Monday, March 21, 2011

Our Trip To Chicago

My hubby took the train to Chicago and arrived around 3pm. We didn't try to figure out the bus system yet and just took a cab to our hotel. My first time in a cab! It was crazy, they swerve in and out of traffic, stop short and drive fast! The hotel was beautiful and wonderful. The Hilton Chicago. I forgot to take a picture of that.

We went out for a walk around the south loop, where the hotel is located. We found this awesome library!

On the corners and at the top, there were these beautiful bird gargoyles. I think they were probably a bronze sort of material and were patinaed over time. This building took up a whole block and is near Columbia University. We really loved that it wasn't on the main shopping strip. We were able to get more local restuarants/pubs/markets and see locals.

Here is a close up of the gargoyle over the main entry. If you can make it out, the bird's holding a book. There were poems inscribed on the concrete around the library. The building was made out of granite and I loved every bit of it. If I lived in Chicago, I would be here every day.

We found a local pizza place, Lou Malnati's just a block behind our hotel. They had great pizza! It was classic Chicago deep dish. The cheese was a whole, thick layer on the pizza and the sausage was a patty pressed down into the dough and baked. So each pice had a layer of yummy sausage. We also added spinach, mushrooms and green bell peppers to ours. We had a nice red wine with it. Yum!

We had more fun walking around the streets here than we did on the Magnificent Mile shopping. Later that night, we ran into Buddy Guy's Blues club and hung out at Kitty O'Shea's pub in our hotel. It was mediocre. Two Irish-American brothers sang older Irish music. Kinda slow and boring.

The next day, we took the bus down to the Navy Pier and had lots of fun looking at everything there. There was a juggler in the main entryway and lots of neat restaurants. We ate one of the best hamburgers I've ever had at The Billy Goat Tavern. Cheezeborger, cheezeborger. Chips, no fries! *from the Saturday Night Live skit* Amazing! Then we walked through the indoor garden area.

There were fountains that spurted water from one ring to another. It was cool!
My hubby took this nice photo of me!
We took the bus down to the shopping on Michigan Avenue (the Magnificent Mile). We went into the Bulgari shop, Ann Taylor's, Craft and Barrow, the Ghiradelli shop (yum!) and the Hershey's shop. You could spend all day there. We stopped at Pippens pub to have a pint of beer. We saw a peace rally down the street at one point! We stopped at a Starbuck's for a coffee to warm up and watch the locals. Then to Fado's, an Irish pub for another pint of beer waiting for our reservations at The Melting Pot. It was a fondue dinner with 4 courses. How fun is that? Expensive, but fun. Then we went to Howl At the Moon, a dueling piano bar for a few hours. It was standing room only and loaded! There were two bridal showers going on with interesting, phallic headwear! We had a blast singing along and then went on our way back out onto the chilly streets. We found the bus stop and rode it back to the hotel.
We were still hungry because the Melting Pot didn't have a lot of food and it was late. We walked the nearly empty street until we found the South Loop Club, a pub and resaurant and ate excellent greasy, pub fare. I loved it!
The next morning we got up and ate at Yolk's a local breakfast place, only open until 3pm. We had to wait a while. The waiting area is standing room only, herded into a corner while you waited for your name to be called. But the food was great! I had crepes with sauteed peaches in them. They poured Grand Marnier over it and baked it. Wow! I wish I would have taken a photo of that! Then we caught a cab to Union Station and took the train home.
I can't wait till this summer. We are planning on taking the kids for a short weekend.
Seriously, married couples need to go on vacations by themselves once in a while. It's a blast!


Cate said...

Ah Chicago is wonderful! Glad you had a great time. :)

JenMarie said...


Jana said...

Wonderful, Jen! I'm seriously jealous of all the good food you got to eat and all that culture ya'll got to absorb. Mostly jealous of that pizza. hehehehe

Glad ya'll had a good time and got home safely. :)

JenMarie said...

Thanks, Jana. That pizza was really spectacular. When we take the kids this summer, we will probably have to eat there again. :)