Earlier this week, I took a quick 24-hour trip to the lovely Illinois city for a 24-hour “meeting” of sorts (if you can consider architecture tours and deep-dish pizza and happy hour “business”). The short of it: I’ll be on the team of influencers behind Travel Mindset—a fabulous new experiential community launching this spring—and the co-founders wanted to get us all together in one place to talk shop.
They put us up at the fabulous ACME, which I just adored. However, if you can’t afford a boutique hotel and are looking for lodging on a budget instead, check out HostelBookers.com—contrary to popular belief, the United States does have hostels in a variety of cities (something I learned while living in New York and fielding constant requests from CouchSurfers looking to travel in the US on the cheap). And while SVV and I admittedly are not typically hostel travelers anymore, we are actually using this service currently to look for him a long-term stay in Germany this summer.
But back to the ACME, which only opened last year. They’re still finishing the lobby and community spaces, but I have to say it’s one of the quirkiest, funnest hotels I’ve ever visited. And given how much I travel, it’s tough to impress me on the hotel front! I love how the owners adopted a theme and just went for it, with no reservations. I will definitely be staying here next time I find myself in Chicago.
The day was cold and dreary—no surprise, it is February in Chicago after all—and following lunch and a team meeting at the ACME, we all headed to the Chase tower to embark on an architecture walking tour with Chicago Detours.
Once our tour was over, we rushed back to our hotels to change for a Tweet-Up that Travel Mindset was hosting at the Vertigo Sky Lounge at Dana Hotel & Spa. There, I got to see my former co-columnist John, who is making waves with his virtual grilling club (and now book deal!) ManBQue, my former newspaper colleague Ashley and Molly, a long-time blog friend.
While at the Dana, we also checked out the Nirvana Suite, a favorite among celebrities like Ricky Martin.
(Thanks to JD for emailing me this classy photo. I wasn’t sure if this was a workout machine or torture device.)
Then it was off to Pizzerie Due for a late dinner—and OK, vodka shots, because isn’t that always what one does at a pizza joint?—and up early for a leisurely breakfast at Yolk, where we all indulged in red velvet French toast (to. die. for.).
One of the other group members, Daniel Bear Hunley, happened to not only be one of the top pinners on Pinterest (with 1.7 million followers!) but also a fellow Tennessean. We hit it off, did a little shopping on North State Street before our flight back, then vowed to be best friends once we returned to Nashville (holding out hope this happens).