So in case you didn’t see my announcement on Facebook and Twitter, I am super excited to tell you that I have been selected as one of Verizon’s Health and Fitness bloggers! For the next 6 months, I will be working with Verizon and sharing more health and fitness posts to show you how I’m using the mystery device!
What is the mystery device you ask? I would like to know too! Tonight we’re having dinner together, and I am super excited to meet the other bloggers in the program – I’ve been scoping their blogs and social media accounts and OMG they are awesome, but tomorrow we’re having our official kick off event where the mystery device is unveiled. I can’t wait! We were given a hint that it can hold a charge for 24 hours, but so far we’re just guessing what it might be.
Today was the Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago, and I had been super excited to run the race, but I sprained my ankle and it’s still pretty tender (probably because I’ve been on my feet a ton this week…), so I had to sit the Shuffle out, but we did do some exploring in Chicago and my husband promised me that I can run it next year! So don’t worry Chicago, you’ll see me running too… I also managed to pick up a cold (boo), so I’m munching on the garlic and missing my stove where I could make garlic lemonade. Ah well, tis the season, right? So now I leave you with some pictures of our amazing Chicago trip so far…
On the way to Chicago, we stopped at Essenhaus for breakfast and then visited with family. Seriously love this restaurant!
We’re staying at the Hard Rock Hotel, which has been great with the exception of a gaggle of children (high school kids maybe?) that had some sort of formal dance-type activity going on last night.
Last night we had dinner at Chuck’s Manufacturing, which was great! The food was awesome, but the part that made it even better was our waitress Ariel who was the best. She made it super fun and even helped us out with directions. If you stop at Chuck’s, you really must try to the Chili, it is amazing!
This morning was the Shamrock Shuffle, and we took a couple of pictures of the runners. Here’s a view from the sidelines on Lake & State:
To explore the city without aggravating my sprained ankle, we decided to ride the L around, and I took this photo of runners in the Shuffle from the train platform at State & Lake with the iconic Chicago theater in the photo:
We rode the train out to Midway airport and back, which really showed us side of the City we wouldn’t have seen staying on the Magnificent Mile, which is what I wanted. The Mile is gorgeous, but I wanted to see the real city where the locals eat, sleep, breathe, live, etc. Call me crazy, it’s what I like to do when I’m traveling. So we decided to stop over at the Garfield Conservatory (which was completely amazing and a must-see if you’re in Chicago!), which meant that we had to transfer to a different train. My husband does not like heights, so he was not thrilled with the bridge we used when transferring trains, but I thought it was a gorgeous view:
We stopped over at the Garfield Conservatory where they have a Spring Flower Show going on now. It’s simply gorgeous. I think my husband’s favorite part was the photo gallery that had photographs from the early days of the Conservatory – he’s a history buff, so that’s his thing. I absolutely loved touring the gardens. One of the tags on the photographs explained how revolutionary the conservatory was when it started in 1908. It’s amazing.
We had lunch nearby at Inspiration Kitchens, and I would highly urge you to stop here when you’re in Chicago. Not only is the food amazing, but the purpose of the restaurant is amazing too. It’s part of the Inspiration Corporation Food Service Training program that provides job-specific skill training and employment for the homeless and unemployed. There’s a 13 week training course that includes hands-on training working at one of the Inspiration Kitchens locations (there are 2 in Chicago – one Uptown and one in East Garfield).
Inspiration Kitchens also distributes “Guest Certificates” through community partners to working poor families that allows the holder of the certificate to bring a family in for a free meal. When you leave a tip at the restaurant, it helps to give meals for the working poor families and the training program. We both had sandwiches and spent a total of $17.28 before tip. It was amazing food for a very reasonable price compared to what we would have spent eating fast food or on the Mile. Oh – and did I tell you that they use local ingredients (including a kitchen garden on site), solar-heated water and sun-sensitive kitchen lighting? You really must try this place.
So there you go, there’s an initial look at our Chicago trip! Now I’m off to go gussy myself up for our dinner tonight where I get to meet the other bloggers in the program! So excited! And I’ll be honest, a little nervous. There are some amazing people in the program!
Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Health and Fitness Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.
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