Weekend in Chicago: Day 2

After a fun-filled first day in Chicago, Mike was off to his conference on Saturday and I was off to explore the city.

I headed to Argo Tea for breakfast and some writing. I had a delicious tea, Fruit Sangria.  It was so fruity and fragrant and flavorful.  For breakfast I had an acai-banana parfait with granola on top.  I was a bit alarmed at first because it had 500 calories, just surprised I guess because it was fruit, yogurt, and granola.  The employee assured me that they were good calories and would give me energy.  I knew she was right and that they were the kind of calories I needed after my day of eating. Pretty sure the pumpkin french toast and sausage I had the day before was significantly more than 500 calories. The parfait was light and delicious. I sat and reminisced and wrote about our first day in Chicago.

Then it was off to yoga.  I was inspired by Clare to try a yoga class while traveling and a quick google search led me to Yoga Now.  I really enjoyed the Vinyasa (Level 1-2) class with Ljubi (pronounced Lou-bee).  It was quite warm in the studio so I got a good sweat going and definitely worked and stretched.  I was so glad I went. Ljubi encouraged us to drink a lot of water after class, which I was sure to do!

After class I wanted to explore Lincoln Park. I tried to take the subway but I was having trouble buying a subway card so I just decided to forget it and figure something else out.  I started walking back toward Michigan Avenue and stumbled upon the visitor center.  I asked what the best way to get to Lincoln Park is and was told that the bus would take me straight there and picked up about a block away. I took the 151 bus from the Magnificent Mile to Lincoln Park.  I love taking the bus.  I think it’s an inexpensive way to see a city.  And this bus when right up Michigan Avenue along Lake Michigan.  How cool to see the water from the city bus.

After I hopped off the bus, I was just meandering a bit.  The man at the visitor center suggested a restaurant that claims to have invented the salad bar.  But I was hoping to find a small local cafe where I could relax and have a nice sandwich for lunch, write a little bit, feel like a local so I decided to keep wandering.

I saw this salon, Lincoln Park Waxing, and decided to go in for an eyebrow and lip wax.  I’d been meaning to get one for a while and figured, why not?

Though I walked in without an appointment, Maria was able to take me right back.  She was wonderful.  She was gentle and thorough and I felt very relaxed in her care.  I laid back on the table and was completely in the moment, my body completely relaxed on the table. I remember thinking, wow, I’m more relaxed here than I was in my yoga class. I wasn’t thinking about where I’d go next or what the rest of the day would hold.  I was just there.  Still.  Don’t you love when that happens? I find it’s so rare.

Then I was off in search of a cafe and sandwich.  I looked at a few menus, found one place that looked good but said on the sign “no public restrooms” and I had to go so that wasn’t going to work.  I kept looking, telling myself, the place you’re looking for is so close.  And then I found Noble Tree, a coffeehouse selling “serious pie.” I figured, I’ll check this place out and see what they have.

This was exactly the type of place I was looking for.  It reminded me of my favorite coffee shop from college called Cosmic Cup. They had coffee, and bagels, quiche, and this amazing looking pie. After much debate between chocolate pie, pear/apple/cranberry pie, quiche, and a bagel, (I’m sure I drove the barista crazy), I decided on the pear/apply/cranberry pie and a chai.

The perfect lunch.  I sat at the table in front of the window (in the collage above it’s the picture on the left), looked out the window, and wrote a bit.

Then I struck up conversation with a woman and her son sitting at the table behind me.  The son was having the chocolate pie, so I had to ask how it was.  I considered taking a slice to go, but restrained myself.  (You’ll see how that played out later.)  Anyway, the woman and her son were from New Zealand and living in Chicago for a year while she studied our health care system at the University of Chicago.  When I asked the son how he was finding the schools here, he said that the New Zealand system is very flexible so he’s been able to continue his studies here through mail and email.  How cool is that?

After I finished my pie and chai, I walked over to the Lincoln Park Conservatory.

I don’t think you can see it very clearly, but the green plant in the photo above is called sweat plant.  I thought that was funny.  I loved the colors of the other ones.

Next, I made my way to the Lincoln Park Zoo.  Though I didn’t stay very long. I went into the Sea Lion House, didn’t see any sea lions, and then saw the lions.  So cool to see them so up-close. And then I was kind of tired and didn’t feel like searching for more animals.  I wanted to get back to the hotel for some down-time before Mike finished at the conference.  And I wanted to get some shopping in.

I hopped back on the 151 and got off at the end of the Magnificent Mile.  I made my way down the Magnificent Mile, stopping in a few stores along the way: Louis Vuitton, North Face, Filene’s Basement, and Banana Republic. I bought Mike two ties in Filene’s Basement but that was it. I did try on some coats in North Face (note to self, it’s getting chilly, buy one this week).

I stopped back at Argo Tea for a quick sandwich. I wasn’t super hungry but didn’t want to get into the hunger-danger-zone and the crankiness that comes with it.  You know, looking out for my husband. How I made it through the entire day on that morning parfait, chai, and pie without being super hungry or super tired is beyond me. Though I think that parfait filled me up and gave me the energy to keep going all day.  Nice!

I got back to the room for with time to spare for a quick rejuvenating nap!

Then it was off to dinner!

_______________

I had hoped to post about the rest of the trip at 4 o’clock today but I don’t think that’s going to happen.  Maybe after tutoring tonight, but I make no promises.

In the meantime, tell me:

What was the last city you visited?  What did you do while you were there?

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