Well dudes, Chi-town was everything I hoped it would be. That is 1) It's got tons of super fanny pack wearing opportunities in terms of tourist spots 2) There's more famous heart-attackable Chicago food than there is Philly food and 3) Kim and Emily were there. And were being awesome.
We breezed into town (Em from Denver and Kim from elsewhere, IL) and found our hotel, while chatting as if some of us hadn't just met a few minutes earlier. But honestly, I kind of expected that to happen. While I had already met, hung out with and loved Kim, I was pretty positive I was going to fall in blog love with Emily. She really is my mountain-living counterpart. SO anyway, first thing we had to do was find lunch. We were pointed to Portillo's for some good Chicago eats...like hot dogs and Italian Beef. The weirdos I dined with ordered burgers but I went with the beef. It was heeeeeeavenly. Yep, heavenly beef.
Afterwards, we headed up to the Magnificent Mile where we hit up Crate and Barrell and Room and Board. During this walk I realized two things 1) Chicago is freaking beautiful. Look at the tulips. They were EVERYWHERE. Brava Chicago, bra-va. Oh and 2) Chicagoans like to smoke cigs. Everywhere we went, we walked past a cloud of smoke. I'm not too annoyed by it, I was just surprised. As a former smoker, I had thought we were all banned to Siberia by now. So yeah, beef, smokes and tulips.
Kim had found us a nice place to stay, the Holiday Inn in the Chicago Sun Times building, overlooking um, a river? A canal? I'm not sure what we decided but either way, the area was awesome looking.
That night, a life dream came true. We saw a show at The Second City. And it was phenomenal. A mix between sketch comedy and improv, they had us cracking up throughout the whole show. And it was kinda cool to know that any member of the cast could get famous on SNL, ya know? So since John took me to see SNL years ago and I caught Kids in the Hall way back, my comedy bucket list has been accomplished.
My Chi-town bucket list also included a visit to any of Rick Bayless' restaurants. Well except for the airport taco stands he runs, that wouldn't count. His spots are notoriously hard to get into but we showed up to brunch nice and early and were able to get in no problem. While the restaurant was nice, it didn't seem overboard or ostentatious like you might exect from a celeb chef. But then again, Rick Bayless seems pretty laid back so that's probably it.
I'm no food blogger so all I do is slap a 1960's filter on my food pics and call it a day. But this food deserves so much more. It was insanely good.
Once again, we walked off the pounds by trucking it all over town. We had a mission to see the Bean. And we did it. It was pretty insane looking in person.
Then we headed off to Navy Pier, which was much smaller than I thought it would be. Which normally is a good thing, since you can check out every inch of it. But notsomuch a good thing when the place is overrun by fug cheerleader stage moms and their pre-pubescent daughters wearing tiny spandex booty shorts and glittery blue eyeshadow.
So we played "When will she get pregnant"? Did I mention we're horrible people?
Ok, so after stepping off the set of a future TLC show, we got on the Sea Dog, a boat boasting an "architecture tour". Hmmm. I'd probably call it a Chicago water tour more than an architecture tour but I don't remember because my brain pretty much froze. Once we left the dock, the already cool temperature dropped about 20 degrees. Add that to a speed boat ride with an awkward tour guide and we wanted to throw ourselves overboard just to end the torture.
So apparently I talk a big game on the ol blog here. A big drinking game. I was told this by Emily, upon meeting her for the first time ever in Chicago. Since I was gettin my Chicaga on this past weekend with two pregnant ladies, she fully expected me to booze enough for the three of us. It was almost like...a challenge? So when we finally sat down long enough for a meal, I tried to drink as much wine as I possibly could.
But it's hard to get drunk when you're piling 16 lbs of carbs into your belly. Enter deep dish pizza. I think we were at Gaetano's? I have no idea. It was across the street from the Sears Tower. It was bangin though. And the restaurant staff was really nice.
Another good idea? Don't drink a bottle of wine and eat deep dish, then head up to the 1400th floor of the Sears/Willis(Whatchu talkin' bout) and think it's a good time. Especially when you and your fellow old ladies get caught up in a group of 15 teenage bus tours. Needless to say, I didn't step out onto the plastic/glass/saran wrap ledge that you can see through. The other girls were less careful with their lives. Still, it's a pretty good view from the wuss spot.
The next day we had to head home. Although it was nice to finally travel without a hangover, I was sad to leave my buddies. We just think the same exact way and it's nice to know that you can say assholish things (mostly me) and know that they won't look at you crazy, ya know? So thanks for letting me say assholish things, Kim and Em. You're good gals.