Thursday, March 27, 2014

green, green everywhere

Earlier this month, I roadtripped up to Chicago to spend a girls' weekend with my college roommate and another dear friend over St. Patrick's Day weekend.  I drove up on Thursday evening and spent the night at Gannie's - always a favorite place of mine - before heading into the city on Friday morning to pick Carey up from the airport.  It was so good to see her, and we caught up over a 2+ hour long lunch before hitting Michigan Avenue for some shopping!

My sweet friend Larissa met up with us afterwards for dinner at Gilt Bar.  Steve and I first discovered Gilt when we were in Chicago in December, and I couldn't resist the urge to go back again.  One of the best pieces of advice that the waiters give there is to order whatever sounds good.  The plates are meant to be shared, so you can try a wide assortment of foods.  We had a strange but delicious meal of gnocchi, mashed potatoes, fettucine and salad, to name just a few plates - I know it sounds like a weird meal but every bite was so good!  After dinner, we hit the hay pretty early so that we would be ready to go for the next morning.
If there is any city that knows how to celebrate St. Patrick's Day the right way, it's Chicago.  One of the Windy City's most beloved traditions is the dyeing of the Chicago River.  Decked out in green, we headed out bright and early to get a good viewing spot of the portion of the river that would be dyed.
By the time the river dyeing was about to begin, the streets were packed with people.  
The actual river dyeing is done with eco-friendly dye that only lasts about 6-12 hours.  The dye itself is initially orange, but turns to a neon green color once it is stirred in the water.  There were two speedboats doing the dyeing work - the crew in the first boat poured in the dye, and the duo in the second boat cut back and forth in the first boat's wake to stir up the dye.  

It took several laps for the boats to dye the whole river - all in all, about 30 minutes.  When they were done  - wahlah, a green river!
After the river dyeing, we were very cold so we headed into the closest restaurant for some warmth and refreshments!  We were lucky the sun was out and temperature was above freezing, but not by much.   I don't know how some of those Chicagoans were walking around in just long sleeve shirts - they are crazy!

Once we had warmed up, we headed back out into the festivities!  So much green!

Later that afternoon, we headed back - absolutely exhausted - to the hotel and picked up Uno's Pizza on the way.  So yummy.
After such an eventful day, we decided to lay low that evening and cancelled our "fancy dinner" plans.  A second helping of Uno's will do just nicely, thank you very much!
The next day, we had a delicious brunch at the Farmhouse Tavern and then managed another round of shopping on Michigan Ave before I dropped Carey back off at the airpot.  I wasn't the best about taking pictures all weekend, but we had a great time.  I really enjoyed my girls' weekend and hope to be back in Chicago again for another St. Patrick's Day celebration!

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