This weekend my in-laws watched our kids for us because this was supposed to be the weekend of the half-marathon. Since my back didn’t really like that idea, we skipped the half-marathon and went to Chicago instead. I – just for fun – decided we’d try to do the weekend for as FREE as possible and used some saved up money for the rest. Here’s some things we did:
1. The bank we’re with gives you free points for signing for purchases…I turned those in and got $50 for Red Lobster (Mr MIP’s favorite food) and $100 for Gap. Free!
2. We went and saw Iron Man. A good movie! Not free, but worth the price.
3. I turned in our points through Hilton Honors and got a free night at the Hilton Chicago – a beautiful historic hotel across from Grant Park. They upgraded us to a junior suite and validated our parking, making it a completely FREE night. Here’s the view from our room:
It was a gray day on Sunday – it had poured all through church – but by the time we got downtown, the rain had stopped…the wind stayed, but at least it wasn’t raining! Here’s the outside of the hotel – all presidents since Truman have stayed there!
4. We walked from the hotel, through Grant Park, and on down Michigan Avenue, all the way to WaterTower Place – a completely FREE tour! Here’s us being windy and happy, knowing that SuperBoy was safe with his grandma and not running into traffic on Michigan Ave!:
5. Up on the fifth floor of 900 N Michigan, is the site of our first date 15 years ago (let me hear you say,”Awww…”). We decided to eat there at our old haunt (Tucci Bennuch), however, two months ago it changed over to Frankie’s Scallopine (still a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant). Manager came over to say hi and asked if we had been there before, I said we had come on our first date there years ago, and we got FREE dessert (not something I was aiming for, but hey, he asked!). Yum! Any Lettuce Entertain You restaurants are good – try them out!
6. For breakfast on Monday morning, we went to Orange, a cafe that had been featured on Food Network. The french toast skewers Mr MIP had were cool and yummy, but I’m not sure we’d go back to the restaurant, but I thanked Mr MIP for being adventurous with me and we paid for breakfast with our last dollar, making the weekend complete:
And here’s one more shot from our room at night, with the beautiful Buckingham Fountain all lit up. We kept saying, “Thanks, Mayor Daley!”, because for all the things you might disagree with him about, the city really does look great. The park was so clean and nice and all down Michigan Avenue were hundreds and hundreds of tulips all in beautiful bloom. Even though the day was cloudy and gray, the flowers were gorgeous.