I’m Dreaming of Chicago

posted in: Chicago, Gogobot, Sponsored Post, Things to do, Vacation 68 comments

I don’t have a bucket list, but if I did, visiting Chicago would be on it.

Especially next year because a certain massive blog conference is happening there in the summer.

You know I really want to go just so I can meet people right?

Oh the people. I want to meet so many of you. And talk to you. Hear your voice. Hug your face off. Cement these friendships with real life coffee, conversation and laughter.

Right now, the husband and I are discussing the possibility of going. We have to go as a family, so we will have two boys under the age of 4 with us. Aside from attending the conference, we want to make memories as a family.

Although not a concrete idea yet (dreaming, dreaming!), I have been looking at all the fun stuff we can do in Chicago, as well as places to stay and eat. Oh food. You know me and food, yes?

My Chicago itinerary would look something like this:

Stay and DoInterContinental Chicago. It’s near Millenium Park (to see The Bean and for the kids!), the Magnificent Mile for shopping (for me!) and Lincoln Park Zoo!

The one place in Chicago that my husband and I agreed that we MUST go, is Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs. I’d also love to take the children to the Chicago Children’s Museum, especially since I hear they can dig for fossils, build skyscrapers AND there’s a fire engine. Awesome.

Eat – I love tapas, since everyone can order what they want, so  Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba sounds just right for my boys. As for my bloggy friends, I’d love to try  Pops at Champagne – isn’t the name just perfect?

Now, who wants to meet me in Chicago? If you live in or have visited Chicago, what can you recommend that I absolutely cannot miss? Can’t wait to here your recommendations and I hope we can meet soon! (yay!)

Gogobot allows you to tap into the knowledge of your friends when planning a trip anywhere. You can find like-minded travelers and inspiration for your next vacation, creating easy-to-use wishlists you can return to again and again.

And when you are not in vacation mode or planning a trip, you can discover hidden gems in your own neighborhood for entertaining guests or a weekend staycation.

The best part? Every page on Gogobot is personalized. You can see reviews from your friends and people you are following at the top, which allows you to weed out the noise and fraudulent reviews that become a problem on other review sites. Check out Gogobot today!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gogobot. The opinions and text are all mine.

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and DrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • December 7, 2012 Jackie

    May your dream come true 🙂
    Jackie recently wrote…How To: Tree of Togetherness (Christmas Tree Garland)My Profile

    • December 7, 2012 Alison

      Thanks Jackie!

  • December 7, 2012 Shannon

    I will be at the “certain massive blogging conference” and would love to meet you. I live in the suburbs of Chicago, and there is no doubt that you will love this city!
    There are several architecture boat tours offered that are very informative and a nice introduction to the city.
    I’ve been on the Wrigley tour twice. They take you into the locker rooms and the press box and into the dugout – so much history there.
    When I take the train into the city, the food is of highest priority. I would ask for Pizano’s pizza as my last meal. It’s that good.
    I hope it all works out for you!
    Shannon recently wrote…I’m on a Funk-busting MissionMy Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      My sister-in-law who lived in Chicago for a year also recommends Pizano!! My husband loves pizza, I guess that goes on the itinerary 🙂

  • December 7, 2012 Tara

    I live in Chicago!! Best city ever (although, I haven’t been to NY yet)! One thing you forgot to mention is to take in a show – theater, baby!! I hope you can come on out, it really is a beautiful and fun city.
    Tara recently wrote…Brothers, ugh….My Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      Oh, good one! *taking notes*

  • December 7, 2012 Justine

    Funny, I’m a Malaysian, living in Chicago – maybe we can do a house swap? I live right on the beach of Lake Michigan a few miles north of the downtown area. Your boys would love it! 🙂

    Anyway, there is a LOT to do in this fair city, especially in the summer and with kids, and if your dreams do come true, I will shower you with recommendations a-plenty. Can you tell I love it here? I plan on attending BlogHer too. Perhaps we can meet?
    Justine recently wrote…ImproviseMy Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      If I go (still in the air at the moment), promise we’ll meet.
      Okay this will sound random, since there are probably like thousands of Malaysians in Chicago – but I have two friends from my hometown who’s lived there many years and I wonder if you might know them. Juli Lim and Guat Lyn Lim.
      Didn’t think so. It’s my Ipoh-mentality. 🙂

  • December 7, 2012 Jackie

    I live in Chicago, and there’s a lot to see and do! I love taking my son to Navy Pier, we love going on boat tours, and of course you’ll have to check out The Ledge at the Sears Tower (refuse to call it Willis Tower). Hope you get to come, and it’d be nice to meet you.

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      Ooh, sounds AWESOME! I hope to get to go too!

  • December 7, 2012 tracy

    Um, you ARE going and we ARE shopping together. There. It’s all settled.
    tracy recently wrote…Em-Brace Me You FoolMy Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      I love it when you’re bossy. xo

  • December 7, 2012 Sue

    Ahem. And spend a night chez Sue’s in the ‘burbs. 35 minutes away. Just sayin’.

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      Spending the night would mean we’ll be up all night trying new Pinterest recipes/ craft then taking photos and Facebooking them, right?

  • December 7, 2012 Kimberly

    You’re going. Is there really any other option?
    Kimberly recently wrote…Essence Of Now: The Holiday EditionMy Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      If you’re there, I’m there. Deal?

  • December 7, 2012 vanita

    Why could it not be in NYC this coming year? I’d lo-ove to see u babes and hug your face and have coffee over great desserts and pretend to point out a passing celebrity so you’d turn around and look while i swipe the aforementioned desserts. 😀
    vanita recently wrote…The Truth Behind Being A Famous BloggerMy Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      You don’t have to swipe anything, I’m happy to share 😉 I want to meet you too! We have to make it happen.

  • December 7, 2012 Kimberly

    Surprisingly Chicago is not that far from my Canadian hub of the world. You could come visit me and it will be fun.
    Kimberly recently wrote…Fashionably Dressed And Saving LivesMy Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      I SO want to!!

  • December 7, 2012 tori nelson

    Sounds like so much fun. I hope you guys get to go…. and blog about it, so I can travel vicariously and all 🙂
    tori nelson recently wrote…Tiny Spark Series: End Of The RainbowMy Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      I hope so too!!

  • December 7, 2012 JDaniel4's Mom

    JDaniel and my husband are dying to go to Chicago too. JDaniel wants to go to a robot store he saw on a documentary and my husband wants to see a particle excelerator. I like your stops a little better than theirs.
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently wrote…Bird Ornaments- Read.Explore.Learn.My Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      You can join me 🙂

  • December 7, 2012 Mama Pants

    Oooh Oooh Ooooh!!! I am hoping to be at that big giant blogging conference too! I hope that your dream comes true and I hope that I get to meet you there 🙂
    Mama Pants recently wrote…Attachment Parenting: We’re Not Crazy.My Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      That’d be a blast!

  • December 7, 2012 Kir

    oooh, nothing would make me happier (well maybe winning the powerball and bringing you to the states for 6 months…to just hang with me) than to be at BLOGHER with you. Eating cupcakes and laughing our faces off.

    I’m dreaming of Chicago too…and WISHING that you will be there too.
    GO 2013!!!!
    Kir recently wrote…I’m Thankful Every Day For the GiftMy Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      You’ll be the first to know when I confirm this trip!! xoxo

  • December 7, 2012 Keely

    AAAALISON….I have an item for you: Go Play With Keely! Have Our Kids High-Five!
    Keely recently wrote…Crummy Crumbies.My Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      Writing that down!!

  • December 7, 2012 thedoseofreality

    I really hope you can get there! 🙂 We are debating attending ourselves!

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      Wouldn’t that be fun, to hang out?? 🙂

  • December 7, 2012 Kristen

    YAYYYYYY!!!! How exciting!!! I would love to meet you in person!!! I will be at BlogHer. Hoping I don’t get lost in the crowds and can find my way to some familiar faces and hearts.
    Kristen recently wrote…Christmas TraditionMy Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      Sweetie, you definitely will find your beautiful tribe and you’ll have a great time. I hope to make it there and see you!

  • December 7, 2012 Susi

    Ah, yes, the draw of the big blog conferences and meeting all your imaginary friends. I’m so there with you. I’m dying to go to Type-A in Atlanta next year. Keeping my fingers crossed that I can make it happen. Good luck to you and hope you’ll be able to make it. I know, it’s a huge trip for you!!! Keeping my fingers crossed for you. 🙂
    Susi recently wrote…Time to say goodbye and some fill ins…My Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      Well, they’re very real to me 🙂 I hope you make it to Type-A!

  • December 7, 2012 Ginny Marie

    I’ll be there! My kids love the Shedd Aquarium. They have a lot of neat exhibits, and the dolphin show is fun! There are going to be way to many things for you to see and do! I hope you are able to come.
    Ginny Marie recently wrote…Cleaning the GuttersMy Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      Ooh, lucky lucky you!

  • December 7, 2012 Sandra

    Alison! I hold a ticket to that certain big blogging conference, and, and, and, I live in that certain great city with all those things to do, too! It would be awesome to meet you in person! It would be a wonderful trip for your family, and there will be lots of memories captured. Now that you’ve written about it, I’d guess the probability of this trip happening is now about 99%. Just sayin’. Hope you’re feeling all better by now!
    Sandra recently wrote…Dear #NaBloPoMo2012My Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      Heh. Well, it’s a matter of a couple of things – figuring out the finances, logistics and my visa. All my men have Australian passports, so they’re golden, it’s just me and my Malaysian passport. We’ll have to see!

  • December 8, 2012 AnnMarie

    I live in the suburbs of Chicago and hope to go. I’ll have cupcakes with you! You must do two things when you are here: Have pizza at Pizano’s or Lou Malnati’s and go to Target and get your favorite Starbucks drink and browse, browse, browse…soak up the awesome that is Target. 🙂
    AnnMarie recently wrote…“Nothing Really Lasts Forever”My Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      Pizano’s is definitely going on the itinerary, you’re the fourth person to recommend it! If I do go, we MUST meet!

  • December 8, 2012 lisacng

    Have fun in Chicago, if you go! I’ve never been! Great list so far! I know which conference you are referring to, and I don’t if I could justify going to it and paying out-of-pocket but would love to visit since I have a blogger friend there :). Good luck deciding!
    lisacng recently wrote…Learning to struggleMy Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      Thanks Lisa!

  • December 8, 2012 MamaCassie

    If you go, I will totally be with you there in spirit! I hope one day to afford the admission ticket and plane ticket to go, but for next year it’s just not possible. I hope you have fun! It does sound like there is lots to do there with kids too 🙂 I hope you’re able to go and meet Sandra too 🙂
    MamaCassie recently wrote…Color Run, Here I Come!My Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      Some day, we’ll ALL make it there. 🙂

  • December 8, 2012 Jessica

    That sounds like fun! I hope you do get to go. You deserve it!! I’ve never been to Chicago, but it’s on my list of cities to visit in the US.

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      Maybe Gogobot will sponsor me? 🙂

  • December 8, 2012 adrienne

    I have BBC dreams too! What a great way to put your voice in a sponsored post! 🙂
    adrienne recently wrote…I’m a Mean Mom-Santa EditionMy Profile

    • December 8, 2012 Alison

      It’s the only way I’ll do a sponsored post 🙂

  • December 9, 2012 My Inner Chick

    Dear, Alison Lee,
    your posts have been going to my junk mail. I’ve NOT forgotten about you!

    btw, i’m 6 hours from Chicago! Xxxxx LOVE
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…Precipice, Powerball, & Sex in the CityMy Profile

    • December 9, 2012 Alison

      I know you wouldn’t forget me. xoxoxo

  • December 9, 2012 Olga

    I love Chicago. To me it’s a cleaner, wider, and calmer version of New York. I love the architecture and the feel of it. Wishing you a wonderful time there! Also, thanks so much for introducing Gogobot, I haven’t heard of this site before, but looks super useful!
    Olga recently wrote…What’s New About it, Anyway?My Profile

    • December 9, 2012 Alison

      It is a really good site, I wish I’d known about it before!

  • December 9, 2012 Asianmommy

    Chicago is awesome in the summertime. Navy Pier has fireworks a couple times a week. The dinosaurs at the Field Museum, the dolphins at the Shedd Aquarium, the trains at the Museum of Science and Industry are some things the kids might enjoy.
    Asianmommy recently wrote…“The Adventures of Anna & Mei Ling: Super Sundae"My Profile

    • December 9, 2012 Alison

      Great recommendations, thank you!

  • December 11, 2012 Jessica

    I’m planning on going to Chicago next year for BlogHer but instead of planning the trip I’m going to let Elena take me to all the good places she knows since she goes there often.

    I figure some things are best left to the professionals.
    Jessica recently wrote…Sugar, Spice and Oh So Pretty!My Profile

    • December 11, 2012 Alison

      So she’s like a walking, talking Gogobot? 🙂

  • December 11, 2012 Natalie


    That is all.
    Natalie recently wrote…The Peace of the Wild ThingsMy Profile

    • December 11, 2012 Alison

      I WANT TO! You’re going? With Baby Track in tow? (say yes!)

  • December 12, 2012 Katie

    Well you KNOW I will be there! And we do Chicago frequently because it’s less than a 3 hour drive for us and my best friend and her husband live there. Navy Pier and Shed Aquarium are favorites for the kids. For my 32nd birthday we ate at Carnival and it was the BEST south American food and experience. It was YUM and FUN!

    My hubby’s best friend lived in the Wrigley neighborhood for five years before moving to Denver, so we have been to that area a LOT too. Lots of great places for brunch and some neat bars for catching live music.

    Sluiters LOVE Chicago!
    Katie recently wrote…Give Back, Get BackMy Profile

    • December 12, 2012 Alison

      Ooh you are going to have so much fun!!! I hope I make it.

  • December 12, 2012 Lady Jennie

    Please pleeeeease come.

    I’ll catch up on your other posts, but I’m too exhausted tonight.


    • December 12, 2012 Alison

      I SO want to!

  • December 13, 2012 Robin

    Here’s one I think I read in the middle of the night but didn’t comment on. And I should. If only to say: DO IT.

    I haven’t got a ticket for BlogHer yet but I’m hoping to go and I’d love to meet you. And Chicago is really a very cool city – one of my favourites.

    DO it!
    Robin recently wrote…Doritos and Do OversMy Profile

    • December 13, 2012 Alison

      Oh I really want to say I’m going for certain – it’s just a really long way and we have a lot to consider/ plan. I will definitely want to meet you if I go!

  • December 13, 2012 Jen

    Chicago was my hometown for 26 years! Great city! You must try Chicago style stuffed pizza and hotdog, visit Navy pier (for the kids), go to the free Lincoln Park zoo, and plan on doing it all in close to 100 degree weather. It’s HOT in Chicago in July. I hope you get to go.
    Jen recently wrote…Babies vs. PuppiesMy Profile

    • December 13, 2012 Alison

      I live in a tropical country so I can do hot 🙂 Thanks for the recommendations!

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