Tag: State Street

Cousins in Chicago

Cousins in Chicago

Last weekend, my older cousin and her best friend visited me in Chicago!  They were my first visitors of the semester, so I was really excited to show them around the city.  They have only been here for dance competitions and other work related things (they’re dance teachers), so they were in for a big surprise in that they would finally discover everything Chicago has to offer.

They took the overnight Megabus and got to my apartment at 6 in the morning.  We slept for a few hours and then went for a delicious midday meal at Tempo Cafe.  It’s located right next to Water Tower Campus, and it has everything- from breakfast foods to burgers to hot meals.  It’s also open twenty four hours to satisfy any late night cravings.

After we ate, I took them to Millennium Park.  We of course had to take the cliche bean pictures- how could we not? Here’s one of my favorites. 

The rest of the day we went shopping on Michigan Avenue, and got Portillo’s for dinner. (delicious Italian beef) The next day, I had class, so I let them venture out on their own.  They spent most of the day tackling Water Tower Place.  I recommended FoodLife, the amazing food court in Water Tower, for their lunch and they loved it! They came back with piles of clothes, so it was a successful day for them

That night, we went to the restaurant RPM.  Its right downtown, and it’s actually owned by Giuliana and Bill Rancic. (Giuliana is the host of E! News and Bill is the winner of The Apprentice, a Chicago native and a Loyola grad if you didn’t know)  It’s a delicious Italian restaurant that is pretty reasonably priced for broke college students like myself! Also, it’s a hot spot for celebrities when they’re in town, so it’s right up my alley for pop culture junkies like me.

The next day, we conquered State Street.  It was another successful day of shopping.  We got deep dish pizza for dinner to make their Chicago experience complete.

I loved having the both of them visit, as I love acting as a tour guide and showing off the greatest city in the world.  I look forward to having more visitors next year!!

Chicago Dining

Chicago Dining

Being the huge foodie that I am, I’m always on the hunt for those great restaurants and hole in the wall places.  The past few weeks, I’ve been to two new places that automatically made it into my top five favorite Chicago restaurants.  Although they might not be “hole in the wall” places as they are more popular (located right on or off of State Street), they were still fantastic finds.

The first place, Quartino, is an Italian restaurant on State Street about five blocks down from Loyola.  I’ve heard different things about the place, not so good things, so I was excited to try it out for myself.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the place was very crowded, bustling and family friendly.  It looks very fancy from the inside, but inside, its pretty casual, checkered table cloths and all.  The high quality food was actually pretty cheap for an Italian place, too.  I got chicken alfredo for only ten dollars, and a few of my friends got lasagna and pasta for twelve.  It was definitely a good choice.

The second place I tried was Panang.  It’s a small Thai place off of State Street.  I wasn’t expecting a small place for take out only, but much to my surprise it was a nice sit down restaurant.  I ordered pad thai and my friend ordered sweet and sour chicken.  For an appetizer, we got crab rangoon, which was probably the best part of both of our meals; crab rangoon with sweet and sour sauce= extremely delectable.  The pad thai was good, too, but I’ll definitely be going back for the crab rangoon.

One of my favorite parts about living in Chicago is exploring all of its fine cuisine.  I’ve definitely found two winners, but I’m looking forward to exploring more restaurants in the future!

Christmas… already?!

Christmas… already?!

It’s crazy to think Chicago is already getting ready for the Christmas season.  I’m starting to see some lights and decorations go up around town.  I always thought of the Christmas season starting the day after Thanksgiving, probably because that’s Black Friday. That’s when I shop til I drop and buy all of my Christmas presents for everyone.

Anyways, a few friends and I went down to State Street Saturday night  for the annual Macy’s Christmas tree lighting.  The huge, beautiful tree is located on the seventh floor of Macys (yes, it has 7+ floors).  There is also about twenty mini trees, all different colors, surrounding the big tree.

Giuliana and Bill Rancic were on hand to count down and officially light the tree.  If you didn’t know, Giuliana is the E! News correspondent and Bill is the winner of the first season of The Apprentice, a Chicago native and Loyola Alum! They also have their own show on the style network.

Seeing the two at the tree lighting was a huge deal for my pop culture obsessed self.  Unfortunately, in order to meet them and have them sign a copy of their book, “I do, Now What?“, you had to spend one hundred and fifty dollars on items in Macy’s hotel collection. As if I, a broke college student, had that kind of money to blow. Still, I got a few low quality pictures of them.

I am so happy I went to the tree lighting.  Seeing Macy’s all decorated definitely got me into the Christmas spirit.  Now, the weather just has to be consistent enough so we can actually get some snow instead of the 55 degree day we had the other day.  THEN it will feel like Christmas!

Here’s Giuliana and Bill talking with their audience after the lighting.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a picture of the lighting of the tree because of the awful angle I had.