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27 Hours in Chicago

I told myself that this is the year I would start doing more of the things that are on my bucket list. I would take more trips. Be more spontaneous. Start living in the moment more & stop saying "someday!"

I haven't been to Chicago since I was a little girl. One of my best friends, Scarlett, lives there now & I decided to pay her a visit & spend some time there with my crazy schedule! However, I was only able to fit 27 hours in to explore Chicago!! Enough time for food, desserts, photo-ops & city exploration!


Ride a train... CHECK

Eat Chicago style pizza in Chicago... CHECK!

We dove in at Giordano's for some deep dish pizza! Thank God we walked everywhere so we were able to work this delicious food off as we went.... even though we went to get more food. More snacks specifically, at Garrett's Popcorn!

By the way... meet Scarlett! I had this photo in my last post but just know that this trip would not have been possible without this wonderful friend of mine!

Joffrey Ballet had the teeniest little ballerinas practicing in the windows & it was the most charming scene I've ever witnessed. So sweet & innocent, I had to snap a photo.

Funny story about this photo. I snapped this picture in hopes of getting the taxi in the shot more. When I looked at the photo on my camera screen, I saw that that this guy had made the shot. I saw that he was capturing the same car, so I went to send him the photo from my camera since it sends directly to my phone, where I can send it to him. He had already left so Scarlett & I looked all over, down the city streets, & checked a random train stop. FOUND HIM!! Then got the photos to him! He was so sweet & has the most incredible photography page I have ever seen. And get this... he isn't even a photographer! He is so incredible talented!

See this outfit post in the link below!

Wardrobe change for some dinner!

I grabbed my fave THIRTY-ONE BOUTIQUE jacket along with my white skirt as seen in many of my past posts! Catch all the fabulous details about this look can be found in the post below!

Oh how odd.. it was a bit windy in THE WINDY CITY! Good idea on the bare legs, Shea Leigh. Once realizing how stinking cold it was, we hopped on inside & changed into something a little more warm & comfortable!

We found this modern Hawaiian style restaurant over in Wicker Park. Basically if the movie Lilo & Stitch were a restaurant, it would be MAHALO!

For a starter, I tried out the COCONUT SHRIMP!

Jumbo shrimp topped with coconut foam, drizzled with sweet-sweet mango chili sauce! I could have eaten 10 plates of these bad boys if it were socially acceptable to do so.


My main dish was the Papaya Salad!

This is a mix of salad greens tossed around with gulf shrimp, red onion, avocado, then topped with arugula, cashew crumbles, cilantro & papaya vinaigrette. I was unsure of the shrimp chunks, but I loved the texture of it all mixed together. It was the perfect sweet & tangy mixture!


Check them out online for more info!

I obviously then stole a bite {or ten} of Scarlett's Vegetarian Ramen.

It is your basic noodle mixed into broth with edamame, mushroom & seaweed! I personally am not a huge vegetarian type of gal but this was real tasty for the occasion that I did try it out. You are also able to add as little or as much spice as you'd like!


After dinner we HAD to grab dessert obviously! I got this delicious cookie sandwich from Insomnia Cookies. I was curious as to why the place was so packed so late at night... but then I recalled the name of the store. Duh Shea...

I got the half & half cookie sandwhich: half red velvet, half double chocolate chip. Smooshed between the two were two scoops of vanilla ice cream! It got all over my hands, jacket & counter but it was well worth it.

The next day we get ready to hit up one of the best brunch spots in town!

Hail/Ride in a yellow taxi... CHECK!

We had the most incredible view of the shiny-Chicago buildings from the window seat of the Grand Lux Cafe!

I could not order enough food once I saw all the goodies on the menu! From the pancakes to omelets & everything in-between, I needed about 10 extra minutes just to decide on my meal. Ending up with two full breakfast plates. Lots to explore, gotta keep a full belly!

I ended up with the Any Style Eggs basic breakfast... eggs, hash brown potatoes, bacon {ham/sausage} & toast.

Buuuuut I needed to treat that sweet tooth too so I needed the menu back one more time...

The incredibly perfect result: Strawberry Belgium Waffles!

Now as happy as I am with Eggo Waffles drenched in peanut butter & syrup, these were sooo much better! They were devoured in about 10 minutes.

The rest of their brunch menu can be found here!

Our final stop before hopping back on the train back to Nashville is one that I have wanted to see since I was a little girl.

When I was younger I would watch Food Network with my Mamma & they showed Dylan's Candy Bar on one of the episodes! Ever since then I had always wanted to go & get lost in the world of candy & color! I felt like I was in a modern day Willy Wonka storybook.

It by far exceeded my expectations!

I stocked up on all sorts of goodies after circling the store about twenty different times, being sure to not miss a thing!

PS. Shop this look in the link below!

I could not thank my beautiful friend, Scarlett, enough for such a fun weekend! Thank you for snapping lots of photos, taking me fun places, showing me your world & eating Taco Bell with me when I was still hungry after a full meal. I love love love you & am so ready for our adventure in Nashville when you come to stay with me!!

I LOVED getting to do a quick trip & see fun places all at once! SO many experiences crossed off of my bucket list, so many great laughs & a never-forgotten trip to Chicago! I am setting some time aside for another spontaneous trip to a new place. Getting ready to dive into anywhere with great food & fabulous sights & sounds to live in the moment of! Any ideas on where to go next? Let me know in the comments below & that may be where I'll head next! You never know...

Stay up to date on all of the crazy moves I'm making as time goes on, right here on DAILYSHEALEIGH.COM!

XO, Shea Leigh

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