Remember that soul rest I’ve been talking about? I’ve tapped into something important here. At least it’s become pretty important for me. I hope the idea has caught on for you as well, this Soul Rest. There’s something about it I’ve come to crave in just a short time.
I insisted on a collective soul rest and last month, and my family and I took off into the grand city of Chicago for a mini vacation. With teenagers and work schedules and school schedules and spring breaks that don’t match up now, it’s hard to get away as a family. But I was determined to make it happen.
So I did.
I’ve been to Canada. I’ve been to The South. I’ve been to Paris and Rome. All wonderful adventures. But this Chicago trip was by far the most restful and renewing. See, it’s not as much about the location as it is about the attitude and the company you’re in.
Instead of driving, we took the train. All of us were train newbies but it was easy. You get on the train and you get off the train. That’s it. There’s no parking, no paying for parking, no driving in the city. When the guy yells “All aboard!” (he really did!), you get into your seat, recline, put up the foot rest, and relax until you pull into your station. I highly recommend.
We arrived in Chicago at the beginning of business in the morning. It was glorious. As we hailed a cab, the sun was shining, the city was dazzling and busy. We’d never stayed at this particular hotel before, but it was a perfect choice. Hotel Chicago was within walking distance of almost everything we wanted to visit. It was right by the river so we had a literal one-minute walk to see the drawbridge go up or just watch the boats on the water. And let me take a second to tell how wonderful their staff and establishment is (no, this isn’t a sponsored post, but when somebody does well, I tell people about it).
They were very welcoming. There were huge carafes of fruited water in the lobby for us to enjoy. The lobby itself was a little spectacular, totally comfortable, had gorgeous and clean bathrooms (always important), and they were so helpful, holding our luggage before check-in and after check-out so we could max out on the city time. They even helped us figure out Uber on my phone. Top-notch. Period. Stay there.
The first thing we did after grabbing a bite at The Corner Bakery where I had a filling and delicious croissant breakfast sandwich, was explore the city. My daughter and I pretty much steered us in the direction of the Magnificent Mile. Wouldn’t you? We spent not nearly long enough reveling in the jewels and bags of Henri Bendel and had the very best, most delightfully welcoming and funny help by the employees there. They’re so fun! My daughter found some exquisite treasures. P.S. I’m a total Michael Kors girl. Until I met Henri. Don’t get me wrong, MK, you’re still fab, but my next bag will be a Henri. There’s room for both of you!
You should know that I’m one of those folks who takes lots of pics of their accommodations: bathroom, beds, closet space, view from the room. I’m proving that here with lots of photos.
We spent the rest of the day just enjoying the stores and sites, resting when needed, finding lots of friendly people. Funny story: My son is a videographer. He carries his camera and equipment almost everywhere. So he was naturally filming this trip. A car rolled up next to us and a woman was laughing hysterically. “I thought he was carrying a cat by the neck!” she yelled. The mic on his camera has a cover that’s called a “dead cat” because it’s furry and…looks like a cat. When she realized, she laughed and went on her way. But he got some incredible looks because of the dead cat. Unless you know what it is, it looks pretty odd and people are left wondering…
One of the best things ever…we toured a major television station. And got to sit in on a LIVE NEWS BROADCAST. You bet I’m yelling that. It was incredible! For my kids who both want to be involved in news media, this was beyond amazing. For me, who’s always had a love of media and dreamt of working at the Chicago Tribune all of my high school and college years, sitting in and witnessing live news was a dream come true. We are so very grateful for that opportunity. So. Grateful.
The first night, we had Giordano’s pizza, Chicago style pizza of course. Then we had a really lovely leisurely walk back to our hotel. That’s the thing about Chicago: there are lots of places to stop and sit for those of us who need frequent breaks. And there’s a taxi or Uber within seconds if you just can’t keep going. It was a beautiful spring evening, crisp but not cold. The nightlife there is electric. We hit our pillows hard and they were the most comfortable pillows, let me tell you. Hotel Chicago, email me and tell me where you get your pillows! They were good for my soul and body rest!
Do you love Chicago like I do now? Well, there’s more to come. I want to share our trip with you, but can’t cram it all into one post. If I try, I can’t tell you all about the yummy foods, the sites, the interesting people and stories. There are always stories, like the one about the homeless person who we still pray for. Or the 50th birthday surprise for my husband. Check out my next post for the rest of our adventure…
Find time for YOU,