veen on the road: chicago.

the first trip of 2019 is in the books!

over mlk weekend four of us hit the road to chicago to live the big city life. we had been trying to take a road trip for a few months, and somehow we all managed to make it happen for the long weekend. an airbnb was booked, reservations were made, chewie had his tires rotated and his oil changed, and off we went.

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beautiful snow! chicago, illinois. january 2019.
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walking to breakfast in the snow. chicago, illinois. january 2019.

and what a weekend we had! we visited a tiki bar, devoured delicious food, and sang a lot of karaoke. we trudged through the snow like real northerners and sweated out our toxins at a russian spa. we had long discussions about religion and also enjoyed some comfortable silences.

it was exactly the getaway we all needed, and i hope we can do it again soon.

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big fan of this place. chicago, illinois. january 2019.


our first stop in chicago [after binny’s, of course] was at the logan square location of parson’s for some food. their negronis were very refreshing, and that hot chicken sandwich was downright delicious. pro tips: it gets crowded; we were there at 3ish on a friday and it was already filling up / make a reservation if you have 6 or more people

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so good we went back a second time. chicago, illinois. january 2019.

lost lake.

this tiki bar in logan square is regularly named one of the best bars in america, and it is easy to see why. with its beautiful interior, creative cocktails, and delicious food, it has everything you could want, and that’s not even including the friendly – and extremely knowledgeable – servers dressed in every variety of floral garb you can imagine. we stopped in for a drink and some food on friday night, and we liked it so much we went back on sunday. i was a big fan of the feet first in the deep end, and those rice bowls are to die for. bonus points for being right around the corner from where we were staying. pro tip: this place gets packed, so get there early to get a table or a seat at the bar; otherwise it’s standing room only.

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no pictures of the food because we were too busy eating. chicago, illinois. january 2019.

lula café.

we woke up to a winter wonderland on saturday and walked our way over to lula café for breakfast. it was packed, but we managed to snag what appeared to be the last open table and settled in. everything on the menu sounded delicious, but ultimately we did each have to make a decision on what we wanted. i opted for the chickpea panisse off their seasonal menu, and it was incredible. fun fact: i later found out my friends lauren and lance got engaged after having dinner at lula!

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so fun with these three. chicago, illinois. january 2019.

le labo.

after breakfast we went to target to get jeremy some winter wear, after which we decided to swing by wicker park. our first stop was at le labo to smell all the incredible perfumes and lotions and candles that we will never be able to afford [one of them cost $995!]. it was fun to wander and spray ourselves with all the heavenly scents.

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they keep the vitamins in the old vault. chicago, illinois. january 2019.
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and they still have the old safe deposit boxes. chicago, illinois. january 2019.

the coolest walgreens in the world.

across from le labo is kat’s favorite walgreens, so we went in to pick some mints. the store is in an old bank, so it has beautiful vaulted ceilings and a ton of beautiful windows. downstairs the vitamins are housed in the old vault, which was just adorable.

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so, so good. chicago, illinois. january 2019.

fat rice.

lunch on saturday was at fat rice, a very popular macanese fusion restaurant in logan square. everything there is served family style, so we just ordered a bunch of things and dug in. the dumplings were delicious, but the hit of the day was the spaghetti squash that kat ordered. i could eat there every day of my life and be extremely happy. pro tips: make a reservation / and order a few things at a time, because those portions are pretty big.

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even our jackets were best friends. chicago, illinois. january 2019.


after some chill time and a nap, we headed out to wood in boys town where kat’s friend tommy joined us for dinner. it’s very cozy inside, and we had a lovely time sipping on cocktails and chowing down on food. i had the pan seared chicken thighs, and it was very good. pro tip: make a reservation, especially if you are going on a weekend.

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road trip buddies. chicago, illinois. january 2019.

lincoln karaoke.

our big saturday night activity was private karaoke at lincoln karaoke. for three hours we – along with kat’s friend emily – belted out amazing songs that we chose out of a book. it was so fun and rather hilarious and i wish we had one of these in memphis.

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maybe the best pizza i’ve ever had. chicago, illinois. january 2019.

bonci pizza.

we wanted to go to bonci for lunch on sunday, but we were all very lazy and i wasn’t in great shape for moving and it was 8 degrees outside, so instead we did the next best thing and ordered it for delivery. i ordered four slices each of the sausage and mushroom, soppressatta, arrabbiata, and margarita, and they were all so good. and they were even better as leftovers on monday. and on tuesday.

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making friends. chicago, illinois. january 2019.

red square.

one of alex’s requests was time at a russian spa, so on sunday, she, kat, and i ventured over to red square. we spent some time in their sauna [at a cool 186 degrees fahrenheit], some in the steam room, a bit in the jacuzzi, and rounded out our visit with a quick visit to the co-ed sauna. it was a great way to sweat out some of those saturday night toxins [i may have had more toxins than others], and we all felt so relaxed after. pro tips: well worth the $35 fee, which includes a robe, towel, flip flops, and your own locker / they’ll keep your id at the front desk, which you’ll get back when you return the locker key / you can stay as long as you like and even partake in the restaurant and bar upstairs / there are men-only and women-only spaces and then a co-ed lounge and sauna.

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i still dream of this biscuit. chicago, illinois. january 2019.

bang bang pie & biscuits.

our final spot before we headed out of town on monday was breakfast at bang bang pie & biscuits. pictured above is my avocado biscuit, and i am not exaggerating when i say that i tell at least one new person about this place every week. it was so, so good, and the cashier gave us a piece of pie on the house just because we’re cool. i also picked up a bottle of hot sauce to bring home, because it was that good. pro tip: it gets super crowded, so be prepared to wait a while for a table if you are dining in. they have a garden area that provides additional seating in warmer months, but not so much when it’s 10 degrees with 6 inches of snow on the ground.

what a weekend. let’s do it again soon, friends?


[most pictures are mine, but i did borrow a few from kat. thanks, friend!]

2 thoughts on “veen on the road: chicago.

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