Sunday, December 8, 2013

Chicago - Kicking off the Holiday Season

We went to Chicago with Tara and Erik a few weekends ago which happened to coincide with the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival so that made it a fun way to kick off the holiday season.  We hit Michigan Ave upon checking into our hotel in order catch Debbie Gibson playing a small afternoon outdoor concert.  It was freezing, but fun to hear all our old 80's favorites: "Out of the Blue", "Only In My Dreams" and "Electric Youth".   I was glad Debbie stayed with the old favorites rather than trying to pedal any new stuff. 

Tara and I did some shopping while the boys caught some warmth and bonded over beer and sports at some bar.  Michigan Ave then shut down and started to get really packed in with people waiting to see the parade.  Pretty numb from the frigid temps, we decided to head back to our hotel for the complimentary happy hour. 

But, I changed my mind about seeing the festivities and so Chris and I left the hotel to catch the end of the parade.  It was a mob-fest after the parade so we snuck into some shops and caught a couple of fireworks from inside a store window. 

We stayed at the Hotel Palomar in the River North neighborhood.  We picked it since they allowed dogs so Tara & Erik could bring Daytona and not have to board him.  They even had his name on a doggie chalkboard in the lobby to welcome him.  The hotel was in a great location, staff very accommodating and our room was real spacious.  I would recommend it and would stay there again.
We had reservations later that night to eat at the restaurant in the hotel, Sable.  That worked out perfectly since downtown was a madhouse and it was so cold.  It was nice not to have bundle up and take a cab anywhere.  I would say our restaurant experience was 50/50.  Food was top-notch as would be expected.  However, the location of our table and the service left much to be desired.  We were put in a table in a room that seemed like an add-on to the restaurant, not real decorated like the rest of the place and near an exit door.  I was freezing our entire meal.  Since we were in the boonies, I think it was hard for our server to get back to us, so the service was sub-par.  My biggest pet-peeve is sitting with dirty plates for too long and waiting for the check.   Both happened here.  Even more-so though, our plates and silverware were not replaced as new dishes were brought out, which really surprised me for a Chicago restaurant.
We ordered several different dishes to share.  Some of our favorites were the deviled eggs with truffle oil & black trumpet mushrooms, mini lamb burgers with feta, minted yogurt & cucumber, chicken & waffles with a bourbon maple syrup and bread pudding.

After dinner we took pictures in the hotel lobby near the fireplace and Christmas tree.


  1. Love that you do weekend getaways to Chicago. We should have done that more while living in Wisconsin. Looks like you had a great time!

  2. It was fun time and I definitely want to go back this Spring or Summer and do something like that again when its warmer! Loved the hotel! Maybe less shopping and more visiting of some Chicago landmarks. Cute pics by the tree that I hadn't seen.

  3. Great to see my family celebrating the start of the holiday season together. Love the pic by the tree, too! Sometimes last minute plans are the most fun especially not knowing all that Chicago had to offer for entertainment that weekend. Debbie Gibson, delicious food and a nice hotel made for a relaxing get-away time with those that you love and who love you even more!!

  4. I always loved Christmas shopping in Chicago! Now my kids won't let me buy anything without their approval so its local all the way...


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