Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Where's Willow? Chicago (Day 2)

Today we visited Little Village, or La Villita, on the South side of Chicago. Little Village is a primarily Mexican neighborhood with strong cultural ties that can be seen everywhere you look. Holly is Colombian, but grew up in the Little Village neighborhood. Willow enjoyed learning about Holly's old neighborhood, which is very dear to her heart. Willow is seen above near the archway welcoming those entering Little Village.

We stopped to see a painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico and an important cultural image. Holly told Willow how the mural has been around for years. She would see the mural daily on her way to and from school. 

Here is a clearer picture of the mural. 

Next we traveled to a different part of Little Village, where Farragut high school displays an extensive mosaic mural across its side.

Willow and Holly in front of Farragut high school's mural. 

"Learners today, leaders tomorrow. Aprendices hoy, lideres mañana"

A closeup on the mosaic tiles within the mural. 

We decided to stop into El Milagro, a taquería which sells authentic Mexican food. Pictured above is the restaurant, although they also sell their own El Milagro tortillas next door. 

The focal point of the restaurant is a wall dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The walls are adorned with images of bullfighters.

The line at the register was chaotic when we arrived, with a long line of customers waiting to place their orders. We waited a while to take the pictures of the empty restaurant, which was lucky!
 Willow and Holly took some pictures next to Our Lady of Guadalupe. The display is so large compared to the girls!
 The girls ordered tacos de bistec (steak tacos with cabbage, rice, and beans), tamal de fresa (strawberry tamale), and an horchata (rice water).

A mural adorns the side of the restaurant building. Unfortunately, there were cars blocking a complete view of the mural. 

We stopped inside Dulcelandia, a popular candy store that sells Mexican candy and piñatas, as well as other traditional party services. 

Look at all the candy and piñatas! 

I think Willow got a bit of a sugar rush just looking at all the candy!

She had fun picking out different candy and learning about Holly's favorite childhood treats.

Willow and Holly next to a piñata.

 Since this year's GOTY is an avid baker, we decided to check out a Mexican panadería, or bakery, nearby. 

Conchas, seen here in the top two rows, are one of Mexico's most famous pastries. Holly explained how her mom would bring conchas home after work, once in a while. 

Willow thought these cake slices looked delicious! 

More pastries were lined up, ready to be placed on the shelves. 

We headed home after a long day of braving the snowstorm hitting Chicago. Tomorrow we will be visiting Chicago's downtown area, where we will meet this year's GOTY, Grace!


  1. Willow's day was a treat for all the senses! Beautiful colors, smells, tastes, etc. The highschool mosaic is amazing!

  2. Thank you for posting such beautiful pictures! Living in California, I have been to many Mexican Restaurants, but haven't seen one decorated so well! And food looks really delicious!

  3. This post makes me hungry! Lucky Willow!

  4. I love the photos from your bakery stop. Cute pinata pictures too.

  5. Omg! I looooove #55 and Willow together! Also, I love both of their jackets! Especially #55's!

  6. Hello Willow and Holly,

    I am one of the owners of Dulcelandia candy store and I was very excited to see that you visited our Little Village Store.

    We are now hosting Piñata Birthday Parties inside of this candy store and we'd love to invite you back one day to build your own mini piñata as part of our "Piñata Workshop", as well as have fun jumping in our bouncers and breaking your own Jumbo Piñata inside of our custom built "Piñata Pit".

    Hope to see you back soon : )

    1. Thank you Jeanette! I have sampled your candies and they are delicious!