Bueller?… Bueller?… Bueller?
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is celebrating it’s 30 year anniversary on June 11th, so I figured this post is the perfect opportunity to discuss my own sunny day off! Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is one of my all-time favorite movies. It’s one of the reasons why I wanted to move to Chicago when I was younger. I can’t say that I had as much fun as Ferris, Cam and Sloane on my day off from work, but I definitely took advantage of it.
I asked for Monday off a couple weeks ago to give myself a long weekend, or a staycation in Chicago. I was super excited when I saw the weather report – sunny and 70 all day. My boyfriend also took the day off, so we bounced around some ideas of what to do. We talked about going to the Shedd Aquarium or Field Museum, but it was just too nice to be inside all day. But, neither of us have been so we are going to save that visit for a rainy day. We also talked about going to the beach to get some sun and play a little volleyball, but then we remembered everyone else would be working and it’s pretty hard to play volleyball with two people.
When he mentioned going to the French Market for breakfast and just seeing where the day takes us, I was sold. I have never been to the French Market in Chicago (I’ve rarely heard anything about it!) but I thought it was awesome. There was such a variety of food from local restaurants, I really wanted to try it all. There are about 30 vendors total, and they’re all unique. A lot of the booths were still getting set up, so we had breakfast crepes from Flip Crepes, and ate them under the Eiffel Tower. It was really neat to walk around and check out all the fresh produce and fish.This is pretty much the only market that’s open year-round in Chicago, and they are now offering Happy Hour’s during the week. I can’t wait to go back!
The French Market is located near the West Loop neighborhood, one that’s gaining a lot of popularity and is becoming known for their abundance of bars and restaurants. Since it was so nice outside, we decided to keep walking the neighborhood to see where we end up. He’s been to Brookyln Boulders, a rock climbing facility, a couple times and since we were in the area anyways, I wanted to give it a shot!
I can’t even remember the last time I went rock climbing, but the staff at Brooklyn Boulders made me feel pretty comfortable. For $35, we got the shoes, gear and an all-day pass with access to their other fun activities – ping pong, cornhole and gym equipment. I started on the beginner walls (obviously) and it went pretty smoothly until I looked down. I was suddenly realizing that I am afraid of heights! It was so odd to me, because I never used to be. I was also terrified of letting go and trusting in the self repelled rope to land safely, but I got the hang of it! I gave the taller, more difficult walls a chance a few times, but it was exhausting. To rest in between climbs, we took advantage of the other games available and spent a long time there! I had a ton of fun at Brooklyn Boulders and it was a great way to get some exercise in during the day off. They also opened the huge garage door since it was so warm, so we still had our outdoorsy feel.
After all the climbing, we walked to Randolf St. in West Loop to grab some drinks to reward ourselves. We go to this stretch in West Loop often for dinner, without much luck because it’s always so packed. Being that this was a Monday afternoon, we finally got a seat outside at a bar I’ve been wanting to try out – Bar Siena. They have a great cocktail and beer list, and the food looked pretty good, too. However, we stuck to the beers. We sat in the sun for a long time, chatting and enjoying our cold brews.
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
And we didn’t stop there! It was way too nice out to go home and we were starting to get hungry. We ventured on pretty aimlessly in the area trying to decide what sounded good. My boyfriend mentioned checking out a new, fancy steakhouse in the area called Swift & Sons. Being that it was still pretty early and this is strictly a dinner spot on the weekdays, we didn’t have much hope for dining there. We were also pretty concerned about our attire – athletic shorts and tops does not usually go over well at swanky places. We got to Swift & Sons to learn that they weren’t open yet, but they recommended us to Cold Storage (in the same building) and informed us that it was happy hour.
Cold Storage was so neat – it’s definitely not very big, but the bar was neatly decorated. It gave us an ‘along the ocean’ sort of feel. The happy hour specials were awesome – $1 oysters and $13 pan-seared Halibut – happy dance! The sandwiches and other plates were such a good deal for the delicious food. Unfortunately, I work until 6 most days, but when I give myself another off day – I know I’ll be back to Cold Storage to try more off the menu.
So there you have it – how to spend a day off in Chicago. Whether you live here and are looking for some new places to try or things to do, or you’re visiting and want some non-touristy ideas, The French Market, Brookyln Boulders, Bar Siena and Cold Storage are perfect places to visit!
Ferris Bueller, you’re my hero.