Friday, May 30, 2008

Chicago!!!

Blurry pic of me and pizza at Gino's East


Jewish deli-first stop on our food and cultural tour

The Spice House-TONS of great spices to choose fromTasting at Oil and Vinegar shop! It made me want a salad!


Beautiful house (big bucks!) on our tour! One of my faves!


The best Chicago Pizza!! I need to look up the name of the place. We'd highly recommend it!



Raspberry truffle and peanut butter chocolate from Ethel's Chocolate Lounge.

Millennium Park concert




The Mexx



Josh and the Lego Man!


Me and the Lego Man!

Navy Pier
Peanut Butter Fudge Sundae at Ghiradelli!


The view from the windows above our bed...pretty cool!

Josh and a pretty church


Art Institute



One of my favorite paintings


Descartes Coffee

Josh and I returned at midnight on Tuesday from a FUN 3 day/3 night trip to Chicago!! I am finally able to sit down and blog about it.

Since returning, I have been unpacking at least 20 boxes, that were in storage, of all of our extra decor, etc. At one point I was hopping over boxes just to get to the next room. But, after about 8-10 hours of unpacking, decorating, flattening boxes, etc., my house is almost good to go. It was kind of like Christmas-opening up all of the things I love, but had forgotten about! My house feels like mine again! I love that feeling!

Like most blogs about trips, this mostly for our own memories to reflect on later. But, I welcome you to read it or not...your choice:) You'll have to deal with my blogging about the food. That's my favorite part of any trip!

We arrived in Chicago on Saturday night and were STARVING! So, we went to Gino's East and had pepperoni deep dish pizza. Now, I have to be honest....I was not impressed. The crust and the pepperonis tasted like they were from a frozen pizza. Sorry, Chicago, but the deep dish pizza isn't for me! After that, we walked down Michigan Avenue for a bit and then went to bed.

Sunday morning we got up and the weather was absolutely gorgeous! We went to breakfast in the Gold Coast district at Corner Bakery. The local breakfast spots had very long lines. We walked around for a bit and then met up with our tour guide to go on the Food and Cultural Tour....VERY cool!! I am not in to tours and that sort of thing, but this was super fun and informative. It was a walking tour that last 31/2 hours and led us to a Jewish deli for latkes, a WONDERFUL tea shop for a glass of iced tea, a chocolate shop where we learned how they make their chocolate and we got multiple samples of toffee (yum!), a spice store where we could try any spices we wanted and learned the process of how they acquire their particular spices (they are 6 weeks old or less...very fresh), an oil and vinegar shop with the BEST balsamics I've ever tasted, a GREAT local pizza shop that has GOOD (wish we could have more) stuffed Chicago pizza (see pic), a shop for cheese samples and the last stop was Ethel's Chocolate Lounge....yummy chocolate and a great store concept! This was such a fun experience for us. It was great to go to the non-touristy spots where the locals actually eat, shop, live, etc. We saw lots of awesome houses that are millions of dollars, some historical, some not. And, we got to go to OZ park! Yes, all of the characters are there in statue form! After that fun event and resting up a bit, we went to Millennium Park for a concert on the lawn. It felt like a scene from a movie! There were toddlers dancing on the lawn to the orchestral music, families picnicking on the lawn and people just lounging around. We stayed there for a while and then went back to the Gold Coast district for some super Mexican food at the Mexx. I enjoyed chicken flautas and Josh had the tacos. The food was great and it was the perfect day for patio dining! After that, we grabbed some coffee from a local place and walked back to our hotel, The Omni.

Monday was our Michigan Avenue day. It was VERY hot and muggy! We grabbed Starbucks on our way to shop, had lunch at the Oak Tree (I wouldn't recommend it). Shopped all day up and down the mile and then headed back to the Gold Coast district (can you tell it was our favorite area???), purchased some tea from our favorite new tea store, and had dinner at Carmine's. It wasn't that good, but apparently it's a hot spot, because we saw Tommy LaSorta there...pretty cool! The Dodgers were in town for a game, so that's where he dined.

Tuesday was our last day. It went from 80ish degrees on Monday to about 40 degrees on Tuesday. It was SOOO cold and windy!!! We got up and went to a local breakfast joint that we had heard a lot about, The Original House of Pancakes. I must say this one was NOT overrated. It was really good!! I had a half order of their strawberry pancakes and they were the best, lightest, tastiest pancakes I've ever had! I ate 3 and could have eaten more, which is rare for pancakes! After that we checked out of our hotel, left our luggage with the hotel staff, and went to the Art Institute museum. It was fun to see all of the famous works! Some of the art truly is incredible! We walked around there and then had lunch in their garden restaurant, which was nice and relaxing. We headed back to our hotel after that, in the cold wind and stopped off for some coffee at a local coffee shop, Descartes Coffee...great atmosphere, not so great coffee, unfortunately. But, the place was super cute! We went back, got our luggage and headed to O'Hare.

Funny Story (maybe not as funny in writing...we'll see!)
While we waited for our evening flight, we stopped at the Chili's Too for dinner. We had quite the experience there, let me tell ya! While waiting for our waitress to take our order, I overheard her talking to the family next to us who was ordering a child's plate for their 3 year old. The waitress told them that they shouldn't order her her own meal and that she just needs to eat off of their plates. I was sitting their thinking, that really isn't her business, but oh well. But, when it was our time to order, I ordered a BOWL of chicken enchilada soup. Once my soup arrived in a CUP (didn't dawn on me at the time), Josh and I decided that we wanted chips and salsa, too. When I ordered those, the waitress informed me that I didn't need the chips and salsa and that she would just bring me a few on the side, because that was more than I needed. I was a little irritated to see the least. I sat there thinking, should I be offended? Is she saying that I'm too fat to have a bowl of soup and chips? If Chili's new about this, I think they might be a little irritated, because they lost at least $10 because she wouldn't let anyone order anything. Anyway, that made for an interesting time. I will say that I kept asking Josh if we were on a hidden camera show, because while I'll of that was going on, the guy at the table next to us was wearing headphones and drinking a beer and either couldn't hear himself or was too drunk to notice, but he burped OUT LOUD at least 3 times....very disgusting! It was hard not to laugh. But, no, we were not on a show, just around crazy people!

We made it home and have been on the run ever since. We had a really great time!! Our legs are very sore from all of the walking, but it was worth it!!
A special thanks to Josh's family for providing us with the means for this trip! It was a great way to celebrate Josh getting through 8 years of school! We truly enjoyed it!!! THANK YOU!!!!

1 comments:

orlinden@cox.net said...

you two are always going on fun trips!