Thursday, September 2, 2010

Love Fest, Year Three.

As I may or may not have previously mentioned, Joe and I always take a trip on our anniversary weekend. I plan the odd years, he plans the evens. Since this was year tres, I did the planning...and I think I get an A+, if I do say so myself.

A few days before the trip, I printed this out and left it on his car:


If you look closely, it provides hints for the entire weekend. I know, I'm awesome.

The trip began with a HUGE adventure. A friend (Hi, Beth!) is a frequent traveler on the Megabus, which boasts fares from Detroit to Chicago for as low as $1. Yes, one dollar. I'm not a huge fan of public transportation (read: sketchy people, small spaces & funny smells), but Beth promised me the buses were clean and the ride was smooth, so I gave it a whirl.

Well, the Megabus did not disappoint. The WHOLE trip (there AND back) cost a TOTAL of $22. Exactly $9 for each ticket there, $1 for each ticket back and a $0.50 reservation fee on each ticket. I know. Unreal. The bus was clean (a double decker!), the drivers were nice and the people were (with the exception of us) relatively normal. The buses even have a potty and free WiFi and power outlets. We were there in a little over five and a half hours -- way faster than the train and WAY cheaper than flying. Awesomesauce all around for the Megabus.

Upon arriving, we checked into our suite at the Allerton Hotel (hello, Mag Mile) and vamoosed it right on over to Frontera Grill for our lunch reservations. Look, people. There's a 3 month waiting list to even get INTO this restaurant, so I really thought ahead. We love Rick Bayless, Mexican food and the Food Network in general, so this stop was really a no-brainer. In summary: far and away thee best margarita I've ever had in my entire life. And the Sopes Rancheros are still haunting my dreams. AMAZING.

After a little shopping and a little walking, we went back to le hotel to fancy ourselves up for dinner at N9NE Steakhouse. I bought a Groupon for this bad boy a few months ago and couldn't WAIT to use it. Is it sounding like all we did was eat on this trip? Because it's true.

On the way home, we stopped at the Signature Room on the 96th floor of the John Hancock Building for a drink and a lovely view of the city. Que romantico.

The next day, we had an overwhelmingly yummy breakfast at Eggsperience. Hello, portions! And following what very well could have been my last meal, ever, we went to a matinee of Shrek The Musical. If you do ONE thing the next time you're in Chicago, go see this show. It rocks. Joe claims that the ending (The 'I'm a Believer' sequence) was the highlight of his whole trip, which says a lot.

That night, we had rezzies at Art Smith's Table Fifty Two. Fun fact: if you watch "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" on The Food Network, you know that it's a tippity top secret that he serves his famous fried chicken on Sunday nights only. Coincidence that our dinner was on a Sunday night? Ithinknot. The food was absolutely scrum-diddly-umptious, but let's get to the REAL point, shall we? ART SMITH WAS THERE! Like, in the flesh (Skinny flesh, mind you. The man's lost like 100 lbs.). He walked around and greeted everyone, acting like we were all old friends. And when he PERSONALLY brought over an anniversary dessert (Pecan Pie. I die.) to our table I about peed myself. Trip highlight, fo' sho.

And after we were done eating that meal, Joe dropped his fork in submission and said, "No wonder Oprah is 400 pounds." That's when I spewed the spiked tea all over myself.

On Monday, we had lunch at Grand Lux Cafe (I live for the Beignets) and took the Red Line to Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs spank the Pirates (14-2). A brew or two at Harry Caray's Tavern and some late-night Cheescake at the Cheescake Factory rounded out the perfect weekend.

Here's to a million more just like it with my best friend and partner in crime.

Brew pictured is 312 Urban Wheat by Chicago Brewery Goose Island. YUM!
Also? I need a manicure.

1 comment:

Our really empty nest said...

What a fantastic trip, you could be my travel agent anytime! My niece takes the magabus from Cincy to Chicago, all the time and loves it too! Thanks for sharing, Sue