Wednesday, January 15, 2020

A Variety of Chicago in the WInter


The first time I was every in Chicago was in the winter. It was after the holidays, but many of the decorations were still up. 

It was freezing (-12!). I still thought the city was magical.

Fourteen years later, I live two hours away and love taking trips to Chicago.

I can’t tell you that I know my way around the city because I’m always looking to discover something new, or at least new to me.

I went to a different section of the city to a museum I have never heard of before. 

Wndr Museum is nothing like any other museum I’ve ever been. It’s fun enough for adults, and perfect for a family outing.

It was just Brittany and I on this outing. While the modern art is beautiful, this museum is more about experiencing it than looking at it.

Mirrors, music, textures, and shapes help you immerse yourself into the wonders of the Wndr Museum. 

At the end, there’s something else for kids of all ages. Instead of the usual hot dog and popcorn snack bar, this museum has an all-you-can-eat cereal bar!

From there we were off to a very popular Chicago sports bar for a first visit.





Timothy O’Toole’s may be most popular for their endless screams with every game imaginable, but they also have great food and drinks.

It’s one of those drinks that brought us there.

We were there to meet former Bears’ player Patrick Mannelly, who was introducing Longsnapper IPA, in partnership with Tighthead Brewing Company.
 I’m still not a beer drinker, but Brittany said it was delicious.

She sipped along with the Shrimp and Pasta. I loved the Chicken Pita.

I did speak with the Bears’ longest-tenured player, who retired in 2014, after 16 years with the team.

He has worked as an on-air analyst and now has an online instructional website, Longsnapper.

Mannelly, who is married to Tamara John, the co-proprietor of a healthy living website and daughter of MLB great Tommy John, also partnered with Kevin Gold and Chris Rubio to create the Patrick Mannelly Award. 

The honor is given to the best long snapper in college football (Mannelly played for Duke).

We left Timothy O’Toole’s and checked ino our home for the night, Hotel Essex on Michigan Avenue.

This boutique hotel is just a short walk from the Art Institute and Millennium Park. It’s a perfect spot for a girls’ (or romantic) getaway.



Even though I had my scooter with me, I was still glad there was time to nap before heading to the next appointment.

Fortunately, we didn’t need any transportation as it was actually right at the hotel.  

Sx Skybar was decked out for the holidays and had views of the Chicago Skyline.


The d├ęcor is plush and comfortable and though they don’t have a full dinner menu, there was more than enough food to satisfy us.

Sx Skybar is the place to be seen while you are sipping champagne cocktails and feasting on (not so) small plates.



We loved everything we ate: Peking Duck Eggrolls, Tempura Oyster Mushrooms, Port Belly and Fish Tacos.

It was the end of this holiday trip to Chicago for Brittany and me as we had to leave early in the morning, but we had another coming up soon.



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