As an avid traveler, one of my intentions when I started this blog was to have a lot of it centered around some of the cool places I am fortunate enough/spend all my money to go to. Because so much of this year has been about Miss USA, I haven’t gone on as many trips as usual, but that’s all about to change! This past weekend I went to Chicago for the BlogHer Conference with my roommate/bestie/travel partner in crime, Taryn of Women Can Talk Sports.
We had a great time at the conference, learned a lot, were equal parts impressed and annoyed by Sheryl Sandberg’s live q&a session, yada yada yada… but let’s get real, WE WANTED TO HAVE SOME FUN IN THE WINDY CITY! Turns out, fun would be an understatement.
When I write my travel blogs, the focus will be on cool places where you the reader might want to go, but let me take a second to say that you the reader probably won’t get to stay in my friend Lauren’s penthouse… BUT that isn’t going to stop me from bragging about staying there/posting photos of it!!!!!! So jealous that she gets to live there!
One thing you should know up front is that when I desire to travel somewhere, a big part of that desire is based on whether or not I want to eat the indigenous cuisine… and because no one loves Guiliana and Bill more than Taryn and I, our first order of business was getting a reservation at their newly opened restaurant in Chicago, RPM Italian. Since G and I are basically besties from when I got to meet her for 30 seconds at Miss USA, this happened: (yeah yeah it was on twitter, I must’ve lost her phone number… 😉 sorry/not sorry about all of this bragging!)
As if that wasn’t a great enough start to our night, guess who happened to be at the restaurant? None other than Bill Rancic himself, who by the way was so incredibly nice and gracious, even though he was being stopped for photos nearly every 10 seconds. (I hardly even noticed how handsome he is.)
Oh… so you wanted to know more about the restaurant and less about my celebrity encounters? Ok, well it was just as fantastic as meeting them. So firstly, if you want to go to RPM, make a reservation ASAP because we made ours weeks in advance and weren’t able to get in until 10:30 PM. (It was Saturday night…) When we got there, it was PACKED and it was still PACKED when we left. (For good reason I might add, cool ambiance, great food, potential Rancic sightings, etc.)
Obbbbbviously, we ordered everything that Giuliana told us to, plus a few extras. We ate it all. YUM.
We also went for a cocktail with some friends at a cool little spot called Epic. We went up 3 levels of restaurant to one of the best rooftop patios of all time. Great cocktails, friendly staff, and gorgeous outdoor decor of sheer curtains and vines crawling up exposed brick – all in the center of the gorgeous Chicago skyline.
What would a trip to Chicago be without some shopping on Michigan Avenue and deep dish pizza? Tips: The Nordstrom Rack on the Magnificant Mile has great designer inventory (get there early or it gets picked over). I had heard that Giordano’s was the best deep dish, but our local friends told us to try Lou Malnati’s. (That’s another thing you should know: when traveling, I like to see the major landmarks, but what I really enjoy is going where the locals actually go.)
What a fabulous trip with excellent company! Thanks again to Lauren for showing us around and for showing us the best Southern hospitality in the Midwest! I already can’t wait to go back to Chicago!