Joanna Hope


08.2019 Chicago



  • Dates: Sunday, August 11 - Wednesday, August 14 2019

  • Occasion: Work Travel Monday & Tuesday for Capital One (77 Wacker Dr)

    • I went for training, Monday afternoon and Tuesday 9 - 5, so Dennis and I only had Sunday, Monday morning/night, and Tuesday night for exploring.

  • Hotel: Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel (1 W Wacker Dr, $350/Night, 4.5 star hotel)

    • Other recs were Londonhouse and the Wyndham, but I wanted Marriott points. We had a double queen size bed on the 9th floor with a beautiful view. Extremely central to everything.



  • The Bean (going in the afternoon on a Sunday was a mistake, so crowded)

  • Chicago Architecture River Cruise at Chicago’s First Lady


  • Lunch: Lou Malnati
    The most classic Chicago deep dish pizza. Dennis was convinced we needed the medium and overestimated how much we could eat, only finished half. The 3 cheese bread was also really good. This may be blasphemy but I personally still think our SF go to deep dish pizza Little Star is better.

  • Dinner: Shaw’s Crab House
    Very expensive but really good seafood spot. Went to celebrate Hannah’s dad’s birthday. The calamari was really good as was the lobster bisque.

  • Drinks/Views: Londonhouse

    Super crowded but snagged a seat in the corner and enjoy the view of the city with the Kao’s.



  • The Bean + Buckingham Fountain
    I want to do all my traveling on a Monday morning. Since we were going to Wildberry Pancakes in the morning before the Tour (before work) we were up around 6:30. It was dead quiet at all the big touristy spots and it was a nice walk around the park.

  • Wrigley Stadium Tour
    Sadly there weren’t any home games so we did the Wrigley Field Tour which lasts 90 minutes. This was definitely more for Dennis than for me but it was cool to learn about the history of the stadium (second oldest! after Fenway). We got to go to the dugout, visiting team club house (which is sad looking but cool that some of the biggest baseball names were ones there - even Michael Jordan!), media box etc. The tour guide was also great and really knowledgable.


  • Breakfast: Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe
    Got my usual benedict and Dennis got chocolate pancakes. Also ordered a white mocha, which was pretty good. Portions were huge and a great meal and we didn’t have to wait on a Monday morning, but I don’t think it would be worth the normal 1 hour weekend wait.

  • Dinner: Ramen-San

  • Dessert: Firecracker Donuts



  • 10Pin Bowling Lounge (work event)

  • Walk through Magnificent Mile (shopping) on the way to the Nike Store + Lab, which wasnt that exciting. But I liked all the storefronts and the cool floral installations on the sidewalk.


  • Dinner: Gyu-kaku Japanese BBQ

Joanna Tsai