I spent the earlier part of last week in the great city of Chicago!
Every time I visit I am reminded how much I love this city (minus the tolls and crazy parking fees). I headed into town for a Sponsorship Conference for work. After almost $10 in tolls, but less than a three hour drive from my home in Indianapolis, I pulled into the Marriott Marquis Chicago.
The Marriott Marquis is a newer Hotel in the South Loop of Chicago. While it is a couple of miles away from the Magnificent Mile and the River Walk, the drive in was made much easier and the area surrounding the hotel much quieter. Within the hotel are a few different food options. With the typical bar, Woven + Bound, but also the Showroom Foodhall. Having options within your hotel is something that I think maximizes your stay. Breakfast and coffee being the number one benefit with these assets, but also for business purposes, having meal options within your footprint makes things a bit easier.
Speaking of food, outside of the hotel options, we ventured to Fatpour Tap Works, TAO and La Cantina. I don’t think you could have gone wrong with any food choice with those three. I will say, the fried cheese curds at Fatpour were on point 👌🏽. And it wouldn’t be a trip to Chicago without a stop at Peets! Peets had the most amazing living plant wall that had me wanting to snag a corner, soak up the sun and soak up that view, but duty called and I made the stroll back to the hotel for my adult responsibilities.
When packing for a short trip like this, I like to keep it simple and practical, but still in style. My two Michael Kors luggage pieces are perfection for a trip such as this. The duffle slides onto the handle of the carry on size luggage. Both have enough structure to them to not let them crumble and durable exterior fabric to keep them looking new and not beat up like so many luggage brands can do after just a trip or two.
A new piece to my luggage family is my new Minimalist backpack from Atlas! I got the Copper color and I LOVE IT! This has been on my wish list for quite some time and was gifted this gem just the day before for my birthday. It’s perfect for travelers like me that want easy access to documents (passport, ID, credit cards), computer storage, and easy access and storage for your DSLR camera. The Minimalist backpack is quality leather, hardy zippers and a great magnetic system to keep the top flap secure. While this was my first trip with this new piece, it fit perfectly for travel, but also for adventure.
Before, I didn’t have a great way to bring my camera along to various adventures. I had a small camera case that allowed for padding for security of the camera (old from my film camera days), but didn’t fit great into other bags and made for quite the process each time you wanted to utilize your camera. On the two mile walk to Millennium Park, the backpack was perfect, secure and didn’t scream tourist with my Jansport on my back. I was able to stop and use my camera to capture walls with character, the views and even some inspiration for the KM Print Shop!
What do you think of this print that will soon be added to the KM Print Shop!? A different view to the Bean in a more abstract way. I love how this image is of such an iconic piece of the city but can be incorporated into a home without making your walls an ode to your typical city scapes.
And when it comes to attire for the week, I like to keep it practical…
Adventure mornings and casual dinners, I resort to one of my favorite pairs of Jeans from J.Crew (I’m 5’8″ and order them in tall) and favorite high top sneaks.
And for conference days and cocktails with new contacts, my favorite black jeans from J.Crew got their workout for the week along with my favorite Sam Edelman Booties! Conferences are typically cold, so layers are always necessary. And while it’s a “conference,” the stuffy corporate clothes that make your skin itch aren’t necessary. Keep it classy and cool!
Moral of my story is keep as much as you can simple and practical. That applies to all the things. I hope you get to adventure in Chicago soon and hopefully its filled with more personal than work 😬 Some of my favorites are walks through the heart of the city, exploring Restoration Hardware, or cocktails from the Signature Room at the 95th floor of the John Hancock Center for any first timers!
If you are going to Chicago for fun I highly suggest using Parking Panda to save a few dollars on the expensive nightly parking!