One way to have a fantastic road trip is to pack food ingredients that make easy meals and stay in hotels that offer great service at a great price point. Blueberry Maple Parfaits make an easy breakfast ‘to go’ and those plastic hotel cups make a perfect throw away dish!
We love our parfaits so it is little wonder we took them on the road for an easy breakfast. Most of the hotels we stayed at had breakfast included, but one did not. While the breakfast menu was affordable, we thought it was a good time to take a break and make it ourselves. We had packed our favorite yogurt in ice and had plenty of blueberries from our blueberry picking expedition earlier in the week, knowing t would make a quick and easy breakfast.
Before my family dropped me off for my line up of conference sessions for the day I put together one of our favorite parfait combinations, adding some cereal to the blueberry and maple combo for crunch. There’s nothing quite so satisfying in a breakfast parfait like that little bit of crunch and each of my kids likes it layered a little different – one likes the crunch in the middle layer, another likes it as a topper, and the third doesn’t really care where it is as long as it’s there.
Best Western River North
But before I share how we make these parfaits I need to rave a bit about the hotel. We have several chains we love to stay at when traveling (Choice, Marriott, and Best Western top our list).
However, ever since we stayed at a Best Western on our honeymoon (almost 14 years ago), we have loved them. We have never had a bad experience at one of them in 14 years. Because of that, when a friend was booking a last minute trip to Chicago, I recommended the hotel I had booked but hadn’t stayed at yet. You know that could go horribly wrong. However, it didn’t. My friends had a great stay and I was even more relaxed, knowing it would be highly unlikely that we would experience anything different.
Best Western River North is indeed a great place to stay. The staff is friendly and courteous from parking to check in to cleaning. The rooms are clean – like REALLY clean, even under the edge of the bed, where you never know what a kid will pull out – erasers, an Angry Bird stuffed animal, and one black sock are the most exciting things we found in the past at other unnamed hotels. No surprises left behind here!
The rooms are spacious and they have an indoor pool on the top floor. That pool was a lifesaver! Let the kids loose and really tire them out! Plus affordable room service. THAT is perfect for families who are tired after a long day.
Speaking of tired, the absolute best thing about this hotel is that we were able to stay in one room. Finding a hotel that would let us keep all 3 kids in the room with us was difficult and it was a relief to me that we could add a rollaway cot and keep everyone together. I’m sure the reasons are for safety due to many hotel room sizes, but it still makes it difficult for ‘more than 4’. They do not have many tv channels but do offer pay-per-view and have free wi-fi. Being able to let the kids wind down with a Netflix show on the tablet was so helpful.
The hotel is in the city and there were plenty of dining options within view of our room, including Portillo’s – a must-stop for any tourist. We loved that we had the option to book a room with free parking and in and out privileges so we were able to come and go as we wished, but public transportation is easily accessible.
The city itself isn’t difficult to navigate when you have GPS but getting tips from a local is even better and our hotel staff kindly shared the quickest route to the area I would be every day, making my husband’s chauffeur responsibilities much easier. It also made me rest easier knowing he had good solid directions. But now for that Blueberry Maple Parfait that even the kids can make!
Blueberry Maple Parfaits
- Start with a tart unsweetened yogurt. Fill your cup about half way.
- Add a generous layer of fresh plump blueberries.
- Sprinkle in a layer of your favorite granola or bran cereal.
- Add another generous scoop of yogurt.
- Throw in just a few more blueberries.
- Sprinkle on just a bit more cereal.
- Drizzle a bit of maple syrup over top.
Now let’s go on with our day, shall we?
This is the day my family is exploring Chicago Botanic Garden.