Well, what can I say, there was never a dull minute in Chicago! We flew in on the day of a blizzard, with over 700 flights cancelled(luckily, our plane was the last one approved for landing), and proceeded to catch a cab to the Merchandise Mart. Over 3 hours later(for only 17 miles), we reached our destination, and were ready to set up. Somehow a trade show in the Windy City in the dead of winter is like a sauna in Las Vegas, in July–there is bound to be one melt down!
The week continued to stay interesting, with very colorful neighbors. One in particular was on the reality television show; Wife Swap. Her life consisted of an unruly homestead with 10 dogs, 4 cats, 2 birds, and a 200 pound goat(that lived inside the house)…oh yeah, and a husband and a daughter. Needless to say, you can imagine the stories that arose over the course of the show. Kept the time rolling. :o)
During the evenings, we found some great veg. eats: Karyn’s Cooked, a longtime favorite, that did not disappoint. Their extensive menu ranged from Kombucha, to at least 12 delectable deserts(all vegan!)….can you say YUM! Chicago Diner is another must – a little off the beaten track, but worth it. With entree’s that resemble any carnivores delight, using seitan, tofu, etc. High quality & super fun.
A new spot, Green Zebra, was a real treat to experience. Vegan nouveau with items like Pink Peppercorn & Thyme house made soda, to Crispy Sweet Potato Dumplings with crabapple ketchup, walnut-sage pistou + honey crisp apple. Unexpected pairings put this gourmet cafe high on the “will return” list. And to top it off, I was able to meet up with a fellow aromatherapist–BIG BONUS!
As far as my picks @ the show-
Green Daffodil takes the cake for soy candles, soy lip balms & other natural body care items. Their line is handmade, and vegan with a fresh look & feel.
As far as collectible art, glassworkonline took my breath away. With much of the inspiration coming from the sea(a spot close to my heart), artist Vaughan Anderson has an angel’s touch when it comes to glass. Of course, with my passion for sea turtles, I had to indulge in this piece. The attention to detail is mesmerizing! + it’s always such a pleasure to connect with the artist in person, and share stories of common threads.
And the journey continues to the Big Apple.
Next Stop: The New York International Gift Fair
If you are sensitive to synthetic fragrances, I would avoid the W hotel in Chicago. They have a “signature scent” sprayed throughout the property on a daily basis, that is more TOXIC than CHIC!