The Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip Recap

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_00

Price and I love to celebrate our birthdays. We make a bigger deal about them than Christmas. We go big for parties, outings, or gifts. And since this past September was Price’s 30th Birthday I went ALL OUT!! I planned a very big surprise trip to Chicago.

The trip took a few months to plan so is seems fitting that this post took at few months (oy!) to write and edit.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_01

So leading up to the trip I only hinted to Price that we would be going away. As it got closer I teased Price about packing a bag for similar weather (his guess of the Bahamas was wrong) and that we would have to go to bed early Thursday night for a Friday morning adventure via a plane. He promised not to look at his ticket while in the security line but I was still nervous since I didn’t want someone asking him where he was going or to say ‘enjoy Chicago’ but we made it through without that. So we grabbed some Sbucks and then made our way to the gate. Once we stopped he realized where we were going!!! So excited to pull off the big surprise.

Once we made it to Chicago we caught the shuttle from O’Hare to our hotel and dropped off our bags since it was prior to check in and we had reservations for the Architectural River Boat Tour for 12pm.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_02 Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_03

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_04 Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_05

The tour was a blast! This was a gift from Price’s mom. She had been before so she knew we would love everything we saw and learned on the boat ride on the river.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_06

It was after the lunch rush when the tour ended so it was perfect timing to head down to check out The Billy Goat Tavern for some cheeseburgers.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_07 Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_08

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_09

It was fun to experience a Chicago staple but I didn’t think the burgers were very good. I enjoyed the atmosphere and character more than the food, but it was still great to check it out.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_10 Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_11

We then headed back to our hotel, Acme Hotel Company, to check in. Once we were settled took naps since we were so warn out from getting up so early. Well, first we took some pictures of the hotel and room as it had such great character. Loved how it did not look like a typical hotel room but had some nice features and unique design elements, such as the red lipstick night light incorporated into the mirror in the bathroom. We loved the room and the hotel.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_12

Once we were refreshed from our naps we headed out for dinner at Frontera Grill. I was looking forward to going to a Rick Bayless restaurant and I am so glad that we braved the rain and wait for an amazing dinner.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_13 Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_14

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_15 Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_16

We waited at the bar and grabbed some drinks as we waited for something to open up. Two seats at the ‘chefs table’ opened up so we sat right by the kitchen getting to take in the energy from the kitchen and servers. Everything was fantastic from the drinks to the food. I really wish that Bayless had a restaurant in Boston. Total dream come true!

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_17

On Saturday- Price’s Birthday!!!

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_18

We started the day with some breakfast from Acme’s continental breakfast bar. We were both really impressed with the selection they offered which include quiches, muffins, stuffed croissants, waffles, bagels, yogurt, juices, and tea & coffee.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_19

We started out by walking from the hotel over to Michigan Ave and then heading south down to Millennium Park.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_20

You can’t visit Chicago and not see Cloud Gate, aka The Bean.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_21

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_22 Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_23

We took so many fun photos there and really enjoyed all of the different angles of the city we saw from the curves.

 Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_24 Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_25

We continued on down to the Crown Fountain.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_26

And then through the Lurie Garden and wandered our way down to the Buckingham Memorial Fountain.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_27

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_28 Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_29

Did you ever watch Married with Children? Yep, it’s that fountain.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_30 Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_31

We continued walking all the way down to The Field Musuem and Solider Field before heading back north to the Shedd.

 Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_32

oh hello.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_33

We intended to check out the Shedd Aquarium but the line to get into it was a few hundred people out the door. Umm, so not happening this trip. So we skipped it and just took the ferry between the aquarium and Navy Pier.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_34 Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_35

It was so much fun and gave us some great views of the city.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_36


Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_37

My co-worker Laurel, who is originally from Chicago, suggested Pizano’s Pizza for some great deep dish pizza so we walked over to Pizano’s  from Navy Pier.  It was a long walk but allowed us to build up our appetites for lunch. We ordered salad and soup (to warm up) and a mushroom and sausage deep dish pizza. We had been debating the medium pizza since we were so hungry but the woman next to us told us the small was more than enough. Although we doubted her we decided to listen to the local. Thankfully we did listen as the small was soooo filling. The pizza’s crust was thick and crunchy while the thick filling/topping was loaded with cheese, mushrooms, and sausage. I think I need my own deep dish pizza pan!

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_38

Stuffed, we headed back towards the hotel to be able to relax for a bit before getting ready for dinner out. Of course on our way we stopped into some really cute stores. I wanted to do some serious shopping but was just too tired to carry it back. ha!

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_39

Some naps, showers and some make up for me and we were ready to go out to celebrate the BIG 3-0. We walked up to  John Hancock Tower to have some drinks and to enjoy the view and sunset. The line to get on the elevators to get up to the Signature Lounge was very long but we stuck it out as it did move pretty quickly.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_40

It was worth it as the view from the 96th floor was incredible.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_41 Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_42

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_43

We ended up with a table at the window to enjoy our drinks and chips with guac (not very good). When we were ready to go we went to the other side of the Hancock to check out the view towards the river and Navy Pier.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_44

The view from the women’s room is incredible as it abuts the windows. Sorry guys!

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_45 Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_46

We needed something sweet for Price’s birthday so we went Ghirardelli’s shop on Magnificent Mile. We split a super-rich banana split.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_47

I just wish we had some candles to stick and pretend blow out! It was such a great way to end his birthday.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_48

On Sunday morning we got ready quickly, had some breakfast at Acme, and checked out so we could head up to Wrigley on the L for our tour of the park, a gift from Price’s brother.

 Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_49 Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_50

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_51 Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_52

It was great to see the old stadium and hear about the history of the team and ball park as we walked all around the different areas.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_53 Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_54

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_55

We had taken a tour of Fenway previously in the summer and could compare between the tours. They were similar in price so the biggest thing that made the tour of Wrigley stand out to us was the size of the group and how length of time we got to spend on field. Both tours are great to go on but for us Wrigley wins. Esp since we got to go on the field!

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_56

After the tour we walked to Ann Sather’s to get a cinnamon roll. Well that was our intent, but we stayed to split a Denver omelet for lunch and get a sticky bun to go.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_57

Continuing our walk, we headed down to the Lincoln Park Zoo. I love zoo’s so this was a great ways to spend a few hours.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_58

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_59

We strolled around the different exhibits enjoying our cinnamon roll checking out the different animals, including some adorable seals and a baby zebra. Baby zebra!!!!

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_60 

Once we wrapped up our visit to the zoo we walked back to Magnificent Mile for the last time for some window shopping and then on to our hotel to call for the shuttle. While we waited for the shuttle we had a drink at the Webber Grill Restaurant.

Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip_61

And that is how we blitzed through Chicago for Price’s Surprise 30th Birthday trip!!

After our trip I figured out we walked over 16 miles while we were visiting Chicago. Not too shabby!! I can’t wait to go again since we love Chicago so much!


9 thoughts on “The Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip Recap

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s