I was recently approached by a Chicago-based Professional Mom of 3, Kendra, to do a collaborative write-up on our home cities. I thought, “What a great idea to feature one of my readers in a collaborative post!” Coincidentally, I had considered relocating to Chicago a few months ago, and after doing my homework I realised just how awesome a city it is! You can of course read Kendra’s take on it below.
As for Melbourne, WOW, I can’t tell you how much there is to this city in 1 post. If you’ve read my blog, you’ll have seen bits and bobs featured before, but here’s a summary of some of my favourite parts:
Gosh, there’s so much good food in Melbourne, and foodies will attest to it being one of the best places for authentic multicultural cuisines across the board. If there’s one segment of food that I’d say it does well, it would be Asian! There’s your hole-in-the-wall places, trendy start-ups by young migrants, and Asian-fusion done by those who turned their love for it into a full-time job! My all-time favourite place to go is a Thai-fusion spot called Cookie in old Curtain House on Swanston St. This place not only has the best bar tenders in the city (they win competitions!) it has dishes to tickle your taste-buds and great service to boot! I’m always impressed with how their waiters know their stuff and can be rather playful at times! Click here to read about my Cookie visit.
Melbourne is now the fashion mecca of Australia, and we get the hottest runway shows, fashion festivals, exclusive boutiques and best shopping hotspots! There are so many designers and places to give your wallet a workout, but I’m just going to pick my favourite shopping hangout – Chapel St, South Yarra! This is a 2km long shopping strip with the greatest range of Australian designer boutiques, all the way to your international brands. Well worth a day to wander! If you head up the Windsor end of Chapel St, you can find more trendy restaurants, bars and hangouts to finish a full day of shopping.
Laneways & Coffee
If there’s one thing that Melbournians take seriously, it’s their coffee! They’ve become discerning consumers and picky for the best quality brew. Even the baristas here require official training courses to perfect that coffee for the day-to-day customer. So many people have their own opinion on where the best coffee is, but I’m going to let you know the place where I go, where people are happy, and where I see the most locals waiting to get a cuppa. Duke’s Coffee Roasters on Flinders Lane! This place opened up only a few weeks ago, and already they’re blazing a trail for locals that will walk blocks across the city for their coffee. I never see people leave without a smile. It’s located near one of Melbourne’s busiest laneways (Degraves St), which is what the city area is known for. The laneways will bustle with life and you’ll be surprised to walk passed one to see hundreds of people dining, live jazz bands, amazing graffiti art covering the entire side of the building! It’s all happening in the laneways. Check out Degraves St if you want to see a good example of Laneway Life!
Now there’s a lot more to Melbourne, with its arts, sports, music, annual festivals, the list goes on! But for the sake of keeping it sweet, I just wrote about my favourite parts. If you’re a local or have been here before, be sure to let me know your favourite parts in the comments!
KENDRA’s CHICAGO WRITE-UP
My Home, Sweet Home
As someone who loves to travel, it makes me happy to know that my own home city is filled with amazing places to visit and fun things to do. Regardless of the time of year, there are always an endless list of things to do, places to eat, and entertainment to enjoy. While the city is chock-full of neat places and good restaurants, here are a few of my local favorites.
1. If you’re a sports fan, there is no better city than Chicago to go catch a pro game. The city has four major sports teams: football (Bears), basketball (Bulls), baseball (Cubs and White Sox), and hockey (Blackhawks), and the fans are fully behind each of them. The Blackhawks just won the Stanley Cup last year (!!) and the games are always exciting and worth going to. Fun for all ages, a sports game is a great family event with non-stop action. Chicago fans are always excited, making for an energetic and fun atmosphere for everyone regardless of the type of sport you enjoy.
2. If you’re looking for a day of family fun, don’t miss out on Navy Pier Park. While the 150-foot tall Ferris wheel may seem touristy at first glance, it is so much fun and gives such a beautiful view that I can’t help but love it. It’s also filled with an amazing amount of history. Modeled after the world’s first Ferris wheel, which was built for the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition, it gives passengers a beautiful view of the city as the seats slowly rotate through the sky. The original Exposition was held in 1893 in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival. In addition to the Ferris wheel, the Pier has more fun rides, mini-golf, shopping, restaurants, and more!
3. The way Chicago was built and structured is something I have always been fascinated by. The downtown setup is unlike any other major city. The skyline of the city is beautiful, and I especially love it amidst the lights at nighttime. If you are ever visiting Chicago, I highly suggest staying in a hotel that is near the sights you wish to see. I have found the site gogobot to be especially helpful, offering good deals on hotels while also listing exhaustive user reviews on the different hotels.
There is a hotel available for all personalities, group sizes, and price ranges.
4. While there are plenty of restaurants in Chicago offering fine dining, it is usually much more enjoyable for my family when we go somewhere more laid back and fun. One of these places is Kuma’s Corner! This delicious burger joint makes one of the best burgers Chicago has to offer. The Kuma Burger comes with a fried egg, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion; this burger means business!
Regardless of your tastes for entertainment and food, the city of Chicago has something for everyone. Whether you prefer rural or metropolitan vacations, fast or slow paced, high-class or low-key, the city can provide it all. Even being a local, I’m constantly surprised by the things I find in Chicago, and love to see other people coming to enjoy everything that the city has to offer.