A Birthday Weekend in Chicago

I could think of no better place than Chicago to celebrate my 30th birthday. I spent my first, 21st, and now 30th birthdays in this great town.

I've always referred to Chicago as the metaphorical boyfriend I never meant to break up with. I spent a good, long time with that boyfriend (about six years!) but tired of how inconvenient, draining, and confining our arrangement had become. And so I broke up with Chicago, but I've always sort of regretted it. Luckily I have the opportunity to go back and visit often. (By the way - that's where this metaphor ends. It's all hypothetical anyways. Let's not be crazy!)

Anyway, we stayed at the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower. The same hotel Jay and I had our wedding reception in four years ago. The service at this hotel is only outdone by the acute attention to architectural and aesthetic detail.

Knowing that it was my birthday, and close enough to our anniversary, the hotel sent chocolate covered strawberries and fruit preserves to our room. I heart you Sofitel. I always will. Being in all of the places that have so much meaning obviously made the whole weekend very nostalgic for me on many levels.

But again, I digress. That night we had dinner at Chicago Q - an urban barbeque restaurant in the Gold Coast. I had the BBQ slider trio with the poblano cheddar cornbread and a martini called the Inkling with vodka, elderflower, blackberries and strawberries.

From there we decided to take in the view from the 96th floor Signature Lounge in the Hancock building and sipped on some Clicquot - which obviously turned into trying to remember Wiz Khalifa lyrics.

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Sippin' on Clicquot. Celebrating @cemackenzie 30th @jillyrsmith @pittmkm

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The next day we ventured out onto Michigan Avenue for A LOT of shopping! Props to my dad, Matt, and Jay for being troopers while my mom, Jill and I did our thang.

For lunch we went to Eataly. This was easily one of my favorite parts of the trip. Everything is so beautiful and delicious! If I lived in Chicago, this place would be trouble for me.

Sunday morning I met up with one of my dearest friends Andrea for brunch at a spot appropriately named Brunch. I ordered a delicious skillet with pancetta, goat cheese, fresh herbs, and roasted seasonal squash - which made it official...I needed to be rolled home.

...but not before some mimosas and football.

Ya know what? At the end of the weekend, this 30-year-old was tired and ready to go home.

Back to PA. My comfortable suburb. My house, my dog, and my projects. As my friend Andrea pointed out to me during brunch at Brunch, there's no need to be upset that I'm not in my 20s any more - I DID my 20s! It's time to move on!

Thanks to everyone who made my birthday so very special!

Where we ate:

Where we drank: