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Grace + Jillian

Cubs. Jillian. Signature Lounge. Beach. Grace. Chicago. Millennium Park. Wendella.

What do these words have in common?

Combined they made for one memorable and amazing way to spend the final weekend of July in Chicago.

I’ve been told I’m a good host. It’s actually something that’s important to me — hosting my visitors in such a way that moving to Chicago crosses their mind at least once. I’m only 50% kidding.

Jillian arrived Thursday night and we spent Friday as rivals: Cubs vs. Cards. Spent the day in Wrigleyville. Let’s not talk about the game…

Saturday morning Grace arrived and we relaxed the day away on Oak Street Beach. I may or may not have also been a tad hung over. We wrapped up the weekend as tourists taking in some of Chi’s hottest sights: Millennium Park, Wendella boat tour, Hancock 96th floor Signature Lounge, riding the el, Wrigley Field (take two, with Jillian’s parents), and beer tasting at Goose Island Brewery.

Grace asked me if I ever get tired of doing the touristy stuff. Awesome question. The answer is: no I don’t. There are so many added benefits — catching up with good friends, laughing about old memories and creating new ones, reminding myself why I love Chi so much, experiencing new things myself, and living life.

Friday Chi Faves: Oak Street Beach

Well it looks like I’ve staked out the spot I’ll be spending my summer:

OAK STREET BEACH

First of all, how does a relaxing, beautiful beach like this land in downtown Chicago? I’m not arguing it … I suppose I’m just curious. And grateful.

Located right off Lake Shore Drive and on the shore of Lake Michigan, Oak Street Beach is one of the busiest beaches in Chicago.

There are other beaches in Chicago so why do I love Oak Street Beach? (A) Most important: it’s literally a 10-minute walk from my apartment (B) It feels uber-local to me — specifically because there is no parking so you know all the other beach-goers had to have walked, biked, etc. (C) It’s an extremely relaxed beach — no “spring break” feel whatsoever. Instead it allows me the peace and quiet I need to read and nap for hours on end.

If you need a pick-me-up? No worries. There are usually ice cream carts around, but also a full restaurant located right on the beach.

Let’s not drag this post out though. If you’ve never been, it’s awesome — just like you trusted me with Hunger Games, trust me now.

See you there tomorrow!!