Chicago Recap (part 1)

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A few weeks ago I went to a music festival in Chicago called Lollapalooza! My BFF Emily and I spent two days at the festival and two days wandering around downtown Chicago.


Friends and I drove from northern Michigan to Chicago on Wednesday evening, then we spent the night at their house. We stopped at Panera Bread on the way, which surprisingly had a few vegan options! I ordered the Mediterranean salad minus cheese.

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Thursday:

We got up, ate breakfast (I brought pumpkin date scones), got ready, and went to day one of Lollapalooza!

Here’s what Lollapalooza, or Lolla for short, is like: lots of people, and therefore lots of good people-watching. Lots of smoke. Lots of alcohol (which we refrained from). Lots of noise, from people and from instruments. Lots of standing. Lots of food. It’s a festival of plenty.

We had to wait in line for about fifteen minutes to get our bags searched to get into the festival, and in line, we noticed people from all over the U.S., as well as multiple drunk people- and it was only 2 pm.

When we got into the festival, we scurried from one concert to the next. Emily and I saw…

  • Melanie Martinez– highlights were “Dollhouse” and “Cake.” She was great live! It was a wonderful concert with which to open my first festival experience*.I highly recommend listening to her upbeat, spunky music- keep in mind though that she does swear quite a bit.
  • Bastille– highlights were “Good Grief” and “Pompeii” (of course). We were pretty far away, but it was still fun to listen to this British band. They were also great live.

*It rained during the Melanie Martinez concert, then just as we were finally dry at the Bastille concert it POURED. If you go to a festival, be prepared for all weather! Here’s Emily and I right before we were poured upon at Bastille.

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  • Daughter– we didn’t stay too long at this one because even though I like Daughter, their music is pretty slow and not the best to jam out to… which is what we wanted to do. I prefer listening to their music in the winter or while I’m doing something pretty “low key,” like editing pictures.
  • The 1975– highlights were “The Sound,” “Chocolate,” and “She’s American.” The lead singer, Matty, had so much energy and was such a great performer as he was very expressive and good at singing live**! I recommend listening to their music- at any time.

**Oh yeah, we witnessed a random girl peeing in the middle of the crowd during the 1975 concert. She literally just lifted up her dress and started peeing in the grass while everyone around her stepped away from her as quickly as they could. Note to everyone at music festivals- if you have to pee, please either hold it or leave. We don’t want to watch you do your business. K thanks!! Below is the 1975 concert. 

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  • a random DJ, which was fun to dance (specifically dab) to. Do you have a favorite dance move? I love dabbing.
  • J. Cole- we didn’t know any of his songs… but it was basically just swear word after swear word. Haha.
  • Lana Del Ray– like Daughter, this was a slower concert so it wasn’t the best show to end the night on. However, it was fun to sing along to some of her well-known songs such as “Summertime Sadness” and “Young and Beautiful.”

After the festival, we went back to our friends’ house, ate some food (I’m surprised at how hungry I was post-concert), and went to bed.

By the way, the food at the concert was pretty tasty and reasonably priced (for a big city)! Emily and I split the BEST FRIES I’ve ever had in my entire life- (vegan!) Triple Truffle Fries from the Franks ‘n Dawgs food booth. Basically the best $6 ever spent.

I also got a $3 mango popsicle that was very fruity and good. I was super healthy on Thursday (NOT). Heh.

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Friday

We woke up and explored Bucktown, the Chicago neighborhood where our friends live. We stopped in a few shops and ate Miko’s Italian ice, which was quite good. I tried mango and strawberry, and the cold treat was very smooth and fruity.

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Then Emily and I took the “L” train downtown to a hotel since our friends were heading back up north. It started raining, so we spent the rest of the day eating food and wandering around shops (ZARA, Topshop, Sephora, Urban Outfitters, Books-a-Million, Target, etc.). I also squeezed in a workout at the hotel.

We tried Native Foods Café, an entirely VEGAN CHAIN restaurant, for lunch thanks to a recommendation via Instagram. It was so nice to be able to pick whatever I wanted on the menu!!

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Our lunch experience was great. You go up to the counter and order like at fast food restaurants, but our food was delivered to our table unlike at fast food restaurants. The food was kind of expensive ($28 for 2 meals and a dessert to share), but the portions were HUGE and the food was healthy, vegan, and tasty so it was WORTH IT.

I got the Bangkok Curry Bowl because I was curious about the “tofu steak” advertised as being in it. While the tofu in the bowl didn’t end up being much like real steak, the meal was still good. The bowl, which was basically two servings, was full of steamed veggies, kale, brown rice, tofu, and coconut milk red curry.

Emily ordered the Thai Meaitball Bowl, Seitan “meatballs” tossed with mango-lime chili sauce on a bed of quinoa, kale, and other vegetables. Both meals were good, but I think next time I’ll try the soul bowl (fried “chicken” and beans, rice, veggies, ranch, BBQ sauce, and cornbread) or a burger.

For dessert, we split the peanut butter parfait, creamy peanut butter mousse topped with banana bread crumbles and chocolate chips. I have to recreate it because it was so good!

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It cleared up weather-wise right before dinner, so Emily and I decided to walk around downtown to find a good place to eat. Not the best idea. Moral of the story is to figure out where you want to eat beforehand. We walked for more than an HOUR and couldn’t find a restaurant we wanted to eat at, so we finally went back to the hotel and asked the concierge for a restaurant recommendation. We ended up going to the Marq, a somewhat fancy restaurant about a block from our hotel, since we were tired of walking. Service was fast, which was good because we were hungry!

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Emily ordered the Mediterranean salad and I got the Watermelon Farro Salad (minus cheese) because I was curious as to how watermelon would taste in a salad. Answer? Good! The salad was quite refreshing as it consisted of farro, watermelon, corn, edamame, basil, and a sriracha lime vinaigrette. After dinner we went back to the hotel and crawled into bed so we’d be ready for another full day of adventure.


I’ll be back tomorrow morning with part two of my trip! I had to split the post into two parts because I take too many pictures and use too many words. 😉

xx Ellie

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