Check out my guest post over at Creating a Better Tomorrow for a fun holiday workout!
This year, instead of purchasing gifts for each other Brian and I thought it would be more fun to spend the weekend doing holiday things in Chicago. So, this past weekend we packed up our bags and drove up to the windy city.
We were staying with our friend, Sascha, who lives right in the loop. She was so hospitable! It was so fun to hang out with her, and her place was very conveniently located next to all of the things on our to-do list.
We arrived Friday night and Brian and I were both pretty hungry. First on the list, was to grab a quick bite to eat before heading to another friend’s comedy show.
We enjoyed some tapas at Epic, a bar/restaurant on Hubbard Street in downtown Chicago.
Everything looked tasty, but we decided on fish tacos:
After our quick meal, we headed to another part of the city to watch our friend perform in a comedy improv show at the Playground Theater.
The show was so fun and funny! We loved being able to see her perform and we caught up with a drink after the show.
Then, it was bed time so we could prepare for our BIG day of touristy/holiday fun!
On Saturday, we woke up early and were out of the door by 8am so we could head to Macy’s to reserve our spot for lunch at the Walnut Room.
I had never heard of the Walnut Room, but someone recommended it as a “must do” in Chicago during the holidays so Brian and I thought we would give it a try.
We showed up to the restaurant, asked for a pager, and reserved our lunch time for 11:30am. Easy as that! There was no line and we were able to pick the time we wanted to eat. We could not believe how simple the process was!
After getting our pager, Brian and I wanted a little caffeine and something warm…it was snowing nearly the entire day on Saturday, so we took quite a few breaks during the day to “thaw out.”
Skim-milk cappuccino with gingerbread for me!
Carmel Brulee latte for Brian 🙂
After enjoying our hot coffees, we braved the cold once again to head out and do a little shopping before our lunch date at the Walnut Room.
We showed up with our pager at the time we reserved and although our pager did not go off, they let us hop right in line to receive one of the next tables.
Our table was right next to the gorgeous and HUGE Christmas tree. We loved it!
Sascha joined us for lunch and we each enjoyed tasty, festive drinks. Adult eggnog for me 🙂
Everything on the menu looked tasty, but I was craving some vegetables so I chose the Roasted Harvest Salad which was a bed of field greens topped with butternut squash, shallots, pumpkin seeds, and gorgonzola cheese. So good!!! This meal totally hit the spot.
We then headed to the Auditorium Theater to get student rush tickets to the Joffrey Ballet’s Nutcracker…thank goodness Brian is still a student! This was another painless process, we were first in line to pick up our tickets and within minutes we were out of there.
We had about 45 minutes before the show started, and because Sascha lived just about 10 minutes away, we headed to her place to keep warm.
Sascha then made us her family’s homemade chai tea…delicious!!! Seriously, this was the best stuff I have ever tasted.
Completely warmed us from the inside out.
After relaxing for a bit, it was time to head out to the Nutcracker!
Brian and I usually go to Butler University’s Nutcracker in Indianapolis, but because we were going to be in Chicago we thought we would try something new. For me, the holiday season just doesn’t feel right without going to see the Nutcracker.
The show was fun, festive, and the dancing was beautiful. Everything we could have asked for 🙂
After the show, we parted ways with Sascha and headed to the Christkindlemarket. This is an outdoor,German holiday market right in the middle of downtown Chicago. There were tons of booths with holiday toys, ornaments, and cute trinkets as well as yummy food and drinks.
It was VERY packed at the market, so Brian and purchased some nuts to snack on, took a picture in front of the beautiful Christmas tree then headed to the mall for some indoor shopping 🙂
After shopping around, we met up with Sascha at her apartment and changed clothes to head to a holiday party hosted by one of Sascha’s friends.
It was fun to meet new people, chat, and be in the Christmas spirit. A great way to end our perfect day!
Sunday morning, we slept in slightly (8am for me!) and after getting dressed and packed up headed out to a delicious brunch at Meli Cafe.
My brunch was a delicious plate of polenta pancakes.
On the side I enjoyed an almond milk cappuccino…yum!
Then, Brian and I loaded up the car and made the trek home.
It was an absolutely fabulous, fun and amazing holiday weekend. We definitely have to do it again!
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That chai looks amazing! I want to try making it homemade!
I don’t think your weekend could’ve been any more perfect! You and Brian are absolutely precious. I had to smile at the photo of Brian posing w/ his Starbucks. He’s too funny.
I’m from Chicago and I just did all that fun stuff last weekend too! This city is amazing but it always gets even better during the holidays–there are a million things to do! I’ve walked past Epic a ton and have never gone inside…now I have to try it!
It was so fun!! You are lucky to live in such an awesome place!
That looks like such a fun weekend! Chicago is one of my favorite cities though I have never enjoyed it in the winter – it actually looks magical!
The city really is a different place during the holidays 🙂 The decorations are perfect!
Chicago is so much fun — looks like a great weekend!
It was a blast, Emily!