Breakfast in Chicago

Hey friendship,

If there’s one thing you should know about me, I love a good breakfast.  I love a good brunch. I love a good breakfast for dinner. I’m a breakfast person.  So whilst in Chicago I tried out a couple of places I want to share with you.

We were in town in Chicago for a wedding.  Spent 3 days there, so we had 3 days of breakfasts.

Stan’s Doughnuts

Day one – Not the world’s most appetizing looking doughnut I’m sure, but 10/10 would recommend.  The frosting hit the side of the bag on my way to my table and it got all sweaty looking :/ Whenever I’m out of town, I always want to have a doughnut from a local store and this was the one everyone recommended.  On the left we have a normal sprinkled chocolate doughnut, and on the right we have a dreamsicle doughnut – a classic and a specialty.  Both impressed.  The dreamsicle really did taste like the popsicle.  I got two doughnuts because that’s the amount I usually get at any other place, but trust me, these are huge.  You’ll probably be fine and able to get away with only one and be full still. I couldn’t finish both.

 

Quick side note –

My favorite animal is a moose.  They have this mural of a moose blowing a bubble with bubblegum in the Wabash Arts Corridor. I had this dream where I stood in front of it also blowing a bubble.  It didn’t work out which is why it’s not fabulously documented here.  But if you’re ever in Chicago, I think you should give it a shot and pull it off so I can live through you vicariously.  I snapped this on my way to Stan’s.

Back to the breakfast.

Kitty O’Sheas

This restaurant was inside our hotel at the Hilton.  It was kind of a last ditch effort that ended up really surprising me. Typically restaurants that are attached to hotels are so-so.  I ordered the S’mores French Toast – and oh boy.  I can’t even tell you how delicious it was. It looks like it would be sweetness overkill and it was the perfect amount.  Not over powering sweetness, but just the right amount.  I finished the whole thing and if I ever find myself in Chicago, even if I wasn’t staying at the Hilton, I’d find my way back here.

 

Yolk

You’ll need to excuse the picture quality and set up, I’m still figuring this thing out.  But yolk is a trendy little restaurant. We had about a 30 minute wait on a Sunday, which I think it typical of a breakfast place at prime breakfast time. I ordered a bacon waffle.  It had little bacon bits in it.  I’m not sure why more restaurants haven’t thought of it. It’s really the best of both worlds. I’m a big judge of eggs.  I feel like a lot of restaurants cook their scrambled eggs really lazily. These get a pass for me though.  Don’t worry – they didn’t put that much pepper on it, I’m the pepper culprit.

 

There you have it.  My 3 day breakfast journey in Chicago.  It’s a large city, with lots of places to eat.  These happen to all be walking distance from my hotel.  Is there anywhere you like to breakfast in Chicago?

All the love and regards,

Taylor

Hiking Camelback Moutain

Hey friendship!

Back in January, we took a lovely trip to Phoenix, Arizona and hiked the famous Camelback Mountain.  Here’s some things I wish I knew beforehand.

I’m from Nebraska, which is also known as the great plains.  When people ask if I want to go on a hike, it’s usually only a slight incline with some trees around.  That gives you a little background of my skill level, but if I can do it, you certainly can as well.  If you are a beginner like me, I would recommend Cholla Trail. It’s half walking, half climbing – while it’s counterpart Echo Canyon is all climb.  Overall, the climb took us about 3 hours to complete going up and then down. I took my jacket, because it was a cool day, but once we were hiking, I wish I left it back in the car.

Parking

You can’t really park near the trail at all.  The mountain is actually in a neighborhood.  Your best shot is to park outside of the gated community where everyone is parallel parking.  You can’t really be that mad about the walk to the trail because you are about to walk a whole bunch, and that’s kind of the whole point, right? 🙂

Going up

The first half of the trail is mostly walking a dirt path.  The scenery is absolutely stunning.  The mountain is smack-dab in the middle of the city, so you can see what feels like everything as you walk up.  I work in a cubical all day, so I don’t get out much activity wise. I asked Jordan if we were almost to the top because I was exhausted, and he showed me the marker map (which is really nice, it shows you the elevation, and how far you are) and we weren’t even an 8th of the way to the top!  That was embarrassing.

You’re about midway when it all starts turning into rock and it becomes less of a hike, and more of a climb.  When we reached that point, I wish we brought our water a different way.  I would have really liked a hydration pack, one of those backpacks that are basically a water fountain.  However, I would have even settled for a normal backpack with more water bottles.  We both brought  one-liter water bottles and they were basically gone before we got to the top.  I can’t stress hydration enough.  To make it worse, we didn’t want to litter, so we are trying to carry these water bottles and keep our balance.

The amazing thing while you’re on this climb is you look to your right and left, and it feels like it’s just one misstep away from a terrible death rolling down a steep incline into a cactus, but at the same time it’s so liberating. There’s people of all ages making this climb.  There’s also locals that are literally running down and up like it’s not like there’s just one rock that could totally throw off their run.

The top

It took us 3 hours to complete the whole mountain, but we did spend a large amount of time at the top. You can literally see the whole entire city, with the mountains in the distance.  It really is a beautiful thing.  As I climbed up, I kept thinking “that’s where the top is!” and I was wrong every time.  So my advice to you is, when you’re at the top, you will 100% know that’s the top. Don’t be fooled by imitation mountain tops.

Going down

You would think going down would be easier, but that’s really not the case.  The phrase “it’s all downhill from here” didn’t really apply to the rock part of the hike.  It took longer going down than going up.  You had to be more careful not to slip, so you had to go slower. Once we got past the rock part, and it was just trail, it was nice, calm walk. It really felt like the right way to end it.

 

All in all, I would do the hike again in a heartbeat.  It was the right amount of challenging. Mostly I would bring more water. We went in January, so it wasn’t as hot as it would be in the summer months.

Have you ever hiked Camelback mountain? How was it? What’s the most difficult hike you’ve ever been on?  I’d love to hear if you’d like to share!

All the love and regards,

Taylor