A visa meeting at Chicago’s Spanish consulate provided us with the perfect excuse for a quick trip to the Windy City, which could have been better described as sultry and sticky during the hours we were there. We reserved an AirBnB in Chinatown since we’d never explored that area of the city. A stroll down the heart of the neighborhood on South Wentworth Avenue left us searching for a quiet place to sit with a latte and chai tea. We found the perfect respite at TBaar. Although it’s a chain, the atmosphere was relaxing and it was fun to watch the servers roll out ice cream to make interesting Sundaes. Later, we arrived just in time to get a seat without reservations at Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings. While waiting for our order of dumplings we were enthralled to watch their video that showed the origins of everything from their porcelain dinnerware to the light fixtures as well as how they locally sourced their ingredients. The dumplings didn’t disappoint!
After dinner, the cooler early evening temps made it the right time to visit Millenium Park. An outdoor movie was playing for a huge audience spread out on blankets and lawn chairs while enjoying picnics with family and friends. Some were even watching the movie! Next, we joined the crowd at Crown Fountain to watch kids from toddlers to teens drench themselves in the water…always watchful for when the large streams of water would pour from the digital faces towering above.
The following morning, after being amazed at the continually moving line for coffee at Starbucks (and an almost non-moving line at the consulate!), we took a people-watching jaunt along the Riverwalk. On the lookout for a museum we hadn’t yet visited, we settled on the National Museum of Mexican Art. Although its smaller size with only three galleries could be seen as a negative, it was actually relaxing to not feel rushed. It’s the perfect size to enjoy art without committing to a whole day at a museum. (And, it’s free!)
A short walk from the museum, 5 Rabanitos Restaurante & Taquería provided a delicious lunch of guacamole, tortas, and tacos al pastor in a colorful and friendly setting.
Happy to have had a excuse to visit this fab city again!