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Chicago is a hell of a town and we had a great time there despite our travel arrangements going cattywampus. We stayed in Schaumburg, which was perfectly situated close to both O’Hare and the rink we were playing at. Also, Schaumburg has everything a traveler could need in close proximity. There’s a great mall, several Dunkins, Portillo’s, Lou Malnati’s, and Giordano’s. Schaumburg is also right off both I-90 and I-290, which makes it super easy to drive downtown. To clarify, when I say it is easy to drive downtown, I only mean that you pretty much just follow the road into the city. As for Chicago traffic and left merges, those are not easy nor are they fun.

Saturday the boys played two games, so it was a hockey day. While the boys rested in between games, some of us parents went and enjoyed a Lou Malnati’s pie. It was my first time trying Lou Malnati’s pizza and while I liked it, I prefer Giordano’s. The boys split their games Saturday. The first game they could have easily won, so it was frustrating to see them walk away with a loss. The Mayor had an awesome day scoring two or three goals in the two games. They won their evening game, which was fabulous. After the second game, we enjoyed a catered Chipotle dinner at the hotel. Admittedly, I love the catered hotel dinners as it is much easier than doing a team dinner in a restaurant. Plus, it’s really easy to eat healthy with a catered Chipotle dinner.

Sunday morning’s game was a doozy. They were up 3-0 after the first period but nearly gave away the game. In the first period, the team looked like total rockstars, while the second and third periods got progressively worse. Tying the third game knocked them out of the semi-finals, which also gave us the rest of Sunday off. Of course, it wouldn’t be a hockey tournament if we didn’t have to wait with bated breath for other games to finish. There was a chance, if the stars had aligned, that they could have made it to the semifinals.

Consequently, my bestie Jen and I headed to Sky Spa/Sauna in Buffalo Grove. It was an awesome facility. The women’s locker room had a dry sauna, steam room, and hot tub. We stuck to the dry sauna with Himalayan sea salt walls. The spa also had an outdoor pool and co-ed saunas. We found, however, the outdoor pool to be too cool and the co-ed saunas to be too much of a sausage fest. Consequently, we stuck to the dry sauna in the women’s locker room. The experience was absolutely heavenly. We both left the spa feeling completely relaxed and pain-free.

After the sauna, I definitely wanted to go to bed, however, our friends were heading to downtown Chicago. I got changed quickly, so the Mayor and I could join our friends for an adventure downtown. The drive into the city was uneventful, at least for me as a passenger, but traffic wasn’t terrible. It was still pretty busy considering it was a Sunday night. Once we made it downtown, we found parking right off Michigan Avenue near Millenium Park. The parking is super easy to access albeit quite expensive. The vistas of Michigan Avenue never get old. It is such a beautiful stretch of road with parks on the Eastside and beautiful buildings on the west side.

To get into Millenium Park, we had to go through metal detectors and have our bags searched. Unfortunately, Chicago’s violent crime problem has spilled over into downtown including random acts of violence. When we lived in Minnesota, we drove down to Chicago quite often to visit Luke’s grandfather and I loved going downtown. The last time we were there, there weren’t metal detectors or police in tactical gear all over the place, so it was sad to see it this time. The Bean is cool and the park is pretty awesome. They could. have ice skated there, but they wanted to skate the Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park instead.

The walk from Millenium Park to Maggie Daley Park reinforced what I already knew about Chicago. It’s windy as hell and it’s a lot colder downtown. I kept checking to make sure my jacket was zipped because the wind was ripping right through it. When we got to the second park, the skating was sold out until 8:00 pm. Consequently, we headed to Giordano’s for dinner. The timing worked out perfectly. By the time, we finished our amazing pizza, it was time to head back to Maggie Daley Park. Unsurprisingly, the walk back to the park was completely miserable courtesy of the mighty Chicago wind.

Maggie Daley Park and the Ribbon were amazing. I highly recommend checking them out if you have the chance. While the boys skated, the parents walked over to the cafe and enjoyed some very hot chocolate. The hot chocolate served in disposable cups, complete with marshmallows, was far better than any rink hot chocolate I’ve tasted. As for the park, its elevation is lower than the street, so the wind wasn’t much of an issue while in the park. Consequently, it was the perfect place to take in the city. We thought the boys would skate for twenty minutes and then get bored with it. Boy, were we wrong. I’m pretty sure they would have skated all night if we let them. Thankfully, we had to. get back to the hotel for a birthday party, so we parents were able to defrost sooner rather than later.

The trip ended with a win in the consolation game and lunch at Portillo’s. To be honest, I’m completely obsessed with their cheese sauce. It’s amazing! Fortunately, we didn’t have an issue getting to the airport. Our hockey family came through for us big time, so special thanks to Lyssa for helping us out. We got to O’Hare almost three hours early as I had read the TSA lines were ridiculous. Apparently, this wasn’t the case in terminal five. There wasn’t anyone waiting. inline when we got to TSA. Once through security, we chilled in Delta’s amazing lounge where the Mayor took full advantage of the shower suites and buffet. We made it home at around 2:00 am exhausted, but happy to have spent a great weekend with friends in Chicago.

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  1. Phew, what an adventure. I had fun but sorry I missed out on the food but not sorry I missed the weather. A god song to finish. Thanks for joining in 🙂 🙂

    1. After living in Florida for 16 years, I can’t take the cold or gray skies anymore. Thanks for stopping by!

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