Monday, July 17, 2006

Chicago to-do list

Last spring I headed to Chicago to visit a good friend for a much needed girls only vacation. We were both exhausted from too much work and not enough play and planned to spend a few days of nothing but relaxing, chatting, shopping and eating (in no particular order).

To start things out right, we got rooms at the stunning and ultra luxurious Hotel Burnham downtown. Highly recommended - if you get only one chick weekend a year, you might as well go all out.

I had done some research before arriving and had two items on my wish list that were MUST DO’s. First was a visit to P.O.S.H., which advertises “an eclectic assortment of vintage Hotel Silver, Restaurant China & Flea Market Finds” from America and Europe. To me that represented a shopping trifecta – vintage goods, European pedigree, restaurant-ware. My only disappointment was that I had room neither in my luggage nor my cupboards back home for a set of dishes from Provence. Sigh.

The second critical item on my to-do list was a trip to the Lincoln Park shop of 1154 Lill Studio to create my own custom handbag. Opening the door to the vast array of colorful fabrics and handbag options sent a tingle zipping up my spine. If you’re into bags and textiles even a little bit then you know what I mean. You can order custom designs from their website but being able to play around with the fabrics in person is much more satisfying. They have representatives in select cities around the country for home handbag parties which, if you ask me, sounds a lot more fun than gathering around plastic ware or candles.

After a good hour of design deliberations, we staggered over to Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge, a brilliant concept, to recuperate with a dose of life-affirming hot chocolate and assorted truffle chasers. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to both of us, my friend had developed a nasty case of pneumonia and was able to hold it together just long enough to drive us back to the suburbs before collapsing into bed for the rest of the weekend. Had it not been for Ethel’s chocolate, I’m not sure she would have made it.


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