Number 2 coming right up! My second day in Chicago was a full day to explore, eat more food and see what this city was all about! Day 1 was about travelling and settling into the city, day 2 was the real day to explore. Although I was staying at a friend’s she had commitments in the daytime leaving me on my own to adventure!
My first stop in the morning was for a Barre class at Pur Barre in the West Loop. For anyone reading this and doesn’t know what Barre classes are, it’s a combination of ballet, yoga and pilate movements often done in repetition. I teach Barre in North Vancouver, it’s a full body workout focusing on – arms, abs, legs and glutes. I attended their Pure Empower class, a more cardio focused class. It kicked my butt and gave me a great sweat for the morning!
I headed home for a quick shower to clean up but first stopped by Ground Up Coffee in the West Loop for a matcha latte with almond milk. To be honest, not the BEST matcha, but it could have been because I accidentally stole someone’s drink! It was the same order but must have been for the person in front of me…I had already taken a sip before I clued in, whoops! I’m also learning more and more about the benefits of Matcha and what qualifies the product to be high quality. I wasn’t able to see if they used a matcha syrup or mixed powder versus the grade A ground tea leaves.
After getting ready I made my way back downtown on the blue line (I took transit almost everywhere in Chicago, very easy!) to make my way to Bobby’s Bike Hike for a 1:00pm city bike tour! I’m a directionally challenged person so I always make sure to leave myself lots of time to get from location to location especially if there’s a time restriction to it! I found the bike shop in time but realized I hadn’t eaten lunch yet and the tour was going to be 3 hours, in other words I was going to be HANGRY if I didn’t find something quick (without getting lost).
I ran around a few blocks, and every food joint seemed to either be generic fast food like McDonalds or Starbucks or a sit down restaurant, aaah! I was stressing and started running, ha! Finally found Pot Belly Sandwich Shop around the corner and ordered their Mediterranean sandwich. I’ve begun to explore eating more plant based it’s always a mental struggle if not eating meat in a meal is really going to keep me full. This sandwich was a test of changing habits, by keeping it a vegetarian sandwich and not adding the optional chicken. Trying to prove to myself it would be filling with out the added protein, which it was! The hummus, cucumbers, feta, roasted tomatoes and other goodies were easy and a perfect lunch combo!
I quickly ate the sandwich then we were headed onto our bike tour! Now most people would think it was too cold, which the couple from Dallas who was on the tour agreed. Luckily my Calgary up bringing and a few layers kept my body warm!
The tour was 3 hours on a bike riding on the city covered:
– Gold Coast Mansions
– Old Town Historic District (reminds me of Gastown in Vancouver)
– Lincoln Park
– North Avenue Beach
– St. Michael’s Church (stunning piece of history, like the cathedrals in Italy)
– Oprah’s old Chicago home
– Playboy Mansion (much prettier than you’d imagine, now 7 upscale condos)
– Chicago Lakefront
I HIGHLY recommend this tour to EVERYONE. It’s a very easy ride, you get to be in the fresh air for 3 hours, and the tour guide was amazing and knowledgeable.
After 3 hours outside, I needed a lil pick me up. Wandering around downtown trying to my find my train back I stopped into Magnolia’s Bakery for a Chai Latte and Maple Pecan Scone. Magnolia’s isn’t in Canada, which is my goal when travelling, visiting food joints I can’t find in my hometown. Another sweet treat but the biking made me work for it!
I headed home and later that evening got to attend a student club event at the University of Illinois! A bit of a random evening but fun to do something ‘normal’ and less touristy in the city.
Day 3’s plan was to explore Grant Park with a few activities in the evenings but you’ll soon read it didn’t turn out as planned.
Read about my winter adventures during Day 3 of my visit to Chicago!
Travel Tip: Always bring clothes that you can layer easily in neutral tones, makes for choosing outfits in different situations MUCH easier.