Wednesday, June 18, 2014

48 Hours in Chicago with Jess & Friends!

 I'm going to call this 3rd Annual Girls' Trip!?  It may only be the 2nd, but I'm including our original girls' trip when all of this originally came to life over a couple of drinks at a swanky little bar in Cincinnati!  That was back in the day when Moscow Mules were a thing of the future.  This "annual girls trip" all started a few summers ago with some of my close friends as we noticed the older we get, the busier we get.  It was getting harder and harder to keep in touch from state to state.  We don't even have kids yet, so we knew it would just become more and more of a challenge to get together!   So we made a pack that we would do at least one summer girls' trip a year to all get together and hang out.  One thing I am blessed to have is a wonderful support of women in my life.  Though we may not see each other every month or even talk on the phone as much as we would like, we make time to all get together for a little weekend vacation once a year, and it is like we have never left off from our last conversations.  We jump right back into the laughing and talking with no problem!!  It is definitely not as often as we would like, but with our busy lives, we'll take the one weekend to cram in as many stories, laughs, and love as possible! 

Last year, we hit the streets of music city in Nashville!  This past weekend, we headed to Chicago.  Summer is the BEST time to be in Chicago.  It is lively and fun, with so much to do!  There is never a dull moment.   Two of the girls live in Chicago, so they were great hosts!

First stop in the city was lunch at Derby Bar & Grill.  A quaint little bar and restaurant with an awesome outdoor patio.  I think it was the old building remodeled to fit modern times and the southern charm it had that really drew me in. 

We checked out a really cool place called Fairways with an upscale golf theme to the entire place.  They even had booth seating covered in plaid!  I will have to take my husband here someday, he would love it!  Their cocktails were fresh and amazing!  We sat outside, but here is a little glimpse inside.  Any bar & restaurant with a pleasing aesthetic as well as delicious cocktails on the menu, gets my vote! 

We hit up the Old Town Art Fair.  It is one of the top art fairs in the country with over 250 vendors and an estimated 40,000 art lovers strolling the streets of the festival. 

....and we watched some life size JENGA playing!  We didn't want to be "that girl" who knocked it down, so we just watched!! 

My gift to the girls was sharing my signature SUMMER cocktail!  Another Chicago friend of mine introduced this drink to me, and I added a little signature twist to the cocktail -- adding cucumber!  The cucumber adds an additional crisp, freshness to the refreshing drink.  And any drink just looks so much better with a little garnish!!  The girls loved this drink and my little polka dot straws I brought along with me for the drink!

Stiegl Radler Grapefruit Beer
Recipe for a tall tumbler glass:
{fill your glass with ice.  add 3 oz. vodka.  fill the rest of the glass with Stiegl Radler Grapefruit Beer.  squeeze the juice of 2-3 slices of cucumber in and drop those pieces in.  do the same with a wedge of grapefruit.  garnish with a cucumber wedge.  that's it!  this drink is honestly so refreshing for summer you won't want to drink anything else for a weekend cocktail!}
It was a wonderful weekend together that went by way too fast!  It was hard to see it end and to leave.  For me, I really cherish these times because we inspire each other, motivate each other, and support each other in the little time we ALL get to be together in one place!  I left refreshed and excited for the next trip!  Time to start planning for next year! 

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