The time finally came (and went, very quickly) for my Mom and I to take our mother-daughter vacation. It only took us TWO YEARS to get it together and actually go. We opted for Chicago because it’s close, it’s cheap, there’s activities, and there’s IKEA!! *insert little kids cheering soundbite*

We spent a solid 6 hours in Ikea, and still that wasn’t long enough. They closed an hour early for a private event. Not sure what the private event was, but I would like my next birthday party to be a closed Ikea event, please and thank you. We filled a shopping cart, drank lingonberry soda, and didn’t break the bank. It was pure bliss.

A first for us on our trip was staying at an Airbnb. It was absolutely perfect. Our host, Ben, was incredibly sweet and offered so much more than a hotel would have. I would highly recommend Airbnb, if you don’t know what that is, Google it.

Monday morning we dined at The Lucky Platter, a place I had found via Yelp. Best breakfast I’ve had in, maybe ever. I had the Benedict Florentine, poached eggs, honey black ham, sauteed spinach, sundried tomato, and hollandiase served on cornbread, and a bloody mary, of course.

Following breakfast we visited the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie. I would give it a 6 out 10. It was informative and home to a plethora of personal artifacts that were interesting, but it lacked in many areas. I did not feel any type of personal connection to the exhibit, despite the majority of the items being actual personal donated items. Every artifact was labeled with one of those tiny museum labels where the text was too small and the light in the exhibit was too low, so it felt like we spent the entire time squinting to read the tags. The most moving and interesting part was an actual train car that took people to the death camps. Overall, unless you’re particularly interested in the Holocaust, this museum was not worth the relatively low $12 entry fee. — The picture above is a replica of a ghetto, made by a young man while he was trapped inside. He buried it in the dirt floor of a building and returned to get it when the war ended. —

After several hours inside a building learning about one of the most horrific events in human history, we decided to do something a little more fun and exciting with our afternoon. The Lincoln Park Zoo has free entry, tons of animals, and many of the animals are kept in beautiful old buildings. We saw most of the exhibits, my favorite being the big cats. At one point the lion, tiger, and leopard were all .. meowing? roaring? Making noise. It was pretty awesome.

By the end of Monday I was so over walking. We opted to take the quick stroll down to Lake Michigan and just sit for a while. For dinner we had an amazing Chicago Style pizza from Lou Malnati’s. If only we could get a pizza like that for delivery around here. I’d never leave home.

On Tuesday we to Wicker Park, a recommendation from my friend Brynn. We spent the morning mostly window shopping, although we both made purchases at Ragstock. For lunch Brynn recommend Big Star Taco. It was DELICIOUS. Next time I’m ordering more tacos and a pitcher of margaritas.

What an excellent adventure. I officially love Chicago. Thanks for everything, Mom! Can’t wait for the next one.


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