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Chicago, IL, United States for Girl's Weekend

Girl’s Weekend! My sister Becky along with our best friend since grade school, Patti, and I took on Chicago for a glorious girl’s only experience which featured food, fun, music and, of course, wine. Oh. Yeah. We have been best friends for 45 years believe it or not. I know, how can that be??? We all look so young! From swimming at our neighbor’s pool every day in the summers to sneaking smokes in the field between our houses, we have been through life’s challenges and celebrations-divorce, death, weddings, births, businesses, etc. with lots of tears and laughter along the way. I truly don’t know what I would do without these great women in my life.

After meeting up in our amazing suite at the Warwick Hotel on the Magnificent Mile complete with complimentary champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, we headed out for a walk by the waterfront, enjoying the blue sky and warm temps and then through historic Astor Park where the multi-million $ brownstones are to-die-for gorgeous. The Warwick is an old hotel but in the best location downtown, close to shops, the waterfront and nightlife. Put on your walking shoes and enjoy Chicago!

Next on the agenda was a late dinner at Volare, which was a close walk away from the Warwick. Even with reservations, the place was packed and it took awhile to get our table and food. A HUGE appletini for Patti and wine for me eased the hunger pains but then the food arrived and LOTS of it–mushroom risotto, caprese salad, minestrone, pasta–all to share and sample. If you want authentic Italian, go to Volare. YUM.

Becky and I are the “walkers” with matching FitBits so we got up early leaving Patti to her beloved sleep and took off for a walk by the river from bridge to bridge. Satisfied that we were well on our way to 10,000 steps, we pried Patti out of bed with the temptation of a Saturday brunch at a neighborhood café where we sat outside until the rain began but not before a courteous street dude walked right up to us, declared, “Charlie’s Angels” and walked away. You betcha!

Full from brunch, we hit the Magnificent Mile for some exercise and shopped till we dropped at Nordstrom’s (and the Rack), Anthro, Victoria’s Secret and Banana Republic. All my favorite stores and the stars were aligned for us all to find stuff we loved to take home. New Kate Spade shoes. Check. New Anthro white jacket. Done. Ring at 50% off. On my finger.

Nothing says “Girls Weekend” like a concert by awesome artists so, lucky us, got to go see Sean McConnell and Kris Allen at City Winery on Saturday night. I’ve seen Sean play in Seattle, opening for Griffin House at Columbia City Theater and, believe me, he is destined for greatness. Go see him before he blows up and is playing at huge arenas. Seriously, if you like rich lyrics and soulful tones, you will enjoy Sean’s music. Plus, I modeled my new hairstyle after his-seriously. I told him that story after his performance when Becky and I talked with him so she could buy his CD. He laughed. City Winery is an awesome chain of music venues in NYC, Nashville and Chicago. Not only do you get great food and wine but City Winery is an intimate environment to enjoy music.

Next up was Kris Allen and his band who got the crowd engaged, singing and clapping. Thom and I saw him just last week in Seattle at The Triple Door and he was equally entertaining. Singing by himself or with the group, Kris is a true talent that I have enjoyed since he was on American Idol. He is a hard worker with a brilliant voice. I hope he gains a wider audience and enjoys great success.

After a lovely evening with wine, great food and wonderful music, we once again got a quick Uber (I’ve even made Becky an Uber lover!) and off to the hotel for some rest. The next morning Becky and I again wandered the neighborhood, walking to the lakeshore to get in our 10,000 steps. The weekend was ending but these 3 chicks had quite a fun time in Chicago and we vowed to make this a yearly event! Cheers!

Insider Tip

Tourists shop at the “malls” along the Magnificent Mile but venture into the close-by neighborhoods and check out all the boutiques for some fashion finds.

Where I stayed / started

Warwick Allerton Hotel on Magnificent Mile

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