New Year’s Eve Weekend in Chicago!

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I decided that since for the past 5 years I’ve spent New Year’s Eve working that this year that sounded like a terrible idea. I was thinking to myself what I could do for New Year’s Eve. Disney World? That’s no fun going to solo and also expensive. Las Vegas? Would be fun going to solo, but yet again.. expensive. Then I remember seeing a Facebook post from Real Friends of them doing two-holiday shows at the end of the year at The Metro with Knuckle Puck, and also This Wild Life and Hot Mulligan on December 29th and Homesafe and Free Throw on December 30th. So I was like Bingo!

I drove up to Chicago from Memphis, Tennessee at 5 am. I got off work at 1:30 am. It’s about a 550 mile drive from my house. Took me 12 hours due to my body I guess really didn’t like this jalapeño cheddar hot dog from Love’s truck stop in Blytheville, Arkansas and did not settle well. Lesson learned. So essentially I was up for over 24 hours. It was not an eventful drive.

When driving up north during the winter time, running into snow is always a possibility. I didn’t run into any snow until I got into the Chicago area. Also isn’t fun when there’s a rush hour as well going on and visibility is poor.  I arrived at my hotel at 6 pm. Fell asleep around 7 pm. Here is my car when I woke up in the morning. Also not sure why my car isn’t covered in snow and the car next to me was considering I was there before them. My car is the black Hyundai Tucson.




What did I eat while in Chicago?

Great Question. I sought out hot wings Friday, then after realizing Chicago is very expensive to park in. I just dealt with whatever was around me whether nearby my hotel or nearby the concert venue.


R.J. Grunts on 2056 Lincoln Park West (nearby the Lincoln Park Zoo)


8 HOT WINGS IN THEIR BUFFALO SAUCE! This buffalo sauce reminded me of the taste of the buffalo sauce in Canada that I never could place my mouth on in the thousands of wing places I’ve been to in the United States for some reason. It has this subtle hint of a tang to it, but still that slightly spicy buffalo sauce taste I love. (they have spicier sauces than I got) Then these wings are piled on top of onion ring straws, gave it such a delicious taste on the bottom of the wings. I saw these wings on Instagram after looking up some #ChicagoEats photos and this one won by how it looked. Now that I tasted them definitely could be one of the best places for hot wings in the United States of America. Check them out!


Azteca Grill on 3731 North Clark Street (right across the street from The Metro concert venue)


I was drinking a Guinness at Full Shilling Public House and I all of a sudden got really hungry and I was looking up restaurants around the area on Instagram to see what looked good. I saw someone posted this Enchilado Suizo Burrito and I was like I HAVE TO HAVE THIS!! This burrito was perfect! I chose pastor (spicy pork) as my protein. This burrito is topped with melted cheese and they had like three different sauces going on in this burrito! Then inside they had lettuce, pico de gallo, beans, and corn inside. I don’t usually let Instagram dictate where I go, but when I do they never disappoint and this was no exception. Such a great tasting burrito to eat on a frigid night in Chicago! Will be back if I’m ever attending a concert at The Metro again


Here is that Guinness I had at Full Shilling Public House

A Guinness is a perfect beer to have in the winter. Something about being cold (or in Chicago’s case, having frostbite) and having this dry stout mixes perfectly.


I also had White Castle twice as it was across the street from my hotel. Then on New Year’s Eve night, I used the gift card my mother gave me for Christmas to Hooters.

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, and beans! (they made me get a side) I try to stay away from the hot wings from Hooters. I won’t write about my negative opinions on that, but I would rather have a buffalo chicken sandwich from the establishment. It’s served with your choice of any of their sauces, I just went with their hot sauce which was a good choice.


Real Friends on December 29th, 2017 at The Metro!


I would have loved to of gone down to The Bean while in Chicago, but due to it being too cold to even walk to my car and back from my hotel room while my car was right in front of my room. I didn’t think that would be such good idea. However, here is a picture I took of The Bean back in September 2015. In a much more enjoyable temperature might I add. (this photo was taken with an iPhone 5s I had at the time)



Here is a better picture of the snow in -13F (or -25C) on my way home, this is at a Rest Area nearby Kankakee, Illinois on my drive back home from Chicago.


How many times do I have to tell you.. I don’t want any turkey, I just want Effingham!


….And that was my road trip to Chicago. I will definitely spend New Year’s Eve somewhere warm next time. I enjoyed it though while I was there. It was something to do. If you plan on going to Chicago in the Winter, bring lots of layers. Lots of  lots of lots of layers!



*All photographs were taken with my iPhone 7+

  1. Kalyani says

    Chicago sounds like a great place to celebrate New Years Eve! The food makes me want to take a road trip right now! 😀 (not the hot dog pic though Ill take your advice and just pass that stop haha). That is pretty funny about your car not having any snow on it ^^ It knew you had adventures to partake in!

    Wishing you much luck and success in the New Year!!

  2. Karla Houston says

    this looks fun! are you originally from memphis? that’s one hell of a drive for NYE, makes my staycation here in LA seem boring lol. I love to see people living their life. thanks for the great read.

  3. Natalie Courbet says

    A lot of thought went into this one, and it was great to read! The food all looks delicious!! Happy new year Zack!! Xx

  4. Pam says

    Sucks that you had to visit when it was unusually cold :S

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