Traveling is my favorite, and adventures are meant to be shared, which is why I was so excited to take a trip up north to go to Chicago with my two best friends. My friend, Anamaria, is now an Illinois resident, living in the suburbs outside of the city. My friend, Mandy, and I decided to venture up to Chi-Town to Taylor Swift on her 1989 tour. Even though she started the U.S. leg of her concert where I live in Louisiana, a concert at CenturyLink in Bossier is nothing compared to a show at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Before all of the Swiftie activities began, we had to take some time to be tourists. Anamaria and Mandy picked me up from the airport with an adorable sign, and then we went to happy hour and I had the best frozen drink I’ve ever had ever.
Lovely first day in Chicagoland 😙🍸✈ pic.twitter.com/f8rTsW0GgM
— Tiffany Khyla (@tiffanykhyla) July 16, 2015
DOUBLE-DECKER BUS TOUR
When I went to London, the only time I rode on a double-decker bus was at night after our pub crawl. It was neat, but I never got the full effect of riding in one during the day. In Chicago, there are double-deckers all over the place. Our bus took us on the stops that most people want to go when visiting the city for the first time. We learned about all of the beautiful buildings (seriously, they’re all gorgeous) and made several stops along the way.
— Tiffany Khyla (@tiffanykhyla) July 16, 2015
If you went to Chicago and didn’t take a selfie at the Bean, did you even really go? The answer is no, so of course we took some time to snap a few pictures. I love that we got some of Chicago’s buildings in the background. We also went inside to take some crazy-looking pics.
NAVY PIER Of course we had to make a stop at the #1 tourist attraction in Chicago. Even though it was a rainy day in the city, we we were still able to walk the pier before it started raining down on us. When the rain finally came, we ventured inside and explored some of the shops. We stopped in a candy store where I bought some chocolate-covered bacon that pretty much made my life.
SKYDECK AT WILLIS TOWER This was probably the #1 touristy thing I wanted to do on my trip. I’m scared of heights, but I didn’t get nervous when stepping out onto the ledge at the SkyDeck. The view was absolutely breathtaking at all angles, and it was such a neat experience.
SHOPPING AT WATER TOWER PLACE
I’m not going to lie, I went a little crazy at my first TopShop experience. I didn’t get the chance to go to TopShop when I was in London, so being able to go in Chicago was pretty awesome. The prices were a little steep (#lestruggle), but they had this incredible sale going on. I got three necklaces for super cheap (all less than $10), some cute undergarments and a few other accessories. I also bought some gifts for other people. I didn’t get any actual clothes because I’m too poor for that. I still had fun browsing though.
We also went to Lush Cosmetics, another store that I’ve been dying to go to. I went crazy with the bath bombs. The saleslady was super nice and did some awesome demonstrations to show me some hair and body products. I wanted to buy everything, but again, the struggle. She gave me some samples for my hair that I’m way too excited to use.
JOHN HANCOCK CENTER
We decided not to do the 360 vertical tilt on our trip, but we still got to enjoy some incredible views in the John Hancock building. We were able to snag a table right next to the window and had a few cocktails while soaking in the beauty.
While going up in the John Hancock elevator: "Somethin' is poppin' and I'm not sure if it's my ears or my lipgloss." #Chicago
— Tiffany Khyla (@tiffanykhyla) July 18, 2015
Of course, I couldn’t go to Chicago without sampling all of the delicious cuisine. I had some deep dish pizza at Giordano’s. I got a large drink (23 oz. y’all), and when I handed the server my ID, she said something about how she was nervous about trying to impress us with the food because she knows that Louisianians know good food. The pizza ended up being pretty good, but I had to take some of the cheese off because it was a bit overwhelming. I also got a side salad, and the dressing on it was way too delicious for words.
I was kind of nervous about trying my first Chicago hotdog. It’s such a strange combination of toppings – mustard, tomatoes, relish, onions, a pickle spear and two peppers. I got it without tomatoes and peppers, and it was surprisingly delicious. I pretty much inhaled it and wanted another when I was through.
On our trip to Chi-Town, we went on a cupcake tour that was so deliciously awesome. We visited five different places and sampled five different cupcakes and also enjoyed some gelato. I know this is going to sound weird, but my favorite cupcake was the BLT cupcake which had bacon in it, and it had ranch icing with a tomato on top. It’s sounds disgusting, but trust me, y’all. It was so good.
Our cupcake stops:
— West Town Bakery – I had a salted caramel cupcake that was so delicious.
— Sacred Grounds Bakery & Cafe – I had a vanilla cupcake that wasn’t my favorite, mostly because it was cold.
— L’Appetito – This was our gelato stop. I really wanted strawberry, but they didn’t have any, so I settled for mint chip. It wasn’t as good as the real stuff in Italy, but I still enjoyed it.
— Sprinkles – Bucket list material, y’all. It was so neat to visit the cupcake ATM. I had a red velvet cupcake that was mm mm good.
— More – I had two different cupcakes here – sweet and savory. The sweet cupcake was caramel-flavored and was really good, but it wasn’t as good at the first caramel cupcake. The savory cupcake was the aforementioned BLT cupcake, which was my fave.
There are way too many things that I want to say about the Taylor Swift concert. Click here to read all about my experience at Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour. Just know that it was absolutely incredible and actually a little therapeutic for me.
I had such an amazing time in Chicago that it was hard to say good-bye. I definitely plan on visiting again one day and enjoying the beautiful weather, friendly people, awesome sites and delicious food.
Have you ever been to Chicago?