For the last week that L was in the States, we spent two and a half days in both Chicago and Milwaukee and had all sorts of fun doing it! We spent so much time hanging out and doing things around my house, that it was nice to get out an explore both of these amazing cities.
Wednesday, August 1st
L and I arrived in Chicago around 11:30 and, after a quick stop at the ATM, arrived at our first destination: the French market! My best friend and her husband live downtown, so we decided to meet there and eat lunch. I had never been to the French market, but if I’m being honest, it was a little disappointing. There were a few French food vendors, but there were far more non-French food vendors than French food options. Regardless, L and I both bought baguette sandwiches and liked them well enough.
After lunch, we walked back to my friend’s place to drop off our bags. L and I decided we were going to cook dinner for them that night, so we walked over to good ‘ole Trader Joes to gather the ingredients for salade lyonnaise. By 3pm, we were done shopping and hit the town!
Now, unfortunately, Lollapolloza was going to start the next day in Chicago and all of Grant Park and Millenium Park was blocked off in preparation for the festival. Thankfully, we found a way through so we could stop by and check out Buckingham Fountain 🙂
We had our final destination (Eataly) in mind, so we sent an hour or so wandering in that direction. Along the way, we stopped in front of the art museum for a picture with “Aslan” (as L named him), at the Bean, Dylan’s Candy Bar, and the Blackhawks store.
We made it to Eataly!! It is far, far, far more impressive than the French market and they have so many cool things to buy. Next time, I’d love to go there for lunch or dinner, as there are lots of nice food areas scattered throughout both levels. L and I were both head-over-heels in love with the cheese section (honestly though, how could you not be??)
We were inspired to buy a few more ingredients to round out our dinner, so we started the walk back toward the apartment and stopped at Garrett’s and Target on our way. We bought some Chicago-style popcorn for L to try and I’m happy to report that he really loved it 🙂 Alisha met us at Target and kept us company on our way back to her place.
We made it back to the house around 5:30 and chatted while enjoying an apèro before we started cooking. An hour and a half and a bottle of Cuvée later, we finished cooking the meal and sat down for dinner with the gang. We had some wonderful conversations and simply enjoyed one another’s company – overall, I would say our dinner was a success!! For dessert, L made us crêpes, which, of course, were amazing. While we originally had plans to go watch fireworks at Navy Pier that night, we ended up spending the night in, talking, relaxing, and watching the happy newlywed’s wedding video. Around 11, we all decided it was time for lights out.
Thursday, August 2nd
We were up and out of the house just after 9am on Thursday morning (a near-record for us, haha)!
First stop: Starbucks (he got the cold foam cold brew and omg it’s incredible). Also, L did a little shopping and bought himself a Blackhawks shirt.
After about an hour of slowing meandering, we made our way to our first destination…the beach!
Now we didn’t have any towels so we couldn’t really swim, but it didn’t stop either of us from kicking off our shoes and getting calf-deep into the (surprisingly) crystal clear water. We were at Ohio Street Beach, right next to Navy Pier, and for anybody who is visiting Chicago in the summer months, I would highly recommend this beach! It’s pretty small, secluded, and as I previously stated, surprisingly very clean.
After drying off and getting our shoes back on, we walked over to Navy Pier. Since it was only 10:30 or so when we got there, it wasn’t crazy crowded/there wasn’t a lot going on at the pier. L and I walked the length of the pier and after a few minutes of taking pictures of Lake Michigan, we doubled back to buy our tickets for the Ferris wheel.
A perk of getting there really early is that we waited less than 4 minutes to board the ride. This wasn’t my first time riding the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier, but it was my first time riding it since they replaced it with a much bigger and nicer wheel. While the price of admission may seem a little steep just for a Ferris wheel ride, L and I both had a great time – it was absolutely worth it! The views were absolutely stunning.
We hopped off the Ferris wheel and boarded the free trolley to take us back toward Alisha’s work so we could meet everybody for lunch.
After lunch, the Lollapolloza traffic was in full swing. After a walk back to the apartment filled with too many inebriated young people and more body-glittered females than I ever care to see, we decided to lay low at the apartment for the afternoon and take advantage of the pool.
Around 7pm, we left the apartment in search of dinner and ended up at a nice little Indian restaurant right near Alisha’s place. Naan and chicken tikka masala = ❤
We ended our night with some mint chocolate chip ice cream and a movie. 🙂
Friday, August 3rd
Our Friday in Chicago was pretty uneventful. Our train left at 11am, so we spent our morning hanging out at the apartment, cleaning and having way too much fun asking their Echo “Alexa” questions.
We arrived in Milwaukee around 12:30 and my cousin picked us up at the train station, which was a total surprise for L, as I tried to keep him as in the dark as possible with this trip I had planned for both of us. We headed just across the street to check out the Milwaukee Public Market. It was super cute and had lots of cool vendors inside – I would highly recommend it to anybody who finds themselves in Milwaukee!
We headed right across the street for lunch at a restaurant called Café Benelux. L tried a Bloody Mary for the first time (“I’ve never seen anything like this before…that does not exist in France” – L), I got a Delerium Tremens (#nostalgia), and we all had really great dishes.
A bonus to having my lovely cousin there was that she’s lived in the area her whole life, so we enjoyed a nice driving tour of Milwaukee. I was actually pleasantly surprised by how nice and inviting Milwaukee is – if it weren’t for the fact that I know how cold it can get/it’s winter there for 65% of the year/I don’t love snow, I think it would be a really cool place to live one day.
A while later, she dropped L and me off at our Airbnb so we could get settled. I didn’t have anything planned for Friday night, but I mentioned to L and the Brewers were in town and he was all about it! I bought some tickets online and two hours later, we were off to the ball field for L’s first baseball game!
I’m so glad we went because it ended up being an amazingly exciting game! They were down 2-3 in the bottom of the 9th and with two outs on the board and two players on base, the Brewers hit a home run and won the game! It was crazy exciting!! You can skip to 1:20 in the video to see what I’m talking about 🙂
We made it home from the game just before midnight and crashed.
Saturday, August 4th
We had big plans for Saturday – the Wisconsin State Fair! My aunt, cousin, L, and I spent 8ish hours at the fair and we had so much fun!! We visited all the animals, ate some delicious food (hello, fried pickles <3), walked through the exhibition center, watched the Clysdales do their thing, ate more food, and oogled at all the baby animals in the Discovery Center.
Around 6pm, my aunt dropped L and I off at the apartment to freshen up and relax. A bit later, we headed back over to their house for a drink and we decided to go to TGIF for appetizers. We had a really nice evening talking and relaxing after a long day at the fair. Around 11pm, we headed back and went to sleep.
Sunday, August 5th
Sunday morning was pretty uneventful. We packed up our things and relaxed at the Airbnb until my aunt picked us both up for our final festivity – a winery! We visited Peiper Porch Winery & Vineyard in Waukesha and had an amazing time. We enjoyed a complimentary wine tasting of five wines (out of a huge selection) before deciding which to buy a glass of. We headed outside and enjoyed the view. The best words I can find to describe the vineyard is quaint and homey. It was my first time visiting a winery in quite some time, and I soaked up every second of it!
We all ended up having a second glass of wine 🙂 My first glass was their White Zin blush wine (called “Spring City Blush”) and my second was a sangria-style porch wine (called “Vernon Sun Set”). Both amazing! I ended up buying a bottle of the Spring City Blush and I’ll be sure to enjoy it before the summer is up.
After a few hours at the winery, it was time for us to head out. Thankfully, my aunt offered to drive us back halfway to meet up with my parents and sister for dinner. On the drive down, we stopped at the Mar’s Cheese Castle – a castle just off the highway that sells hundreds of different types of cheese, in addition to all of the accouterments, plus loads of free samples, which L and I took full advantage of 🙂
We spent about 45 minutes at the cheese palace before hopping back in the car and continuing our drive back toward home.
Wow, if you stuck around until the end, kudos to you because that was a long one! Thanks for reading and check back soon for more.
Until next time,