Weekend in Chicago: day 1

Hope you had a good weekend!  I’ve finally finished writing about our trip to Chicago.  There will be three posts today recapping our trip.

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We had an awesome weekend in Chicago.

We flew in Thursday after work and had a full day together before Mike’s conference started on Saturday morning.

Our trip started off on the right foot with a great breakfast at Yolk.

Yolk was recommended to us by the hotel’s concierge and was just my kind of breakfast place. Look at that menu.

I had the special pumpkin french toast and Mike had the special skillet. Everything was delicious. Look at that cream cheese swirl in the french toast.

After breakfast we walked over to Navy Pier to get tickets for the architecture boat tour.  The next tour was at 10:45 so we had about a half-hour to walk around Navy Pier.

The boat tour was so well done.  The guide was really knowledgable about Chicago history and architecture, and really passionate about it.  And he kept it entertaining. This was a great first activity, we got a history of the city and he pointed out buildings of interest that we may want to explore on foot.

I love the river in the center of the city. And the fact that it sits right on a lake too…amazing.

After the boat tour we went on the ferris wheel at Navy Pier.

(Ignore the cat actress in the photo above.  She totally creeped Mike out.)

Then it was on to lunch.  Of course we had to get a Chicago hot-dog. Mike asked the tour guide for a good place.  He said any place that has the Vienna Beef logo on their sign and recommended a place about 5 minutes away.  This wasn’t anything fancy. But it got the job done.

Chicago hot dog: all beef dog, tomato, mustard, pickle, onion, relish, and these spicy little peppers.

Mike wanted to see Union Station so we headed there after lunch.  There was a bus stop right outside the hot dog place and the bus went right near Union Station so we hopped on the bus, quick 10 mins or less ride and walked the rest of the way to Union Station.  There really wasn’t much to see at Union Station but we did see a sign for historic and legendary Route-66.

Then we walked to Millenium Park and saw the Bean.  I’m not sure the pictures do it justice but it’s a pretty neat thing.

After a nap, we walked to Lou Malnati’s for some Chicago deep-dish pizza. We got wrapped up chatting on walk and went a little out of way.  But we didn’t mind because it was a nice night and we were enjoying our conversation. Luckily there wasn’t much of a wait when we got there at 6:30–I think they said 25 mins.  We were expecting 45 or more.  So that was wonderful.  But even better was that they give you a menu when you put your name in and allow you to pre-order your pizza so you don’t have to wait 35-45 mins after you sit down for the pizza to come out.

There was a little bit of debate about what we’d order.  I was hoping for some type of veggie but Mike had a vision for this pizza.  He had seen a lot of TV shows about Chicago pizza and in every one the pizzas had sausage.  I suggested we add some veggies but then thought “you know what, he’s been so looking forward to this, and it’s totally his thing, so I’ll just let him get exactly what he’s been envisioning and let that be that.”  He was glad I did and then I was glad I did because it made him so happy. And he thanked me for going along with what he wanted to order.

I didn’t love the pizza.  I thought it was kind of bland and needed salt. I don’t love provolone cheese so that may have played a part too. But Mike was like a kid in a candy store. He absolutely loved it. He took the leftovers for breakfast the next day.

After dinner we went to Harry Caray‘s to grab a beer and watch the beginning of the World Series. Obviously, this wouldn’t be my first choice activity but I was glad we did it because it’s totally Mike’s kind of thing.  We were standing in the bar and Mike was telling me a story he’d heard on TV recently about a player from the Chicago cubs that was shunned after a missed ball and a reporter from ESPN that was assigned to find out what became of him.   He really came alive telling this story and as I listened I thought to myself “I love him like this.  This is Mike.  And he is so handsome right now.”

Our first day in Chicago was a wonderful day.

Check back at 1pm to see how I spent my day in Chicago while Mike was working on Saturday!

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