Anna Maria Locke

Chicago weekend staycation || TAKE TWO

(photo credit: TSNY

Oh hey. Remember when I posted about the epic Chicago Staycation Weekend Ben and I had a few weeks ago? I think I might have just topped it. This has officially been the craziest and busiest summer I've experienced since moving to the city in 2012 and I am absolutely loving it, while also trying to slow down and appreciate the present moment as much as possible!

My high school intern program officially ended last week, so I was lucky to get a three day weekend as I transition back into the normal Monday-Friday work week again! My best friend Anna came up Thursday night for some girl time, and in typical A^2 fashion we went all out.

Starting with Friday breakfast.

Backstory: I have been lusting after this frozen banana soft serve maker called the Yonanas for months, but haven't been able to justify the purchase since you can blend frozen bananas in a food processor and get the same delicious end result, it's just messier and less fun. AND THEN Ben and I were getting our weekly grocery haul at Aldi last and I found a generic Yonanas maker for only $29.99 in the magical aisle of random household goods! I WAS SO EXCITED! Aldi has slowly infiltrated my life from the random semi-creepy place my grandma always dragged us through as children, to my all time favorite grocery store. They are seriously stepping up their game lately and if you have an Aldi near you I highly recommend checking it out! It's an experience and worth a blog post in itself.

But back to this generic Yonanas maker! It is awesome. You add frozen bananas or any frozen fruit and it grinds it down into a creamy and indulgent sorbet. Magic, I tell you!

So Anna and I made the most epic bowl of cinnamon walnut oatmeal ever. I am going to start topping everything with banana soft serve!

After breakfast, we showered (oh yeah, plus we ran almost five miles before breakfast because that's how we roll) and went on a SECRET MISSION that I'm not allowed to talk about. It was fun. This is the only clue I'll share: IV

Then we hit up Native Foods Cafe for some delicious vegan comfort food! Once we were all fueled up, we headed downtown and proceeded to shop until we dropped.

Since epic is the name of the game, we decided to land at one of the best rooftop bars in the city for happy hour.

It was fun to enjoy the view of the Farm in the Zoo from above! All summer I was stationed out of the farmhouse that is hidden by the trees to the left of that barn.

We made our way through several of these delicious concoctions (the Bramble On and Summer Harvest are my personal faves)...

And then we took a selfie.

And ordered a delicious cheese plate.

Then Ben crashed the girls day, and we ended up meeting up with some more friends for dinner at our favorite BBQ place, Sheffield's!

Saturday morning, we woke up and sweat out all the cocktails at spin class. Then I joined up with my sister in law Ashley and her crew to celebrate her bachelorette party! We got lunch at an adorable and cozy library themed place called Wilde, which I can't wait to re-visit in the winter. Then we had a relaxing afternoon with some shopping, pedicures, ice cream, and ended up in Belmont Harbor for trapeze class! This was the only requirement Ashley had for her bachelorette, and I must admit we all thought she was a little crazy when we first arrived....

I've always wished I could fly!

It ended up being the most incredible and exhilarating experience! Ashley and I loved it so much we signed up for two more classes on the spot. I blame the adrenaline...but seriously, I highly recommend taking a class with the Trapeze School New York. They have locations all over the country and it is SO fun! Although two days later my back and upper abs are still more sore than they've ever been.

And of course, an epic weekend wouldn't be complete without some sort of frozen treat. I am trying to maintain a balance between active/healthy and fun/indulgent this summer, and I think it's going pretty well so far! Even though Ben has officially gone back to school, we still have 6 weeks of the season left. So re-visit that summer bucket list and make it happen!

(all trapeze action shots c/o TSNY