First Vacay Since the World Opened Back Up

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

Vacay in Chicago!


My beau and I took a much needed vacay for his birthday. We took a trip to Chicago this month.


Chicago is basically right next door to us here in Michigan so we drove the 4 hours. Flying is cool but when you’re with the right people a mini road trip is a mini party.



This was the first time both of us traveled since the pandemic. We took our trip expecting to have a good time but on the same note, not really sure what to expect in terms of being out in public spaces with crowds.



We stayed in a hotel outside of Chicago, in a city named Schaumburg. The hotel was never heavily populated at any point during our stay. We arrived at the room on a Thursday and we noticed that traffic did pick up over the weekend.





Tip - don’t wait until the weekend to start your vacation. Start on a weekday and you may get lucky and experience less traffic and crowds like us. There are some vacation destinations however, that seem to be congested no matter what time you go.



After checking into our hotel, the first thing we did was clean the room. We brought our own cleaning supplies and wiped down all areas.




While I'm sure the hotel staff cleaned each room, doing our own cleaning gave both of us a little more peace of mind. Honestly I recommend doing this when traveling and vacationing during this time.




The first night was rest night. After cleaning the room we had dinner together. We went to Bahama Breeze which is a chain restaurant and we have them back at home.





Interestingly enough my first time eating there was in Chicago but now that I have had the food I will definitely be visiting them in my hometown.



This was the first time either of us had been to a restaurant since the world opened back up.


We were required to wear our masks in the restaurant until we were seated at our table. There were other customers in the restaurant as well, but none of the groups were seated within 6 feet of each other.

We both got a pasta dish at the restaurant and they were both good but the highlight of the night was by far the frozen margaritas.







The taste was amazing at first but then when you mixed the drink and mixed all the colors together, the drink took on a completely different flavor but that flavor was just as delicious as the original flavor.




We hit up Binny’s Beverage Depot that night as well. This liquor store was pretty awesome.

A depot is defined as a place for the storage of large quantities of equipment, food, or some other commodity. And that's exactly what Binny's was. A store housing large quantities of liquor.


Binny's was nothing but liquor. Rows and row of liquor, and that's why we went back two more times. Each aisle was labeled so you knew exactly what liquor you were looking at. For instance, there was a Gin and Tequila aisle, a whiskey aisle, a vodka aisle, a wine and champagne aisle, etc.



The next day we went to the Woodfield Mall, which was also outside of Chicago. This was my first time at a mall since the world opened back up. I was an online shopper way before the pandemic so I was still acquiring new clothes here and there while stores were closed.



Of course masks were required inside the mall. We shopped for a couple of hours, for nothing in particular.




















I bought two really cute Champion crop tops, and a pair of men’s joggers (my first pair).



A trip to Chicago is nothing with out Chicago style pizza. We ordered from Giordano's and bought cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory for dessert.


If you enjoy cheesecake and have not been to The Cheesecake Factory, you're truly missing out. They offer 30 plus cheesecake flavors so I'm sure you'll land on one you like.


We took our pizza and dessert to go but both restaurants were offering dine in options. The Cheesecake Factory actually had a line of people waiting outside which we weren't interested in that night.


If you’ve never had a Chicago style pizza or cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory, I highly recommend both.




Day three we went for a walk at The Chicago Athenaeum International Sculpture Park. There's weren't too many people in the park and we weren't required to wear masks. In another area of the park, we found a pond and fountain. There were more people in this area of the park and there were also two wedding parties taking pictures out there. And I could see why. There was a lot of open, green grass. That paired with the fountain and flowers placed throughout the park, created a picturesque scenery.



After our walk we went to the movies and saw Unhinged. Like everything else, it was my first time at the movies since they opened back up. Masks were required there too but you could take them off to eat or drink. We bought popcorn and drinks but there were no condiments/seasonings sitting out for us to dress up our popcorn. We were still able to get our own drinks but our popcorn was only seasoned with whatever salt and butter was added when the popcorn was made.

Our last day in the city, we grabbed some food to go from Harold’s Chicken. We ordered chicken wings and fries and they were served with a sauce on top that made the meal really tasty. They also sell seafood and a variety of sides.


Our last stop before driving home was Navy Pier. Surprisingly we were required to wear our masks on the pier unless we were eating or drinking. We bought frozen margaritas and sipped on them as we strolled down the pier. You can view the water as you walk and there are also restaurants and shopping options along the pier. It's a well-known attraction in Chicago so check it out next time you find yourself in that city.


Also we noticed that gas prices were more expensive in Chicago. I’m not sure what regular gas prices are in your city but in Chicago gas was about $.20 to $.30 more than I pay in Michigan.


I love vacations and now that the world has opened back up I can slowly get back to my travel bucket list. If you have any suggestions for cool places to travel, please share them in the comments.

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