Travelogue: Chicago, Day 1

October 2022
Where We Stayed: The Kimpton Gray

My birthday is in August but we celebrated in October this year.  Mike and I went to Chicago for a weekend of all things COLOR — my dream come true, right? Highlights from Day 1 include:

  • Our first stop was Cook’s Cake Decorating & Candy Supplies in West Allis (Milwaukee). I’ve loved Cook’s ever since my law school days, so I had to stop to see what was new in the world of pressed sugars and sprinkles.
  • Our second stop was the Mars Cheese Castle for a bathroom break and, let’s be honest, some cheese curds.  The Mars Cheese Castle, for those that aren’t familiar with southeast Wisconsin, is a cheese and Wisconsin super store. All the cheese and cheese-related products that your heart could ever desire. It’s definitely worth the stop — and it’s right off the interstate!
  • Our lunch stop was the Cheesecake Factory in Skokie.  Mike had NEVER BEEN to a Cheesecake Factory before and since this was “my weekend”, it was time. It. Was. Time. I don’t think he loved it though (to be fair, they had a limited menu because of some kitchen issues).
  • A little shopping at Old Orchard followed. I used to go to Old Orchard every December with my parents — we’d do a big day of Christmas shopping. Happy memories of that shopping center.
  • We made our way to Chicago, checked into our hotel, and relaxed for a bit.  Mike brought the ingredients to make me a rainbow cocktail — he’s always so thoughtful.
  • Our big to-do for the day was a visit to the Color Factory! I had visited New York’s Color Factory years ago and thought it was great fun — and Chicago’s was no different. Whimsical, weird, comforting, disorienting, and a chance to lean into being a kid again (they have a ball pit, you guys).
  • For dinner I chose deep dish pizza from Giordano’s because, when in Rome…
  • It was a really fun first day!

Look at all those SPRINKLES!
I love kitschy magnets.
Yes, I chose our cheesecake flavor to match Mike’s shirt.
Here we go!
Macarons come out on a little conveyor belt.
This was a weird thing where you had to try to “taste colors” — matching the color with the flavor, that kinda thing. I was more difficult than expected!
We didn’t have any fun at all.
I have word/number-to-color synesthesia. So experiencing this version of it was cool!
No fun at all! Not one bit!
Worked up an appetite for some deep dish!
A walk back to the hotel. They filmed The Dark Knight on this street.
Our hotel used to be the New York Life Insurance building. You can tell it was once an office!