I had the privilege of spending my birthday in Chicago this year. It was a business trip, so not much sightseeing was done, but it was still fun to be in a big city and eat great food the whole time. It was rainy and cold when we got there. A full forty-degree difference between Greenville and Chicago!

The entire time we were there, I never pulled out my ‘real’ camera, but I have a few shots from my iPhone that I can share.

I loved seeing the giant old buildings with 'modern day’ businesses in them.

The first night we went to The Purple Pig, a restaurant that made Bon Appetit’s 10 best new restaurants list. The food was unbelievable on several levels. Amazing flavors and crazy combinations โ€” like fried chorizo stuffed green olives. And the desserts! Pistachio ice cream and paninis filled with nutella, marshmallow creme and bananas. I tried to take a few food pictures, but in the low light they just didn’t look good. Look who we found at the bottom of the ice cream bowl.

The next day was full of business meetings, but we were able to squeeze in a quick trup to one of Chicago’s three Anthropologie stores. Their displays are always so inspiring and this time I got to try a few lovely dresses on!

The giant spheres are made of wine corks.

Our afternoon meeting was at the beautiful offices of Y USA, where I got to meet some of their design folks and learn a little bit more about their recent rebrand. It was really interesting to hear about different challenges they’re facing as they transition from a company with simply a logo, to one that now has a full brand system. It was great to meet everyone and learn about how they work.

We ended the night at de cero, a great taco place in the Restaurant District. They even treated me to a birthday brownie!

It was a quick trip and obviously there are many other aspects of the city I wish we had time to see and experience. But Chicago was already on the (growing) list of places Andrew and I would like to see together. Besides, I wouldn’t mind it being a little warmer next time I head that direction!