Weekend Wanderings: Dear Chicago...

Happy Thursday, loves! A huggeeee throwback for all you guys today, with the long awaited and first ever Areta's Style Secrets travel diary! It's been a long time coming, and now that I've documented my travels, it seems like a bit of a shame that I didn't do so while I was traveling in Europe. Well, that's all going to change from now on! Hope you guys like this little weekend wanderings travel diary. More to come in the future! (For a more detailed account of our trip, keep reading below!)

Just our luck that it would be raining our first day visiting Chicago. No worries though, cause we took this chance to explore some indoor spaces our first day in the new city. It's a nice change from the usual kind of sightseeing when you arrive in a new place. But first...always coffee!
There was the cutest little coffee shop attached to our hotel and we couldn't resist that coffee aroma enticing us to head in for a cup (or two) ;D. Sitting in coffee shops while its raining is one of my favorite past times in New York, but the change of venue was definitely a welcome one. 

Annnddd off to breakfast! We took such an early flight in on Saturday to try and make the most of our visit, but man, was it hard to get up and stay awake that morning. These pancakes didn't exactly help a great deal with our sleep deprivation either...although they definitely hit the spot in terms of "most amazing and fluffiest pancakes I'd ever eaten." Definitely comparable to my favorite pancake place in the city (Clinton Street Baking Co.). That coffee though--I was completely blown away by Chicago's chain coffee brand, Intelligentsia. Some of the best coffee I've ever had, I couldn't believe they were a chain! 
Of course, immediately following this, we fell into a food coma, checked into our hotel, and pretty much napped until mid-afternoon. Oops...but not to worry, cause we still got a bit of sightseeing done that day...checking out the Art Institute of Chicago! I took these photos the day after, when the weather was better, but I'm very glad we explored the museum on the rainy day. 
The architecture of the Art Institute was just aweinspiring. Well, Chicago's architecture in and of itself is amazing already--but I couldn't resist these stone lion statues. Obviously had to snap a bunch of pics of these guys haha. Below is the look I wore for exploring the first day (shot when the weather got better). Full details of the look can be found in my previous post, "Reflections at Cloud Gate."
Super happy that the weather turned out to be so gorgeous on our second day there! I never imagined Chicago to be such a colorful city, but maybe that's how it is in the fall time. We couldn't help exploring the garden section of the Art Institute--all the colors just drew me in!
Below is the architecture of the Modern Wing in the Art Institute of Chicago. Clean lines & white walls...every blogger's Instagram dream. xD And then of course, like the crazy blogger I am, we had to take that picturesque moment on their spiral staircase. 
Running around a museum sure works up an appetite! Some of my boyfriend's work colleagues had been to Chicago before, and so many of them recommended a restaurant called Au Cheval. They'd all said that the wait was crazy though...but we ended our visit to the Art Institute pretty early so we thought why not give it a try.

Annnnddddddd, after an hour of waiting (which apparently was a very short wait time for this restaurant), I had the most lifechanging burger of all time. I don't even think that the photo came out very well, cause we were starved by the time our food came so I'll admit, I wasn't as diligent with my #OnTheTable shot. But all you need to know: bacon and sunny-side up egg on your burger = ingenius idea. Will forever have dreams of this burger....until the next time we're in Chicago!
Oh, did I forget to mention that it was Halloween weekend? Like a cheesy couple, we matched our costumes...Batman and Batwoman, protectors of Chicago city this year! This is the first time we've dressed up to match each other and it was actually kinda fun. Next year's costume idea? Gru and the minions!
The bulk of day two was spent walking around the gorgeous city, exploring the river walk and Wabash Ave., which was the equivalent of 5th Ave in Manhattan. The River Walk though...I've never seen a river run through a city quite like this. I mean, I've seen a ton of rivers running through major cities--the Seine, the Thames, etc. But, really--to have these amazing skyscrapers surrounding the Chicago River and then the cutest walkways following it along...I think that's what really sold me on Chicago and gave me those chills of inspiration. 
Doing a little River Walk shoot and it's got me wishing that New York City had a river running through it. Full details of this look can be found in my previous post, "Chicago River Walk."
Sunset in Chitown...quite a magnificent thing. We kind of just stood on one of the many bridges and looked at the city at golden hour before making our way back to the River Walk. The perfect end to our weekend wanderings. Here's to wandering back to this amazing city another day. Happy travels fashionistas,