I have not been to Chicago in over ten years and was so excited that I was going for a quick trip. My main focus was to meet with scientist from AsztraZeneca to discuss the latest advancements in combating Triple Negative Breast Cancer. This was a follow-up meeting to one previously hosted at AZ's Bethesda, Maryland location. They were preparing for a meeting at ASCO (American Society for Clinical Oncology) but wanted us to hear the details first.
AstraZeneca invited a few women that were diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer as hands on participants to understand their recent updates. Connecting directly with survivors is something that we admire about AZ. As thrivers we know the importance of living in the moment and that's what we did. We also took this opportunity to see what Chicago has to offer. I reached out to Choose Chicago, the official tourism board for Chicago to get some recommendations as I knew that there was just so much to see and do. We were given some great suggestions that we could not pass up.
The 75 minute architecture tour provided an excellent glimpse into the history of the city. Chicago is famous for its tall beautiful buildings that can be seen for miles. The docent, Blake, led us on an informative tour on the river. Lots of oohs and laughs could be heard as he detailed the historical perspectives and funny stories of each building.
The details and craftsmanship were simply amazing. These are buildings that we often hear about and might have even seen in movies but never knew the history. I had no idea that so many surrounded the lake. The Carbon and Carbide building caught my eye as it is adorned with gold. Surprisingly it's barely enough gold to make jewelry.
The double-decker ship is perfect for a group outing or just a solo trip. Did I mention that there is a bar and most importantly the bathrooms are very clean. We sat on the top where the motion was extremely relaxing.
Next! A quick stop at the hotel to have a quick bite at Raise the Urban rooftop bar. Located in the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel it was the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy the ambience. The Renaissance Hotel is situated in the midst of the theatre district and practically walking distance to almost everything. The rooms are spacious and I appreciated the eclectic art. The staff made certain that we were well taken care of. I can't wait to visit again and bring the family.
Shopping is a must! The Shops at North Bridge Shops did not disappoint. Michigan avenue is home to some of the best shopping in Chicago.
This Nordstrom is one of the best in the country and when you enter, you know why. I was so enthralled with everything that I didn't take any pictures BUT I did try on lots of shoes at the Christian Louboutin Boutique. If the shoe fits buy them I always say and lucky for my husband these did not.
The Shops of North Bridge offers delivery (designated by zip code) and a return drop off service. Did you know that? For a small fee you can drop off packages to the concierge desk that will prepared and delivered to you same day. No need to lug those heavy shopping bags to your hotel room. Keep your hands free for more fun!
The Shops at North Bridge partners with Happy Returns: https://www.happyreturns.com/ for the free online return program. Happy Returns is currently partnering with 16 online retailers. If a customer purchases items online from participating stores, the items can be returned at the Concierge Desk and they handle shipping the items back.
Kiehls treated us to facials and some samples to try at home. I am a kiehls girl so I probably could have done the presentation myself.
MacPro shop. They welcomed and let us loose. I tried all the lipsticks as you know I am a red lip lover! We got some great tips of how to apply makeup without feeling overly made up. A little goes a long way and I always say “mascara, neat eyebrows and a lip color, can make your face pop.” It's my daily mom face go to.
After a quick breakfast, I rounded up the ladies and we headed to Maggie Daley Park. This is definitely a whole new park. The last time I saw this area it was a mere shadow of what stood before me as I entered. I couldn't believe that I had no idea this existed. I was concerned that it was so fancy that it priced out various communities. I of course, inquired about my concern. They are partnered with the park district and through additional funding they serve everyone.
The site is named in” honor of Maggie C. Daley (1943 – 2011) Chicago’s longtime first lady, who was deeply committed to improving the lives of children and making the city culturally rich for all of its citizens. Maggie Daley was the co-founder of Gallery 37, a cultural arts program for teens in the summer. This led to the creation of After School Matters, a non-profit organization that offers Chicago teens innovative activities in the arts, communication, science, sports and technology. It is now the nation’s largest out-of-school program of its kind for teenagers.”
With so much to do, I was a like a kid in a candy store but safety always comes first.
Rock Climbing: Like most adults I completely overthought this. Would I be strong enough, would they be able to hold me, would my butt be on display? I let all that go and started climbing. It wasn't easy but the staff was guiding me and once I got the hang of it, I knew it was mind over matter.
Scooter Racing: Throw caution to the wind and have fun. I ride bikes so this part was easy.
We forgot to visit the Cancer Survivors Garden which was on my list as the hotel concierge told me that it was beautiful. It was probably a good thing as it meant that we were having so much fun that we forgot that triple negative breast cancer connected us.
We definitely reclaimed our time. Seeing the smiles on their faces was worth the exhausted feeling I had as I raced through the airport to make my flight. If you are ever in the Chicago area, make certain to enjoy all that it has to offer. I am already planning for my return trip!
Disclosure: I was gifted tickets to attend the attractions but all opinions and smiles belong to me.
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