Sept. 3 – Chicago Day 3.
Wrigley Field. – I did not grow up in a sports-centric or even sports-aware household and spent much of my early years, and even a large chunk of my 20s, blissfully assuming sports were dumb and that I would not enjoy any sort of exposure to any sort of sporting event ever. And then I married Andrew, who is necessarily a sports fanatic, but is from the Detroit metropolitan area and was thus born with a strong love of Lions and Tigers and Redwings (oh my!), and so, in my love of this man from Michigan, I gained an exposure to sports, mostly hockey and baseball. At my first hockey game I learned that sporting events are places were passionate yelling is acceptable, even encouraged. I like yelling. I like passion, and so it followed that I learned, late, that sporting events? Are actually kind of awesome.
In going to Chicago, Andrew had one, singular demand: We see a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, and I was happy to oblige.
Going to Wrigley felt like one of those quintessential Chicago things we just had to do. It’s not so much that we care for the Cubs, really, we’re indifferent toward them, but that Wrigley Field is a national landmark that we needed to visit.
Also, baseball food, paired with a few beers of course, makes an excellent lunch.
Pizza, Chicago-style. Also on the list of things you’ve got to do while visiting Chicago is try the pizza. It’s kind of a thing, or so I’m told.
Chicago’s pizza is not something I could eat all the time, as it’s much too heavy of a meal to eat too frequently, but it was delicious nonetheless.
Sept. 4 – Chicago Day 4.
This was to be our very last day in the city and we knew we had to pack it full of as much awesome and sight seeing as we possibly could. We decided to set out on foot, not sure where the day would take us, opting to keep our schedule free so as to let the city lead us on whatever adventure it wanted.
Breakfast. – If there’s one thing I love about traveling, it’s the food. Vacation is an excuse to get out and snack, to try city specialties, to eat as much as I damn well please. We grabbed easy breakfasts most of the other days we spent in Chicago, but on our last day we wanted real, delicious breakfast and, with the guidance of my trusty iPhone, ended up at the West Egg Cafe (620 N Fairbanks Ct). The place was absolutely packed, as it was 11 on a Sunday morning, but, as we went to put our name in for a table, we noticed two empty spots at the counter, were informed that they were first come, first serve, and claimed the space as ours.
Behold, the Berried Treasure:
Breakfast was ah-mazing. Andrew got some sort of omelet with avocado in it and we spent the entirety of our breakfast making inappropriate satisfaction noises as we ate.
The John Hancock. – Fat and happy we walked to the John Hancock Center (875 N. Michigan Avenue), paid just $5 each for admittance to the Observation Deck with our military discount (normally priced at $15), took a quick elevator ride 1,000 feet up to the 94th floor, and were greeted with this view:
We’ve hit observation decks in other cities, but this one was by far my favorite. The vastness of the city, the beautiful architecture we could see spread out below us, Lake Michigan – it was beautiful and perfect and we were glad we’d waited for a clear day to check out the view.
The Lincoln Park Zoo. – Allegedly they have animals here. We saw more screaming, running, yelling children than anything else, approximately four bridal parties wandering through Lincoln Park taking pictures, a group of super nerds filling some sort of super nerd movie, a guy trip and nearly smash a child being towed in one of those red wagon things, a rhinocerous, and a lion.
Comedy & Cheese. – After the zoo we decided, for reasons I’m still not sure I can decipher, to walk the remaining two miles to our comedy show. Comedy is another one of those Chicago things you’ve simply got to do while you’re in town and, after calling around late in the afternoon to find out who still had tickets available, we got tickets to see Octavarius at ComedySportz (929 W Belmont Ave.). Octavarius was the same improv troupe I’d had the pleasure of seeing at the 20sb Summit and they didn’t disappoint. The show was super hero themed, absolutely amazing, and Andrew and I even hung around after the show, drinking giant beers, talking with the performers and even playing a round of flip cup.
And then came the sandwich.
You guys know I like cheese. All sorts of cheese – mac & cheese, grilled cheese, fried cheese, goat cheese – I have never met a cheese I didn’t like. True story. And so, when the members of Octavarius told us to please visit Cheesies Pub & Grub (958 W. Belmont Ave.), located conveniently right across the street we did because I simply cannot – WILL NOT – say no to cheese.
Meet The Mac:
The Mac is American, Merkt’s Cheddar and Macaroni & Cheese on Texas Toast served with a tomato soup dipping sauce and is the best thing I ever ate, hands down. I died a little inside knowing that all food that came after the Mac would pale in comparison. Nothing beats mac & cheese ON a grilled cheese sandwich, except for maybe world peace.
And then that was it. The next morning we woke up, grabbed breakfast and left Chicago. We’ll be back though. Chicago is just too wonderful of a city to stay away from for too long.