Sweet home, Chicago. I just love summertime in Chicago. There really is nothing like it. It is, however, amusing to me that after the first string of warm days I seem to forget about the long, brutal winters and all the days I threatened to move.  At the end of the day though, I have so much love for this city, because not only did I grow up here, but my husband and I met and dated in the city in the summer of 2012. It was magical. It was right around this time exactly, that he took me to one of my favorite restaurants, Le Colonial, and asked me to date him exclusively. I always get nostalgic this time of year, as I also prepare to celebrate a wedding anniversary, that was here in the city too.  My husband, son, and I took a 6am Saturday stroll recently, (our little man is not one to sleep in) to some of our favorite streets and spots in the area. It's actually really pleasant to be out and about in the city before it really "wakes up."  I dedicate this blog post to my husband, and the sweet love story that started in this precious city, and for all of us Chicagoans who put up with the winter (and spring) to fully appreciate the beautiful days. Chicago summer, we see you. 

Here are a few (just a few) of my favorite Chicago things:

1. The Doughnut Vault. Still, in my opinion, the tastiest doughnuts around. // 2. Oak Street. Not only for the shopping, but just the hustle and bustle, the most amazing Starbucks which serves wine, and my old, vintage apartment building 40 East. // 3. Bonpoint. Posh children's clothing boutique. If not to buy, it makes for great window shopping. // 4. Le Colonial. It's located on Rush Street, so enjoy some great people watching on the downstairs sidewalk café or have an intimate dinner on the upstairs terrace. Delicious French-Vietnamese cuisine matched with eastern, tropical décor. // 5. Washington Park. Such a beautiful, provençal-style park with an antique fountain and lots of park bench readers, coffee drinkers, and city dwellers, young and old (you used to be able to find my 92 year old grandma out there on sunny days). // 6. BHLDN. Most brides can tell you, this is the spot. Even if you are not planning a wedding, take a stroll through this place and soak in the beauty. // 7. Lake Front. Just east of the Drake, there are some beautiful condo buildings which always have incredible floral arrangements right at the entrance. And who doesn't want to soak in the views of the bright blue water on a sunny, Chicago day? // 8. My parents' city digs. In the heart of the Gold Coast, it's our refuge and happy place. The rooftop pool has pretty rad views of the neighborhood.