Our first spotlight feature is on none other than one half of our fearless leader duo- Fritz Heffinger! Read on to see some of his fave things to do, see and eat in Chicago and beyond!
WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT CHICAGO:
The people. We all say it and we all know it but im putting it in writing, NYC and LA locals are a different breed. Here in Chicago we get the major market with that almost small town feel.
Summer/Winter: Yep ill say it, without the winter suffer the summer would not be so awesome.
Walking. I love that almost every hood is walkable. Every place I have lived in the city I have found those only the people in the neighborhood know about spots and so many people are doing the same thing!
My Neighborhood. Those of you who haven’t been over (you should come anytime) wont really understand what I am about to say. It is literally what feels like a true pocket cut out right in the middle of the city that is private. Our neighbors are amazing and always helping watch each others kids, share garage codes for beer fridges and just hanging out. Having kids in the city isn’t the easiest but I will tell you with the hood we moved into it couldn’t be easier or more fun.
BEST BITES IN CHICAGO
LA GONDOLA!!!! Hands down the best kept secret in the city. The food is amazing and the service is just as good. It is a place that 99% of Chicago wont go to because of judging a book by its cover which s why I love it even more!
Hero Coffee on Roscoe. This place not only makes a mean espresso but their breakfast bagel sammys…… OH MY GOD they are a life saver on the weekends. It is just close enough to my house to walk but just far enough that if I take the kids on their bike/scooter they are tired when we get home.
Café Tola. Been going there for coffee and empanadas when they just opened their first shop on Roscoe. The Husband/Wife team that owns it knows me by name. Since we moved it is a hike of a walk but about once a month I make the walk with the kids and see them and go by Wrigley field!
Fernando’s! Now Fernando’s is by far a neighborhood place. I don’t know if I would travel across the city to go to it but they have a huge Mexican menu and insanely good and strong margs! That and they are super kid friendly! They don’t care if the kids are loud and in fact most of the servers come by and talk with the kids to.
WHAT YOU LOVE TO DO OUTSIDE OF CHICAGO:
Camping. I love to take my kids out on mini adventures between 1-3 hours outside the city in our camper van. These usually turn into find cool little towns and shops we go back to time and time again
Family cabin. Located 6 hours from our house in northern WI. I have been going up to the same house since I was born and more lately it has been really fun showing my kids what I used to do as a kid. From lake time waterskiing, to finding sled hills in the woods in the winter.
SNOWBOARDING. This is a sport I love and have been doing it since I was 5. I am trying to make a goal to get out west once a year but lately it has been hard so I usually go in Wisconsin to get a quick fix. I wax my own boards, usually try to be first on the lift and last of the mountain (hill).
Kansas City. I love this place. Holly and I got married there we have tons of family and friends there and it always feels like home everytime we go. We still feel like locals and love to see all the new things coming in to town there.
FAVORITE THINGS YOU DID THIS SUMMER:
Road trip. We packed the car up and took the family from Chicago to Cali and back! Hitting spots like Rushmore, Yellowstone, Salt Lake, Tahoe and Napa! My kids are almost to the team sports age and I know both will be heavily involved, so a road trip like this will be hard to pull off with our future schedule. I have been saying it for years and am finally glad we got to knock it out this summer - it was the best!
MUSIC. I love live music and I love the outdoor venues in the city. From Dead and Co to Phish to Bare Naked Ladies (yes I said it) I saw a few shows this summer and have tie dye shirts from the merch tent to prove it!
Street fests. This is a ton of fun especially with kids (or without). Great food tons to do and tons for the kids. Just with in a mile of my house there were 8 festivals that are amazing options for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
Relaxing. Even with the road trip we planned, we had a bunch of “zero plans weekends” later in the summer that I used the crap out of to do nothing, well not nothing- but nothing planned! We would wake up and decide oh lets do this or that which was pretty epic!