Travel Diary: Chicago

IMG_6667.JPG

I spent Labor Day Weekend in the Windy City, and naturally ate and drank my way through town! Read on for some of my favorite restaurants & activities!!

Millennium Park

A trip to Millennium Park is obligatory when in Chicago! The Buckingham Fountains and the famous “Bean” are must-dos every time I’m in Chicago, and are always worth it for the amazing photo ops!

IMG_6425.JPG
IMG_6462.JPG
IMG_6400.JPGIMG_6679.JPG

The Signature Room at the top of the Hancock Tower

Love the Signature Lounge, because it’s free to get to the top of the Hancock! Instead of paying $20 to go to the observatory deck, you can go to the bar level and spend that money on delicious mojitos and snacks!! Eat and drink while enjoying breathtaking views of the city.

IMG_6675.JPG
IMG_6674.JPG
IMG_6459.JPG

The Purple Pig

This place is wine / cheese / cold cut heaven! It took us two hours to get a table for seven (beware: the restaurant doesn’t accept reservations!). There’s a cute patio where you can wait, so be prepared to grab a bottle of wine and enjoy the ambience!

IMG_6660-0.JPG
IMG_6547.JPG
IMG_6552.JPG
IMG_6666.JPGIMG_6669.JPG

Eataly

Eataly is a combination of Costco and Italy. If you’ve ever been to Italy, you walk into Eataly and realize that it’s a much cleaner, more organized version of every Italian street market! There are various restaurants, shops, and wine / cheese / meat stations throughout the two-story Costco-like warehouse. Basically, it’s the best place ever!! (DOUBLE BONUSES – It’s just down the street from TopShop ANDDDD you can finish your night at the Nutella station!!!) 

IMG_6518.JPG
IMG_6480.JPG
IMG_6478.JPG
IMG_6510.JPGIMG_6678.JPGIMG_6676.JPGIMG_6677.JPGIMG_6672.JPG

The RIver Boat Tours

We did the Architectural River Boat Tour, which is a 75 minute tour on the river that explains the history of Chicago through it’s impressive architecture! No matter the time of day, it’s lovely to sit atop the boat, sip some vino, and enjoy the sunshine and the breezes of Lake Michigan!

IMG_6670.JPGIMG_6671.JPG

Wrigley Field

Historic Wrigley Field is worth a visit, even if you can’t get tickets to a game! We sat outside at a bar across the street and cheered with the stands every time there was a homer!! Such a fun part of town, it’s hard NOT to be a bandwagon Cubs fan!

IMG_6668.JPG

Pequod’s Deep Dish Pizza

You can’t leave Chicago without eating deep dish (at least a few times!). Pequod’s is the best because they — GASP — never wash their skillets. That’s right, they wipe their pans down but they never wash them! This creates a deliciously sweet caramelized layer on the crust.  The sweet + savory combo is unreal and way too delicious.

IMG_6385.JPG

Suffice it to say that my trip to Chicago was a foodie experience. When combined with lots of vino and my very best friends, the city has become one of my favorites! (Just don’t bring this Cali girl there in the Winter, PLEASE!!).

What sites did I miss in the Windy City??! Share below!

Advertisements

San Diego Adventures!

This weekend, my friend and I made our way to San Diego to go see Sara Bareilles in concert. We had a great time eating, drinking, catching up with friends, and seeing Ms. Sara B!

Our first stop of the mini adventure was playing catch up with one of our very best friends, London! You may recognize this lovely lady from some of our past blog posts, or even her own reputable blog, ‘London, like the city!’ She took us to Caroline’s Seaside Cafe, which overlooked the beach! It had a great atmosphere, with an even greater selection of food. I ordered the Pan Seared Salmon Salad – there is no full sized photo, because I was too hungry from the drive! Whoopsies :)
IMG_3039

Before heading off to see Sara B, my brother and his fiancé, who also live in SD (and attended the concert with us) took us to a local favorite and popular brewery called, Ballast Point. We all ordered a Sculpin, I had the IPA on Nitro, it was smooth and very refreshing! I am just dipping my feet into the IPA pool, so it was a good starting point for me. After we finished our pre-dinner/concert drinks, we headed on down the street to get our grub (and more drink) on!

IMG_3019 IMG_3023

We went to a gastropub called, Craft & Commerce for dinner, and it was AWESOME! For appetizers, we got season fries and bacon cracker jacks (sounds a little odd, but so delish)! For dinner, my friend and I split the Mac & Cheese and Korean Fried Chicken Wings. The wings were as hot as they look in the photo below. As for drinks, we both got IPA cocktails and Amber Ales! Oh we are NOT done! Wait until you see where we went next…
IMG_3029 IMG_3033 IMG_3035 IMG_3059

Yes, we were all pretty full, but everyone knows that there is a second stomach for dessert! Twenty minutes before the start of the concert, we rushed over to the BottleCraft Beer Shop to go pick up some Pubcakes! Yup, beer + cupcakes. The flavors of the cupcakes rotate every week, showcasing a different beer in each one. (Clockwise) The one with the yellow frosting was Cup O’ Hefen, which had Ballast Point Wahoo Wheat Coriander spice cake & citrus buttercream; Punkin Vegan, which had North Coast Old Stock Ale Pumpkin & maple frosting; Irish Carbomb, which had Guiness chocolate cake, Irish cream frosting, & whiskey ganache; Portzilla, which had Stone Smoked Porter cake, chocolate coffee ganache, & caramelized coconut.  They were all sooooo delicious and not too sweet! My favorites would have to be the Portzilla and the Cup O’ Hefen!
IMG_3087

The following morning, we got up early and stopped at a local spot in Encinitas, called Swami’s Cafe, which is known for their Acaí bowls. This cafe was located in the cutest beach community, where people were either riding bikes, running, soaking up the sun at the beach, or eating at this local spot! We both ordered the Acaí bowls for breakfast, and boy, were they yummy! The granola, fruit, bee pollen, and coconut shreds made for such great toppings! I definitely recommend trying it out if you are ever in the area!
IMG_3090 IMG_3091That basically concludes our trip! Unfortunately, we did not come across Carmen San Diego, but hopefully this clip of Sara Bareilles covering ‘Chandelier’ by Sia, will make do! She is breathtaking!

Inside Diamondback Stadium!

20140613-113933-41973631.jpg

I just got back from a trip to Phoenix, where I started every morning chugging espresso <<above>> in the comforts of my heavenly Ritz-Carlton suite (holla at free upgrades! thx Ritz!). My trip was primarily work-oriented, but was full of amazing surprises!

First… the Ritz is crazy about succulents. I never really thought that I liked succulents until this trip! They were everywhere, paired with driftwood and bright sands. LOVE IT. This is a perfect DIY home decor idea.

20140613-113933-41973857.jpg

Second, my rental car was MIA when I arrived, so I got another upgrade (wait for it)… to a BRIGHT ORANGE CHALLENGER. This babe of a car was calendar photo-shoot worthy.

20140613-113934-41974203.jpg

The third, and probably best surprise of all, was a private tour of Diamondback Stadium! The Dbacks are a client, so they hooked it up big time. We ate a lunch of salads & spritzers while overlooking the field, then followed with a VIP tour of everything Diamondback.

20140613-114143-42103513.jpg

♦ Our view from lunch! ♦

20140613-114147-42107105.jpg

♦ BUSTED! Testing out the drunk-tank ♦

20140613-114148-42108935.jpg

 ♦ Press conference time! ♦

20140613-114209-42129351.jpg

♦ Inside the locker room ♦

20140613-114213-42133273.jpg

♦ Newest Goldschmidt fans ♦

20140613-114256-42176854.jpg

 ♦ Locker room batting cages ♦

20140613-114258-42178678.jpg

 ♦ Dugout! Next at bat: HALFSIES!! ♦

20140613-114300-42180343.jpg

 ♦ Chillin’ on the field ♦

We had the best time ever in Phoenix, and now I’m newly inspired to be a good baseball fan. Angels / Dodgers, until you invite us in VIP-style, I think I’m a Dback fan ;)

Halfsies Launch!

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 5.36.12 PM

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 10.44.40 PM

Hello and welcome to Halfsies!! We are so excited to finally announce the launch of our blog! The concept has been a long time in the making, and our inspiration over the past few weeks has been rampant. After several meetings and many mimosas, we’re finally ready with a concept and direction that is, well, direction-less.

To elaborate – when there was first talk of starting a blog, we struggled when asked where our focus would lie. Our real passions align with categories neatly labeling our header bar, but in all reality Halfsies is a testament to life young, free, and spontaneous. Our journeys here will cross the lines of fashion and food, but will also go far beyond to the shenanigans that define our everyday lives. We believe in the beauty of sharing the things that make us happy, and hope that these things will in turn inspire and bring contentment to our readers. We love getting ideas and insight from others, and hope that you too will seek to collaborate with us!

The foundation of Halfsies is set in our friendship. We met the first day of first grade, and have been friends ever since. After nearly 20 years as hapa sisters, we’ve seen our share of ups and downs, laughs and tears. Although some elements of our personalities are poles apart, our love for fashion, food, fun, & adventure always seem to align. Our fervor is the DNA of who we are as a team: a little bit of this, and a little bit of that – forming Halfsies.

We hope that you enjoy what we have to say! Stay tuned :)

Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 10.05.04 PM