Chicago, Let’s Get a Drink & Lake Tahoe

So I know I have been MIA, but absence makes the heart grow fonder…unless you are a high schooler, in which case, absence will just get you Becca Billed (PS I sincerely hope WA has done away with that piece of trash by now. Seriously, it is trash, call your representatives people!).

For the kids not following along on social media, its been a busy 10 months! In the interest of saving us all a bit of time, here is a quick recap of where I have been and what to check out, should you happen by the same neighborhoods.

Chicago

I have been to this town several times and it never ceases to amaze me. I was there around the 4th of July and it was a blast! In between fantastic eats (Omm nom Little Goat and River Roast), my dear friend put up with me and took me to a number of tourist spots.

We had a blast grabbing some wine at the City Winery and wandering the river walk before taking an architecture tour…on a boat! The Architecture Foundation boat tour does a great job of giving you all of the skyline highlights without overwhelming you. It was awesome like I would do it again in a heartbeat, and not just because you can have wine on the boat!

We also visited the Art Institute of Chicago, which has a delightful patio where you can get a glass of champs and enjoy the sun in between exhibits. Among other things, we took in the Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in HarlemIt is one of my favorite pieces of classic American literature, and the exhibit did not disappoint. I encourage the whole wide world to check and see if the photos are rolling through your hood.

We also took a trip to a delightful grocery store that lets you sip a glass of wine as you shop, before heading to the Geary amphitheater* to enjoy the Fourth of July concert and walking over to the fireworks display.

Pro tip: You can see the fireworks just as well from the sidewalk leading towards the water as you leave the amphitheater. Watch there if you want to make a quick break towards the train post-show.

Bean Selfie

Grime-time Bean selfie

Boat Tour

We’re on a boat!

Geary

4th with Geary, patriotic classical music and wine!

*formally called the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, but once you see it, the thing is so clearly a Frank Geary structure, you won’t remember the formal name either.

Lake Tahoe

Confession, I am a terrible Californian. I have lived here for more than a decade and never actually been to Tahoe for the lake. All of that changed when my mom, aunt, sister and I decided to go for my aunt’s birthday. We stayed on the Nevada side and it was fantastic!

The upside of staying on the Nevada side is access to the casinos! Since my aunt was turning 65, we each got 65 dollars to blow at a casino. Not gonna lie, the Dolly Parton slot machine did me wrong! But my aunt and sister cleaned up, so we still had money for a tasty dinner. We also made a bit of time to take in the gorgeous lake with tons of good nature spots to stop and take in the view, and actually, you know, get in the lake.

Pro Tip: Drive around the whole lake if you have a chance. The views change and it is well worth the hours spent in the car. Plan to stop along the way for snacks at the different little roadside stretches.

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View from one of the lookout points

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Big birthday winners

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The slot machine that got away

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