Do your Spring Break travel plans ever go like this–you and your friends are planning a wonderful vacation to somewhere warm and tropical! Miami, Mexico, anywhere it is socially acceptable to drink a margarita at 9AM. Then as time goes on and spring break is right around the corner, you and your friends realize that you are all broke, have to work, or still have a final [my rage on the quarter system later]. That’s basically what happen to my friends and I this winter when trying to decide what to do for our mini vacation (DePaul only got 4 days of Spring Break…what the heck). Knowing that I was going to stay in Chicago for the week with a lot more free time, I decided to make it the best staycation ever.
Whether you live in Chicago and are looking for new things to do, or are visiting Chicago, there is a little bit of everything for everyone!
The week started on a Tuesday [Monday was spent as a total final’s recovery//spring cleaning day]. Bright and early, my friend Wes and I headed to the West Loop in search for The French Market, a charming market filled with different restaurants and so much variety.
Our first stop was of course a cubano, then we went to Flip Crepes for what was basically a lox crepe burrito, and ended our little trip for empanadas at Lito’s Empanadas–the chorizo and egg was too good! Safe to say I was stuffed for the day.
Later that day, I headed to Whole Foods with my friend Melissa for a margarita, because what is Spring Break without a good marg??
On wednesday my best friend Katie and I had the ultimate best friend day planned. We started the day at AIR Lincoln Park for a challenging Aerial Silks class. After multiple attempts to the #AIRPOW, it was time for the next part of our day, well deserved R&R.
We went down to MudBum Facial Bar in River North for 30-minute facials. I took the next 30 minutes to completely unplug [which is honestly very hard for me] and enjoy the experience. I got the Detox Facial for a deeper clean it’s number one activate ingredient was charcoal which really helped with the process of really clearing my skin. I felt so glowy the rest of the night!
Next on the ultimate best friend day agenda was dinner at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba in Lincoln Park. I’ve had my eye on this restaurant for months and I was so excited to try it out. Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba is Spanish tapas bar. The food was worth the hype! We started with a pitcher Black Raspberry Sangria– a perfect combination of a sweet and tart drink. Then we each choose three tapas to share. My top favorites were the Chicken & Ham Croquetas [this is a total duh, gotta get my croqueta fix anytime I can!], which were so fluffy but crispy, the goat cheese baked in tomato sauce, and the Citrus-Cured Salmon. All the tapas were amazing ++ I definitely loved going in and sharing different plates with friends. It’s a great way to explore what everyone’s variety in taste. We ended the night with desserts. Hanging on to my Cuban side, I of course had to have the flan! It was not as great as how my Abuela used to make it, but it was pretty darn close. It was such a great night, hanging out with my girlfriends, and trying new foods. I definitely need to go back and work my way through the menu!
Thursday are for girl bossing day! I had to work in the afternoon, so I hopped on the bus and headed to Intelligentsia Coffee in Lakeview. I love coming to this coffee shop when I have a lot of work to do. There long communal tables make it so easy for working with a friend and still having elbow room, the music they play are always BOPS [lots of ABBA this day], and don’t get me started on their coffee! My go-to is always an Oat milk Latte, but I wasn’t feeling coffee that day [alarming…I KNOW], so I got a iced-matcha latte which turned out just as delicious and creamy!
We started the weekend with a bang. **spoiler alert** We were running the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle on Sunday, and with every great races comes a great expo. We headed to McCormick Place, which is an adventure on it’s own. The expo was so fun; we tried samples from Power Protein, and Brew Dr. Kombucha, took photobooth pictures with Barefoot Wine, and checked out some awesome Nike gear.
And at night we celebrated! My dear friend Katie passed her Organic Chemistry class so of course we had to bring the champagne out! Our friend Jesselyn had curated a perfect cheese spread with brie, gouda, different crackers, and pretzels. Just call us the Real Housewives of DePaul.
Then it was the event I’ve been waiting for..the Judah and the Lion concert!! Judah and the Lion is one of my favorite bands right now and they did not disappoint. The room was filled with some much positive energy, it was contagious. Their lyrics speak about unity, self worth, and love I’m getting chills just writing about it. It is always an evergrating feeling to come together with a room of strangers, singing your favorite songs at the top of your lungs, and feeling together. They covered Lean On Me by Bill Withers, and I’ve never had such a spiritual experience at a concert. Amazing. 10/10.
When planning my spring break adventures, I thought “how would I love to end my last spring break as an undergraduate?” Running an 8K ofcourse! Katie and I ran the Shamrock Shuffle around Chicago! Besides it being 28 degrees when we started to run, once I felt the circulation back in my fingers it was a great time. I met my goal of running it under an hour! Last but least for the week, we ended at Goddess and the Baker for a post-run coffee.
Spring Break flew by, but I spent the week with people that I love doing all the things I love! If you are in the Chicago area, let me know if you visit any of the places above! Tag me on instagram and use the hashtag– #CafecitoinChicago