**DISCLAIMER: I started this post awhile ago, and am too lazy to change and update it to the present tense. Sorry**
Guys. Guys. I don’t remember the last time I slept in my own bed.
Okay, that’s a sick exaggeration but I’m almost not kidding when I say that I’ve been traveling literally non-stop since the beginning of May and I still have one trip left on the horizon.
I’m coming to you live from honestly the BEST hotel lounge in downtown Toronto, giving a much overdo life update and recon post on the wonders of Chicago. The best place on Earth.
I know, when you hear the name Chicago you probably think of either pizza or the broadway musical (there are two types of people in this world…) and I honestly wouldn’t blame you. What you should also think of is sick architecture, friendly-ish people, and AMAZING food. Also, traffic. But why focus on the negative #amiright?
Why was I in Chicago for 24 hours? Well…why else, other than work? For those of you that forget, I work for a cosmetics company run by literally the queen of QVC. Jamie Kern Lima co-founded IT Cosmetics almost 8 years ago, and I have had the absolute privilege of working under her lead for the past year. Anyway, Jamie often does personal appearances throughout the year hosted in conjunction with Ulta Beauty. This year? Our second was in Chicago! We decided to host a media hour dinner the night before the PA and got a chance to really get to know the sick city of Chicago.
First stop, checking into the BEAUTIFUL Silversmith Hotel Downtown Chicago. I don’t know what is up with the world, but we asked so many people/ acquaintances in Chicago where to stay and this place never came up on the radar. Finally, I turned to Trip Advisor and found this little gem hidden away in downtown Chicago. Think tufted, metallics, and LEATHER as key decor inspiration for this place. Fun fact, all of the rooms are different, for example…a coworker of mine had a literal hallway in the middle of her room. Another had a random closet/ powder room thing that was basically a waste of space. Cute, but impractical. Anyway, if you book here, let me know what your room’s random quirk is!
Post-check in (and pre- gift bag making for the media cocktail hour later that night) we decided to wander downtown Chicago and grab a bite. Obviously, we were in desperate need of some legit Chicago deep dish. Only a hop, skip, and a jump away was a pizza place that Foursquare claimed to be the “best in the area” (thanks, Foursquare! Good lookin’ out.) We grabbed ourselves a table at Pizano’s Pizza and proceeded to pig out on some SERIOUS food. You can’t come to Chicago without pizza, that’s basically the entire point of flying across the country and visiting the city!
Maybe I’m being dramatic. What else is new?
Anyway, while I wish we had time to explore more of the city, the next few hours were dedicated to making gift bags.#PRGirlTip for you aspiring PR gems out there….ship all of your sh*t out to the hotel you’re staying at ahead of time. Then, once checked in, ask the front desk to bring all of your gift bag essentials to your room to unpack and stuff. When you’re ready to relocate to whatever venue you’ve chosen for your media hour, call up a bellman and have him do the heavy lifting into your UberXL. Boom.
Obviously, this doesn’t apply to every situation…some media hours are formal affairs and some are not. We have a habit of creating a party wherever we go, and it really resonates with the media we tend to work with. To each there own, I say!
We had picked RPM Italian as our venue, founded by none other than the Entertainment News dream-team- Giuliana and Bill Rancic. The staff was amazing, and the food was yum. Highly recommend if you’re in the area! Just make sure you make a reservation, the place was jammed basically from 4PM onward. If you’re a big party (I believe the minimum is ten people or more) they do require you to meet a food and drink minimum as an FYI.
End day 1 with me face-planting into the world’s most comfortable bed back at the Silversmith around 10PM. I’m a wild animal guys, what can I say?
Start day 2 ridiculously early with me shoving everything into my carry-on and heading out to the Orland Park Ulta for the PA! Wahoo!
Shout out to all of the beautiful people that came by to have their makeup done, we think you’re awesome. I think you’re awesome. Keep living your life. Cue 4PM and I’m falling asleep in a cab on my way to O’Hare Int’l. A few short hours later? I’m touching down in NYC just in time for Mother’s Day.
Another pro tip for you guys…avoid checking bags like the plague. Honestly, at the end of a trip (I don’t care how long it is) the last thing you want to do is wait for your bag to come out onto a carousel. If you’re like me and have my kind of luck, your bag is definitely the last to come out. In the time you were waiting around and picking your nose, you could have been well on your way home. Also- bag fees are serious these days. Gone are the times of a free checked bag, now they can run you upwards of $25 and that is if you pack light! Do yourself a favor and build yourself a capsule wardrobe, your wallet will thank you.
In conclusion. Chicago is bomb. It’s like a weird mix (architecturally) of Brooklyn and Toronto, and all of the people are lovely. The food is great, totally worth a 24 hour trip just to eat the pizza alone. If you’re going to be in the City, check out some of these awesome blogs that specialize in sh*t to do in Chicago. Taylor’s blog is particularly hilarious, I definitely recommend you shoot her an email if you plan on chilling in the city for awhile!
Have you been to Chi-Town?
What are your go-to spots?