Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My big trip to the windy city

I spent most of last week in glorious Chicago for a trade show. Every now and then I'm fortunate enough to get to travel for work. I say "fortunate" because I'm not gone every single week like my friend Lucia who's in charge of running trade shows.

Thanks to my company, I got to stay in the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Wow, was it a nice hotel. So nice that I could never stay there on my own dime! There were multiple bars and restaurants within the hotel, shops, a fitness center nicer than the gym I belong to, and there were additional shops and restaurants just a short underground walk from the building. It was really a cool place.

We arrived on Tuesday, and after poorly navigating Chicago's public transportation system, my co-worker Lucia and I parted ways. I met up with an old friend and former manager for dinner. I hadn't seen him in at least 6 years, and he drove all the way in from the suburbs to meet me - on his actual birthday! John was one of my first managers in retail. I really looked up to him. He was the first person who saw management potential in me. Without his support and guidance, I never would have been as successful as I was in retail. He taught me the importance of respecting your employees and finding creative ways to motivate people. But enough about that...I could go on forever about how much I respect him. We went to De Cero Tacqueria. Normally, I'm not a fan of Mexican restaurants, but this place was totally trendy and cute and the food was delicious. After being seated, the manager asked us to move in order to accommodate a larger party, and for our troubles, he help chips and salsa flowing all night. (which you'd normally have to pay for) For my meal, I had the best cheese enchiladas of my life. They were served with a green salsa along with cilantro rice and vegetarian black beans. Every aspect of the meal was delicious. I could have licked my plate, it was that good. Since the food was so good, I thought I should try a beverage, too. I had a mango margarita. A FRESH mango margarita. They were using real fruit to make their drinks. Although it wasn't very strong, it was darn tasty!

After dinner, John dropped me off at the Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club so I could meet up with one of my best friends, Matias. As soon as I walked in, I felt like I was in heaven on earth. The bar and lounge area was adorable. The martinis were half off. And there was live drag queen entertainment. (Matias ate some delicious looking fries, so I'm sure the food is good there, too) If I lived in Chicago, I'd go there all the time, especially since most nights of the week the martinis are half off! I had a Samoa martini - just like the Girlscout cookie. Sooo good. Matias only orders cosmos there, but it was also good. Sadly for the both of us we couldn't stay out too late because we had to work the next morning.

To be continued...

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