Monday, July 23, 2012

A kid-free getaway

Our view
We arrived home from our weekend in the city to shrieks of "I love Audrey! I never want her to leave!"

Apparently we chose our overnight babysitter wisely. While we spent a lovely 24 hours eating, drinking, shopping and reconnecting along the Magnificent Mile, Zoe and Ada were treated to swimming and trampolining at their sitters' relatives' houses.

But enough about their weekend. Ever the deal-seeker, I booked our anniversary hotel stay on Hotwire and ended up with the not-so-trendy 4-star Hotel Intercontinental, which makes up for its lack of cool cache with the nicest indoor pool I've ever visited. The hotel wasn't ready for us when we arrived at check-in time, citing a "housekeeping emergency." So we left our bags with the bellhop and dodged the hordes of moms clutching American Girl Place bags to cross Michigan Avenue. Nordstrom was mobbed, but we wandered around for an hour, a fair portion of which we spent waiting to quench our thirst with a very fancy iced tea, painstakingly prepared at Teavana.

Our room still wasn't ready when we got back to the hotel, but the front desk staff gave us a couple of comp drink cards to use at Michael Jordan's restaurant off the lobby. Two very delicious hand-crafted cocktails and quite a few rounds of Draw Something later, we finally made it up to our 24th floor room, which had a lovely view of the Wrigley Building and Chicago river.

We had dinner reservations at the cozy underground Drawing Room in the Gold Coast, but I'd failed to closely read the rules on our Groupon, so we didn't get the pre-paid tasting menu I'd planned on. Instead, we shared a few smaller plates and had another round of fancy cocktails. We then shared some cake from the Goddess and the Grocer and watched an eclectic mix of tourists, Viagra-triangle d-bags and dog-walking locals stroll by. We slept in until 9am--an unknown luxury in the land of small children--and had breakfast in the window of the Grand Lux Cafe, where we were for sure the only locals. I followed my eggs and sausage with a dip in the amazing pool in the hotel's historic tower--a Moorish marvel of tile where Ester Williams swam in the 1940s. I felt perfectly at home in my retro-style swimsuit.