Friday, August 17, 2007

Windy City Soundbites



We're back from Chicago! It was business for me, but I brought both kids and made it a little vacation for them. Although I am a diehard New Yorker, I just love Chicago. Just wish it weren't so damned cold in the wintertime...otherwise, I could definitely live there.

Some of the high and low points of our trip:

Almost didn't make it: My secretary, in a rather typical moment of brain-fart for her, booked my kids' tickets using my last name although theirs are different. (I specifically gave her this info). Since my daughter is 21, she had to show ID and guess what? The name on her license didn't match the name on her ticket. It took about 2 hours to get this resolved (and it only got resolved because we were flying out of a smaller airport). Thankfully, I'm one of those people who needs to be at the airport hours ahead of time to reduce my stress-level.

Stayed at the Swissotel: My favorite place to stay. See above view from our room. The only downside? Two double beds in the room instead of two queens.

Had dinner with my cousin Mary at Big Bowl. It was so much fun...she's smart and funny and grew up in my crazy family, so we always have a lot of laughs. Wish we could see her more often. Go read her blog. She's great.

Got to spend a ton of time with my assistant, who is the greatest: We had dinner Tuesday night at Shaw's Crab House, where Lucas ate a 2lb. lobster by himself. When asked if he wanted any sides, he asked for a "side of a swordfish steak". That didn't happen.

Dinner on Wednesday night with a friend and his family: We ate at Scoozi! which was just noisy enough to accommodate our table of four adults and four kids. The food was great, but the high point for me was the pomegranate Mojito! And, they took Lucas home with them for a sleepover.

Thursday involved more work, but also a visit to the new Freedom Museum in the Chicago Tribune building. Do not miss this on your next visit there. It was terrific, interactive, educational and fun. Had an incredible lunch at Bandera. The Bandera roasted chicken with 90-degree rice (basmati rice with lime and cilantro) was so good I wanted to pick up my plate and lick it. Lucas finally got his swordfish steak.

The Blue Angels were warming up for their impending air show: Maybe it's the New Yorker in me, but I don't like to see speeding jets flying near skyscrapers.

I'll hopefully be getting out to Chicago more frequently this year. As you can see, the eating thing is big out there. Any favorite Chicago restaurants you'd recommend?