Chicago trip recap : Pilates, Scotch eggs, and a graduation

Sculptures atop the Art Institute

Sculpture installation at the Art Institute

Last Thursday I flew to Chicago with Boyfriend to attend his sister’s graduation from grad school at UIC. We stayed downtown, just north of the river, and in addition to the graduation the two of us enjoyed some amazing food, shopping, the Art Institute of Chicago, and a few high-stakes games of Yahtzee with Boyfriend’s family.

UIC graduation

UIC School of Social Work grads

I bought new shoes, too.

New shoes

I get to wear these on my feet now.

The highlight of the trip, food-wise, was a dinner Boyfriend and I shared on Saturday at The Gage, a gastropub in the Loop. It was by no means healthy, but it was a delicious, special meal.

Our pre-dinner drinks (an Old Fashioned and a St. Germain cocktail) were excellent.

Cocktails

We started the meal with a Scotch egg, one of the restaurant’s most popular appetizers. For the uninitiated, a Scotch egg is a hardboiled egg wrapped in sausage, covered in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried. It unfortunately got demolished before I remembered to take a photo.

Remains of the Scotch egg

A Scotch egg used to be here.

Next, we shared a green salad with cashews and dried cherries. The dried fruit added a nice chewy texture and sweetness to the salad to offset the greens.

Boyfriend’s and my entrées were a venison burger and house-made/local sausages, respectively. His came with a bucket of fries; mine came with crispy potatoes covered in Brie.

Sausage party

I made it through less than half of this pile of meat.

Oy, we were full afterward– so we took a much-needed walk and headed to a nearby Intelligentsia Coffee for some warm beverages. Boyfriend had manual pour-over, single-origin coffee, and I had a super-delicate sencha green tea.

After all of that food, I sure was glad to have worked out earlier that day. I had attended a Pilates mat class in the morning at The Yoga Boutique in Lakeview. This was actually my first mat class since the terrible one I took in college, and I had a fabulous time! The class had only 5 people in it and was taught by the lovely Dana, the studio’s owner and manager. I got a complete, deep workout and the 45 minutes flew by. It also reminded me that I’m super-tight in my hip flexors and that I cannot for the life of me do a Pilates rollup (sob). If I can find another class like this in the city, I’d potentially be willing to part ways with one of my weekly Reformer classes each month. Mat classes are typically far less expensive, after all…

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