Sweet heavenly love – I dig Chicago. I could go every weekend and never tire of it. Someone said Chicago is so great because it’s a big city that encompasses all the great things a big city should have, but it’s still in the Midwest so it features that sweet Midwest spirit.
I believe it. While the buildings may be tall, and the flow of traffic punctuated with a horn every nine seconds, my experience is that people are just plain “nice” in Chicago.
Lord knows I loves me some nice people.
This trip was not for me, but for my son and his step-sister. My best friend, his daughter and myself got the cool assignment of accompanying them to Chicago for a back to school blow-out.
I loved every minute of it. (That’s a total lie, but it sounds nice. The truth is I was EXHAUSTED and I missed the memo that teenagers have 90.9999% more energy than ladies in their forties.)
I mainly watched them watching Chicago, and that part was ten kinds of awesome. I’ll always remember it.
We stayed at the Comfort Suites at 320 N. Michigan, so we were in a great spot to check out all the cool things on the famous Magnificent Mile. Nat at Comfort Suites was a lovely hostess for us. She met us at the front door with hugs, and our penthouse suite had a lovely note from her personally with an ice bucket of cold drinks and an arrangement of snacks. It was such a fantastic thing for us after a long day of travel to be met with such hospitality.
All of us spent a lot of time just looking out the window. If it was a mind-blowing view during the day, at night it was so amazing I hardly wanted to fall asleep.
My friend and I took the kids to his favorite pizza joint, and I guess everyone who’s ever lived in Chicago has one. Lou’s delighted the kids as the pizza there was unlike any they’d ever had. We ordered a thin crust, and of course, the traditional crust for Chicago. I love the smile on my son’s face in this photo – on all the kids’ faces.
We took them to Billy Goat Tavern. Cheezborger.Â Cheezborger. No Pepsi. Coke! Cheep. Remember the Belushi – Ackroyd skit??? It was a super cool experience for me, and although the nostalgia was lost on all but one of the three kids, they enjoyed the cheezborgers.
We walked up and down Michigan Avenue at least 7502 times. They took 90,548 photos of the things they saw as well as themselves. 🙂
We took them on an evening cruise to see the lights of the city from the water, and to get a great look at the fireworks off Navy Pier. It was a truly memorable experience and one I don’t think any of us will ever forget.
There was Garrett’s Chicago Mix popcorn – naturally. I ate so much of it, I think my blood is now at least 2/3 cheese.
We had dinner at Bandera, and we all kind of went nuts over their cornbread. It’s a must when you visit Chicago.
We went to the Field Museum, which the kids affectionately now refer to as The Taxidermy Museum. We could have skipped the miles of dead, stuffed, animals all together. But once we had paid so much to get in, we decided we better get our money’s worth. We left no dead thing unseen.Â There was a potentially cool 3-D movie inside that we paid to see, but one of the kids said she couldn’t see a 3-D movie. She said it was because of her eyes and the passion with which she expressed the fact she couldn’t see it led me to believe she’d spontaneously burst into flames if she went in, so we had to pass. I learned later we could have seen it – she only suffers from some affliction that means the 3-D effect is lost on her. Fire would not have shot out her eyeballs after all.
We went to Millenium Park and stood in front of a giant silver bean. You can see us in the reflection being all touristy.
We spent hours upon hours in the Art Institute. I stood within inches of Van Gogh and got lost in the thickness of his brush strokes. I teared up just being that near to something he’d created. I always do when I have the chance to see his work. Finally exhausted, I sat down and waited for the kids to finish their own discovery of the museum.
There were lots of moments I’ll always remember about this trip to Chicago. Seeing my son and the two girls enjoying the experience so much was a delight to my heart. Watching them snap photos, taste new foods, see new things – it was such a blessing. I don’t know when I’ll get back to Chicago, but I hope it’s sooner rather than later. I hope the very same for YOU.