Plenty of Reasons to Travel Alone to Chicago

083I Love Chicago and I decided to treat myself to a solo trip so I could do whatever I wanted to do, whenever and for ever how long! I also wanted the challenge of navigating the city by myself and be self sufficient since I have the luxury of my husband to always figure out maps, subways, flight status, have a dining companion ect.  I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and see what would happen.

I did just fine and even returned home with a little more confidence!

Here are some of the highlights:

Before we get going I was proud I packed a carry on and limited shoes! Stuart Weitzman Laser Cut Black Boots, Paul Green Baseball Shoe , Calvin Klein Black Patent Mid Heel Pump, Cole Haan Track shoes, Franco Sarto Olive Boots(shown with Pink Coat below).002

Day 1

I could of taken a $60.00 taxi into the city but I decided to be brave and save money and go underground and take the  train(orange line)  and transfer to the red line to get to my hotel the Talbot.  Success ! Total cost $3.50 I really do love public transportation.

The Talbot Hotel is a beautiful little boutique hotel located in the Gold Coast  district. 038 Great neighborhood with lots of  shopping, cafes, restaurants and good people watching. 021 On a side note Molton Brown amenities were lined up like little soldiers in the bathroom for me!   Ahhh luxury.

First stop Barney’s New York, 3 minutes from the Hotel.  Since I am deprived living in Tucson with limited shopping and being a Wardrobe Consultant it was imperative for me to get inspired for  Fall Fashion and what better way than to start at Barney’s. After cruising each floor and delightfully taking it all in I headed up to Fred’s, located in Barneys. Fred’s is a great place to dine alone at the comfy bar and chat with the bartender while enjoying complimentary cut fries with Aioli and sipping on a well deserved Martini with Blue Cheese Olives.photo 1  I continued my indulging with Steak Carpaccio and Arugula Salad.  Back to the hotel on off to bed.

Day 2.
Another perk staying at the Talbot is a complimentary pass to Equinox, which is located 1 block away.  So I started my day with a Restorative Yoga Class, followed by a Mat Pilates Class.  Both great and I learned some new things

Being a Saturday I struggled with the masses on Michigan Ave, so I got off the beaten path and headed to Bella Bacino’s,  a favorite lunch spot I have frequented many times. There was a spot for me at the bar and  I enjoyed wine, a baby baccini 6 inch deep dish pizza made from scratch and salad. 035  It was worth the 30 minute wait in which time it takes to make the pizza.  The Bartender was  generous with refilling my wine.  Why does that happen to me so often?.  I try to be good!

Shopped on Michigan Avenue, the Magnificent Mile, which showcased beautiful fall flower displays on the promenade,  and Street Entertainers pleasing the crowds.008.photo (8)010 I visited  Zara, Saks, Neiman Marcus ,Kate spade, Max Mara, Jimmy Choo, Prada, and  Van Cleef and Arpel. photo (7)photo (6) I splurged and purchased Prada Baroque glasses,Kate Spade reading glasses. Lingerie from Neiman Marcus, and tops from Zara. Love!!!011

Returned to the Hotel for a Power nap before I ventured off to the Chicago Symphony.  I wore a Black satin dress, Vintage brooch, Black opera gloves, Black laser cut out boots from  Stuart Weitzman, J Crew hot pink coat, and  black fur trim.photo (14) I really do love the opportunity to wear fur and I have acquired many fur items from Vintage Stores in the past years.  I would never buy “new” fur.

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The Symphony Hall was beautiful and I was so excited as I was led to my seat which was a Box seat, OMG what a great view!. The performance was excellent with the highlight being Claude Debussy’s La Mer, one of my favorites.photo (15)

Quick cab back to the hotel and I was off walking to Le Colonial,  Vietnamese Cuisine one block away. The beauty of good location when picking your hotel. The late nite supper was delicious.

Day 3

Art Institute of Chicago. I wore black Zara  stretch pants,  French Connection dark green sparkle top, Talbots grey wool jacket,  and my Franco Sarto olive boots which were quite durable and comfortable throughout the trip.

I am in my world, enough said015

013I attended Media Makeup School in Chicago last year to become a certified makeup artist to enhance my business and Bernadette was also a student there. Bernadette met me at the museum and  we had the best day together.  We took a walking tour thru the museum with our lovely guide Paula .  She was an excellent docent always kept us wanting more!

Below are  some of my favorite paintings and sculptures I saw

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018157Another reason to travel alone is to indulge in a full day of the museum without someone (my husband) falling asleep on a bench and wants to leave after one exhibit!!!  This was picture was taken our last visit!122Lunch at Terzo, the museum restaurant  with Bernadette was fabulous. We devoured shrimp cakes with lobster hollandaise, and arugula, and washed it down with a beautiful Rose.  Not to mention it was so fun to catch up with my friend from makeup school!

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Took the public bus back to the  hotel, Starbucks on the  corner, relaxed in my room.

Pump Room.   Best dining experience in Chicago for me   Sunday is dead for diners so it was, perfect for solo woman diner.    Back in the day The Ambassador Hotel was a historic hotel visited by many celebrities and jet sets  who went to have a libation and relax at  the famous Pump Room.

024025Since my last visit to Chicago, The Ambassador was bought out  and it is now the Public Hotel. The  Pump room still exists but has completely transformed. Jean George Vongerichten runs the kitchen now and thank god for that.  My meal was to die for. Roasted fennel w olives and lemon, followed by031 bow tie pasta the size of an actual man’s bow tie with house lamb meatballs.  I  washed it all  down with a luscious Pinot Noir.  The staff was great, cool vibe, no hassles.029  Walked home on rush street window gazing at Chanel, Marc jacobs,037 photo (4)Hermes, and heard the clickity clack of  horse carriages in the street while gentle showers were coming down.  A definite smile inside and out.035

Day 4.

It is cold at 45 vs. high 50,s the previous days so  I got to wear my Canadian fur hat!photo (3)

Rise and shine  Equinox!  Attempted ultimate black dress workout and failed. Too much on my knees. Then headed to the pool to swim laps, and did a water workout with the seniors followed by a Steam Bath. It was fun.

Lunch at Pierrot Gourmet,a cozy spot in  the Peninsula hotel .  With the chill in the air I ordered french onion soup, grilled tuna melt , salad and Rose to balance the appetite.  photo (10) Very good and I refrained from the baked goods in the glass case as I left!

Off to Ikram ,a high end boutique. photo (9)  Interesting items, lots of designer but  to stuffy for me and the racks were packed. I really couldn’t looked if I wanted to.

Back to Zara, to purchase a great blue bag that  looks like Victoria Beckham without the price tag and a cropped black top, my new favorite! The blue bag was big enough for the extra loot I was bringing home.

Headed to the Contemporary Museum of Art store, a friends recommendation and she was right it was cool.photo (11) I bought black flower rings at $5.95 a pop bargain in Chicago.  Back to the  hotel for yet another rest and nap.

A little rest does a power shopper good because i was energized and off to do some damage at Barney’s. A necklace caught my eye two days ago and I decided to go for it.  Very basic I  think I will get a lot of use out of it. I really like it and shopping is what this trip was about!

Fred’s, the last supper! A martini with french fries followed by cavatelli pasta with house made sausage and kale in a garlic broth and parmesan. Delicious!  Fred’s was pretty dead but that was a plus no man repellant needed!

A little window shopping on Oak street and back to the room to pack it all up.

What I took home with me besides my shopping splurges :

More confidence to be on my own

Want to dress better and wear fur as an accessory I am going for it this season, look out Tucson!

Be the stylish person I truly want to be

I cant seem to walk around like I use to because of my knees, and hips, bummer
I love to escape reality!!!!!

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