Chicago/Healthy Living Summit Part 1

Eric and I had a BLAST in Chicago! It was our first time there and I think it has moved to the top of our list of ‘favorite cities.’ I went because of the Healthy Living Summit. Between me and Eric, we took a lot of photos, so for my sanity I am going to break it out by day.

We flew in Friday afternoon on the always reliable Southwest. I have deep ties to Southwest because I used to fly them every two weeks to visit Eric when we were doing the long-distance thing, and I also worked for their in-flight magazine! It was fun to see what all my old co-workers were up to.

Spirit Magazine

Once we arrive we boarded one of the trains and took it straight to our hotel. I hate to complain about Philly’s public transportation, because we atleast have some, but Philly needs to get it together. Eric and I were able to buy a 3 day pass and used it to go everywhere. Philly has zones and coins and it’s expensive to go to and from the airport.

We were staying at the Congress Plaza hotel in downtown, which is apparently one of the most haunted spots in Chicago. It was definitely an odd hotel, very old.

Congress Hotel

After checking in I quickly cleaned up and headed to the Healthy Living Summit cocktail party.

Healthy Living Summit

While I went to the cocktail party, Eric went to a nearby bar.

Clark Ale House

Random fact about me, I am painfully shy and have severe social anxiety. I surprised myself, as well as Eric, when I registered to attend an event with complete random strangers. I do ok in small groups, but put me with a bunch of people and I get overwhelmed. So that pretty much sums up the cocktail party. I tried to talk to people, and sucked at it. I did work up the courage to introduce myself to atleast one person, and it happened to be Nicole from Another One Bites the Crust. We talked for a bit then decided to head out and meet up with Eric.

We headed to another part of Chicago to get some food and drinks at The Handlebar. Prior to our trip I had asked another internet friend for some Chicago suggestions and she mentioned this place. It seemed right up our alley, so I was excited to go there.
Eric’s friend Ryan came and met us as well.
The Handlebar

The menu had a lot of good options, and it was hard to decide. We started with fried pickles, a favorite of mine.

The Handlebar

For our meals I ordered the trio of sides, and got salad, french fries and rice…a classic Lauren meal.

The Handlebar

Eric ordered the Buffalo ‘Chicken’ Wrap with mashed potatoes.

The Handlebar

And Nicole got the Grilled Tofu Sandwich.

The Handlebar

The Handlebar

This ol’ blog isn’t my first go round at blogging. I have consistently been blogging on Livejournal for about 10 years. I have made some really good internet friends over there and just can’t seem to let it go. One of my ‘friends’, named Ramsey, lives in Chicago, so I got in touch with her to try to meet up. I was pretty excited to meet her, because we have been online friends for about 5 years. She’s also the one who told me about The Handlebar, as well as a bunch of other awesome places to try in Chicago.
Super old internet friend on the left, and brand new internet friend on the right.

The Handlebar

We ended our meal with a fried peach turnover type of dish, then headed back to the hotel.

And that concludes part 1.


10 responses to “Chicago/Healthy Living Summit Part 1

  1. Looks like fun, can’t wait to read the rest of your recaps…I am definitely going to try to go to the HLS next year. Love your tan dress, super cute!

  2. Amber Shea @Almost Vegan

    You guys are so lucky you got to go to HLS! I’m not surprised you were won over by Chicago; it’s a hard city not to love.

    I’m a Southwest devotee too, heh. You had a great hotel location!

    I feel you on the social anxiety…if only it were as quick and convenient to converse in written text as in conversation, then I’d be golden, but speaking is NOT my strong point.

  3. hehe, livejournal… yea, i’ve had one of those for a long time and still check my friends page every now and then, but i haven’t written anything there in probably a couple years.

    have you tried the fried pickles at memphis taproom? i always want to order them but i chicken out. 😛

    • ahh lj, i am glad i am not the only one!

      the fried pickles are so good at memphis! but sadly they aren’t vegan 😦
      We were told they were for a while, then found out they aren’t anymore. But you should definitely get them because they are amazing.

  4. I didn’t know you were going to HLS. I really would like to go next year. Looking forward to the rest of your recaps!

  5. Aw, no need to be nervous. You’re awesome!! We need to set up another ‘meet-up’ again ASAP 🙂

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