Friday, September 21, 2007

I Want Candy.......

I spent the past four days at the All Candy Expo held every year in one of my favorite cities...the windy city Chicago. One of the reasons I love Chicago is Michigan Avenue. As you walk down the street the city is filled with that great energy that is in every big city but somehow it is a little bit different. It seems to me that Chicago is the perfect combination of San Francisco and New York. I love it. Michigan Avenue has huge planter boxes on every block and they are always filled with the most amazing assortment of plants and flowers. I am telling you they are not just flower beds but works of art. This year they also had great exhibit called Gardens of the Magnificent Mile. They asked students from the Art Institute of Chicago and the International Institute of Design and Technology to create a display using a dress form and place it in or near the flower beds. They were all amazing and this was one of my favorites.

We would usually eat up near the river and then walk down Michigan Avenue to our hotel every night. On the way to the hotel we would stop at the Apple store to check our email and play with all of the amazing toys.

I go to the candy show with my coworkers Lyle and Steve and actually they are both really fun to travel with. I love eating in Chicago. The day we arrived in Chicago we spent 8 hours setting up the booth. That is a total record long time in setting up the booth. I swear we were the last exhibitors in the whole hall setting up. It sort of freaked me out a little bit. We were so hungry by the time we finished with the booth we took a cab to the hotel and then ran across the street to the Cheesecake Factory. Thanks goodness it was so late we did not have to wait for a table. I had Avocado Egg Rolls and my brand new all time favorite......Chicken Costeleta. Oh my gosh after not eating anything since 7 am this could not have been any tastier I loved it. We also ate at the Weber Grill where I ate a hamburger at the only place I will eat hamburger. The last night we ate at Roy's Restaurant (Hawiian Fusion) with the Sweets Candy Co sales manager. I had black pepper crusted salmon and an amazing pineapple upside down cake.

Our hotel was the Seneca hotel right next to the John Hancock Building. This is a photo on the Hancock Building NOT our hotel.

The room I stayed in was very vintage. It reminded me of the Prohibition days. There were all sorts of little hidden closets that I was thinking Jimmy Hoffa might be buried in. My room had a kitchenette and I had to use an actual key, not a swipper card, to get into my room.

It seemed like the room may have been apartments a long time ago....I almost expected Roxy Heart from the movie Chicago walking down the hall in a flapper dress. It was fun.
I have never stayed in a room with this many locks on it.

The candy show is a lot of fun. There are all sorts of exhibitors there. Most are mass market type of companies Hershey, Ghirardelli, Mars, Jelly Belly etc.

Ghirardelli was debuting new candy bars so they made these cute cupcakes with frosting infused with the flavors of their bars......whatever I just loved the cupcakes and the little clear plates they served them on.

Dale Earnheart Jr was at the candy show debuting his new candy bar the Big Mo bar.......whatever. You can see a bit of his head in this photo.......

Joseph Schmidt was at the All Candy Expo creating these amazing pieces of chocolate art.

My new love of the candy show is Oreo Cakesters and Dill Pickle seasoned Pringles.....oh my gosh I am in LOVE.

The best thing about this show is the candy room. They give you a little bag and off you go into the candy room to fill this bag all the way to the top. When you walk into the room the smell of sugary sweet candy is overpowering and they are playing candy related music....the candy man, spoonful of sugar, big rock candy mountain etc. The candy room is great. I went to the candy room 2 times and could have gone few times more but by this time the extra bag I brought for bringing back treats was overflowing and I had to make myself stop. I must remember to bring a bigger bag next year.

This is the candy I brought home.

I gave Thatcher this lollipop...I love it.

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