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This past week back in Chicago was too much fun! I felt like my birthday lasted forever lol. Before we left on Tuesday to Chicago, Dan and Dylan got me these adorable cupcakes and my birthday coffee and some gifts. I wasn’t joking when I said I LOVE Hello Kitty.

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That night when we got in since it was the actual day of my birthday and we spent most of it driving (6 hours) we went to eat at my favorite dessert restaurant in Chicago- Hot Chocolate. The food itself is pretty good, but I love their desserts most of all. I started off with of course a Hot Cocoa, then ordered the Bread Pudding and the Rocky Road. So good! I love that this place is near my parent’s house so I have spent years coming here and even though they got rid of my all time favorite dessert (Chocolate #1) I love trying their seasonal desserts. I never leave disappointed.

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I love architecture and Chicago is the perfect city for it. There are so many beautiful buildings and you can literally just look up and see the beautiful moldings on almost all the buildings in downtown Chicago. I wanted to be an architect when I was younger, but the forever schooling seemed too daunting so instead I chose Cultural Anthropology as my major. But that didn’t stop me from loving Architecture and reading up on everything. I have my favorite architects and of course most are from Chicago.

On Wednesday we went set out to the Atwood Restaurant (named after Charles Atwood the architect who helped design and finish this building) for lunch. This restaurant is located diagonally across the street from the Macy’s downtown on State Street. It is in the Reliance Building, my favorite building in all of Chicago! It is now a Kimpton hotel- Hotel Burnham (after Daniel Burnham the architect who designed the building too) which side note I love Kimpton hotels. Anyway, if there was a building to make me go gaga it is this building, the nerd that I am I use to take weekly lunch tours during my lunch from work to be able to go inside and see all the extra things you can’t see when you are just a guest or a customer.

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This image from Google doesn’t do the building justice because you can’t see the big windows on the first floor where the restaurant is located or the beautiful molding on it. It just always leave me in awe how this building is considered one of the first if not the “first skyscraper.” So needless to say eating at the Atwood made me very very happy. The menu was different since I last remembered, but I got a delicious Market Vegetable Salad and Dan got a Chicken Salad Sandwich. I was so hungry I did not take a picture and just dove in and finished it up within minutes. So good!

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I have been a member of the Art Institute of Chicago on and off since my early 20s. I am happy that Dan agreed to renew our membership for the past couple of years here because I love it so much. I spent many lonely days in my teens and twenties wandering the halls and falling in love with all the paintings, sculptures, etc. It will always be my favorite museum because of how much time I spent in there and how much better I would feel after seeing a painting or a sculpture and it would give me inspiration to start on something and always keep creating.

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Just a couple of the paintings I love, it is always hard to say which painter or artist I love the most. I love them all! Van Gogh, Matisse, Michelangelo, Degas, Renoir, Monet, Manet, Raphael, Warhol, Dali, I mean I could go on forever, they were all so so so good and talented.

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Speaking of Van Gogh, Dan surprised me with this amazing Starry Night cake. Ahhh! I couldn’t believe it, he definitely is one of the best husbands out there. It was beautiful and my favorite cake-yellow with strawberry filling. MMMMmmm. We got tapas at Cafe Iberico and had a great night of catching up and drinking.

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My favorite lady friends (minus another bestie Ida who unfortunately had to work 😦 )

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Loved this candle!

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Thursday was Thanksgiving so I spent most of the day cooking and then late night shopping for Black Friday. That Friday night, Dan booked us a Ghost Tour (love tours in general, but Ghost Tours are my favorite) before we went he told me the location of the meeting place and I instantly knew we needed to eat at Portillos. When I think about fast food I always think about Portillos, I even painted a whole series of of their menu items because I love it so much. So there is no place I miss more when I think of home than Portillos (maybe Lou Malnatis and Dunkin Donuts but most of all Portillos) Here I am before the tour eating a Hot Dog, fries, and Chicken Sandwich (I split the sandwich with Dan, I love food, but can’t eat as much as I wish I could.) The tour was great I knew most of the stories, but it was nice to be a big bus, driving around my favorite city, and refreshing my memory.

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The tour lasted 3 hours, so of course when we got back to the meeting point I was hungry again lol. Shake Shack just opened up not too far from where we were and I love it there too, but Portillos was located across the street. I was only running on 3 hours of sleep so we went to Portillos again for convenience. I got an Italian Beef and a chocolate shake. 2 visits in one night was not enough, I need to go again stat. It is so good.

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On Saturday, our friend Adrian was celebrating his 30th birthday and to start off the festivities we went to Revolution Brewing. We were suppose to go on a beer tour, but tickets went fast and we arrived late, so we waited for our friends, drinking and sampling different beers.

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Josie and I’s besties- the one in purple is Casandra and the one in blue is Michelle.

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After the Brewery we went to Top Golf to continue celebrating. I love that they label the cards with our names. I never played before and it was such a fun game even if you are bad at golf.

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The party people right before cake cutting 🙂

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After Top Golf we went to Michelle and Adrian’s house and played Dance Central and Heads Up. Here is Josie dominating our friend Laney in Dance Central lol.

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Chicago is divided into neighborhoods, I was born and raised in Logan Square. This house is the house in the neighborhood that use to give the best candy (I haven’t trick-or-treated in awhile so can’t say how it is now) and always went crazy with the lights during the Holidays. This house is only 4 blocks from my parent’s house so I use to walk there every year during Christmas time with my mom to see the lights and drink hot cocoa on the way that she made for our special walk. It’s a great memory and I am happy I was able to snag a photo of it before we left.

This trip was short and I am sad I didn’t get to eat at nearly enough places I wanted (i.e Ramen, Pho, Dim Sum, Pizza, doughnuts, tacos, 😦 ) but I will be back in 3 weeks for a 2 week vacation there.

I missed blogging and reading everyone’s blog so if you see a like or comment from an old post I am just catching up 🙂 I look forward to reading about everyone’s Black Friday Purchases. I will be posting mine on Wednesday 🙂

Also anyone shopping Cyber Monday? I intend to take advantage of the Nars 20% off entire purchase with the code TAKE20. I need my Nars Audacious Lipsticks lol

Janet

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