Part 1 can be found over here, just in case you missed it.
Sept. 2 – Chicago Day 2, Part 2.
My Chicago Blogger BFF – We water taxi-ed back to Navy Pier to meet Caryn, one of my blogger BFFs who I only just met in May at Bloggers in Sin City. I seriously cannot get enough of this girl and even though I’d only just seen her two weeks before when I stayed with her for the 20sb Summit, I was literally jumping up and down in anticipation to see her again AND to introduce her to Andrew. I’d met her fiance when I stayed with them and he was impressed with our similarly quirky ways and I was curious to see if Andrew would notice the same things. SPOILER ALERT: Andrew told me later that he wasn’t sure what it was that Caryn and I have, but whatever it is, we’ve got it. Not surprisingly, Andrew more than approves.
Once we gathered her up, Andrew declared his desire for beer, Chicago style, and Caryn recommended Goose Island.
Lunch. – Here’s the thing: I’d been really afraid this Chicago trip was going to totally derail the healthy-eating train Andrew and I had been for the past few months. We’d been really, really good. We’d been eating green leafy things and smashing our faces with greasy and fatty foods only in moderation. But, the other thing is this: By 2pm on our first full day in Chicago, we’d already walked something like 3 miles, ALSO, we were on VACATION and I needed to shut the fuck up and stop being such a spazz.
So, I got the mac & cheese.
On the menu the mac & cheese is described as such: wild mushrooms, parmesan, bechamel, breadcrumbs, purslane salad, so really, how could I resist. It was wonderful and exactly the sort of deliciousness I needed to refuel after an exceptionally busy morning. You just can’t go wrong with mac & cheese and this meal included three of my most favorite things: beer, pasta & cheese. It’s a trifecta of amazingness, to be sure.
As for the beer, it was okay. I had a 312, a light wheat beer that I found lacking in flavor but that I had to get because my birthday is 3/12 and I’m a sucker for things with any vague relationship to my birthday. The other beers enjoyed by Caryn and Andrew were, however, pretty damn delicious.
I’m on a Boat! – Everyone we’d ever talked to about Chicago told us we HAD to do an architecture tour, and, if we were going to do it, we might as well do it on a boat. We picked Wendella Boat Tours, since it was both close to our hotel and recommended by Caryn and our Frommer’s City Guide. We opted for the Lake AND River tour, seeing as it was the same price as the River Tour ($26).
Lucky us yet again, Andrew and I got a free pass to the Boat Tour with our military IDs, bumping our total savings for the day to $122 (!!).
While on a boat, I:
- Learned whole piles of information about Chicago’s beautiful architecture.
- Went through the locks that separate the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.
- Realized and learned that a lot of Chicago’s skyline has been built within the past 20 or so years.
- Got to spend more time with Caryn and Andrew and I honestly, no shit, had tears well up in my eyes because my heart felt so full of happiness at being able to spend an absolutely amazing day with two of my most favorite people in the whole entire world. I’m not sure when I became such a sappy sap, but apparently Chicago is really good at making me cry, in a good way.
- Had an absolutely incredible time on the boat and would recommend a water architecture tour as an absolute must do for anyone visiting Chicago.
Later. – Dinner was had in Chinatown, an area I’m sure I wouldn’t have ventured had I not had Caryn and her fiance to guide us there. I’ve said it over and over and over again – the best thing about this blogging thing is meeting people in places you want to visit and then getting them to show you around to all the best places. The worst part? Loving people in far away places and not getting to see them more than a few times a year.
Still to come: Wrigley, #BiSCuit’s, deep dish pizza, more mac and cheese, comedy and the many more miles walked.