we were back at Midway to get on our flight home to see Little Pit. She had a great time at my parents house and though exhausted, my parents said they had a wonderful time watching her.
All in all a GREAT weekend!