April 12, 2022

30 Minutes for Chicago

A last minute trip to Chicago for an indulgent foodie experience and photo walk about.

30 Minutes for Chicago

On Friday at 12:20p Spencer texted and said that Thorsten was doing a walk-with-me in Chicago in two days and invited us to come up and enjoy their favorite restaurants and the photo walk.

I looked up possible flights and found the only direct flight from Destin to Chicago left at 3:45p the same day, and there was a single return flight on Monday.

I ran the idea by Mitzi at 12:30p, just as she was settling into a relaxed bath. We figured if we left at 1p to the airport we could make the flight. After considering for a minute we decided to be super spontaneous and do it!

She's so amazing, she stopped her bath and swung into action and got us ready to go in 30 minutes!

We made our flight and went straight to our hotel to drop our bags off and change clothes. Here's a view out the window and Mitzi as she put on her classy Frye boots.

As we walked to Spencer and Laura's condo this is what we saw. There were snow flurries and moister on the ground and it made for a magical feeling as we walked through the old and the new in this part of Chicago.

I got a great photo of Mitzi as we entered the elevator hallway in their hi-rise.

Their dog Buster was so excited to see us that Spencer had to hold him back.

Mitzi made this beautiful teddy bear for Haven with a quilt for the bear, a matching quilt for Haven, and a matching quilt for Laura.

Our first stop on the restaurant tour was Green Street Smoked Meats. It was snow flurries and very cold outside. We didn't come completely prepared for such cold and wet weather! Spencer and Laura lent us their coats, yay!

The door to the restaurant is pretty rugged. The patio outside the place is shared with Trivoli Tavern, a place we would visit the next day for dinner.

It was an amazing feast of brisket, pastrami, pulled pork, broccoli salad, chili and fritos, jerk chicken, and cole slaw. With banana pudding for dessert. Perfectly prepared and cooked and presented bbq!

Afterward we went to their condo and visited. Spencer showed us their new juicer. It makes amazing juice from fruits and vegetables.

Then he showed us their new couch and how comfortable it is. This proved to be true as the next afternoon I laid down and almost immediately fell asleep for a short nap :)

The next morning we got together around 11a for a brunch at Cira. They didn't have availability until 3p. So we visited for a few minutes before facing the cold walking to our new lunch spot.

Good Ambler did not disappoint with their pastries.

The elevator at our hotel had this interesting wire metal design on the wall. Super symmetrical.

Even though we didn't go to the Haymarket Pub & Brewery, their 1940 Ford truck parked outside was beautiful in the light.

For dinner Spencer got us reservations at Trivoli Tavern, one of his favorites. It's next to the bbq we went to the night before. This turned out to be Mitzi's favorite meal of the trip.

The oysters were amazing. The warm rolls. The shrimp scampi. The Butterfinger Pie.

I had the lamb chops, Mitzi's dad Don is proud :)

The desert was Butterfinger Pie and what a pie that is!

During the meal I noticed a brass strip behind our table that had some reflection quality along with a cloudy look. It was fun to frame up this shot of the couple near our table enjoying their meal and company together.

The next morning we did a little photoshoot in our room next to one of the iconic Chicago photos. Dang Mitzi is good looking.

Then as we walked to meet Spencer and Laura at Au Cheval for lunch I captured one of my all time favorite photos of Mitzi. She's so classy.

Au Cheval is a small cozy restaurant and we enjoyed the best hamburgers in the world, a root bear float, and a blueberry muffin like no other.

Spencer has been getting hamburgers here and posting pictures of them. I was so so so excited to experience it. Wonderful.

As we walked back to their condo I saw this lion/cat art work on a brick wall. It's either pooping or tooting, hilarious! Their high-rise building is beautiful with the sun glinting off.

We relaxed in their condo for a while letting our lunch settle and we tried out their back massaging roller.

Spencer got creative with the Leica. Buster was in the bedroom but wanted to be near us so he stuck his nose right next to the door.

Spencer took a photo of the leftover vegetables from his juicer. It definitely extracts all the moisture. Lizzie though this might be a pile of weed when she saw the picture :) Laura enjoyed showing Mitzi the baby clothes she's been buying for Haven who is due in about 2 months.

In the evening Thorsten Overgaard had a walk-with-me. Mitzi and I did this with him in Clearwater FL last year. It's just a meandering around talking and taking photographs of anything that inspires us. Mitzi and Laura joined us and we had a great time.

It was fun seeing Thorsten and Layla again. Layla didn't know we were coming and so it was fun surprising her.

This is Laura's favorite picture I captured of the two of them.

We happened to walk by a Herman Miller store and their iconic 1956 Eames chair was visible from the street. I've been thinking about getting one and this seemed like a great opportunity to try it out. The next day that's exactly what happened :)

Laura captured this wonderful photo of Spencer and I.

Spencer captured these fun photos.

After the walk Layla invited us to take a tour of the Soho House Chicago where her and Thorsten are staying. Photos aren't allowed but I didn't know that until after I'd taken some. So here they are :)

After visiting at Soho we were ready for our 9 PM reservation at Girl & The Goat.

It was a lovely meal. Great company, great food, great service. They serve family style and it was delightful to share so many dishes and taste experiences. We are all four sick foodies and this kind of experience is rather pleasurable.

After a good nights rest from all the dining and walking we went back to Cira for lunch. The curry chicken was amazing!

On the way out I noticed this sign through the window and snapped a picture. I have all the things on the list except the neck tattoo. Mitzi offered to give me a hickie in proxy for a neck tattoo but alas I declined :)

After lunch we walked over to the Herman Miller store. Time to check out that Eames chair!

I loved it and placed an order with Kate who works there. I went with the classic wood on the original chair and instead of black leather went with white. It will arrive in about a month and I can't wait!

We had a nice time lounging around on their furniture and talking.

Then it was time for dessert. We went to Bittersweet, a pastry shop in Timeout Market. There are so many interesting and wonderful food experiences in this part of Chicago!

We got some pastries and enjoyed them in the food court.

And since one dessert wasn't enough to finish up these 4 days of pleasure we went to their favorite ice cream shop Jeni's. I didn't know how I could eat anything more but somehow was able to haha.

And this is where we'll have to leave it. It was sad to say goodby to Spencer and Laura. After this second desert we headed to the airport and caught our uneventful flight back to Florida.

We are excited for the birth of Haven in a couple months. What we know is that once the baby comes a trip all about food and photography like this won't be possible. And that's okay. Because, believe it or not, we love babies more than we love food! :)