Oh Chicago!

This past weekend the family and I went to Chicago.  Unfortunately, we had to drive.  It was hell a rather interesting journey.  None of us had ever been to Chicago other than the airport (well, other than the time I was flying with Thor, alone, to my parents house when he was 2, and we got stuck overnight, but that’s a whole other story).  So this was kind of exciting.

In case you didn’t know, I love big cities.  Like love love big cities.  If I had my way, we’d live in New York city and my kids would be those city urchin kids who navigate the streets like its second nature.

We stayed at The James Chicago, a fantastic boutique type hotel on Rush Street.  Modern, contemporary, cute.  The staff was very friendly, the room a pretty decent size for a city and the beds were nice and plush.  This would have been a great bonus if I hadn’t been sleeping in the same bed with Chick who kicks and grinds her teeth at night *shudder.  Anyway, I fell a smidge in love with Chicago last weekend.  In all actuality, I fell head over heels in love with Chicago.  Here are a few reasons why:



I know, it’s just a bunch of buildings (sorry if the pictures aren’t excellent, I took them from a trolley tour bus.  It was effing cold in Chicago last weekend!  But I still loved it.)  I love architecture.  I love buildings.  Chicago is full of rich blends of architecture, old and new right next to each other.  Mies van der Rohe, one of my very favorite architects, designed several residential bulidings on Lake Shore Drive.  The buildings were very forward thinking for the time, made of glass and steel.  To be right there next to them…well, for me that was pretty gosh dang fantastic.

The other thing I loved, besides enormous, fantastic breakfasts at both Yolk  in Streeterville and Eggsperience; I highly recommend both places, we even went to Yolk twice.  Their coffee was so good, I didn’t even add sugar and the food…sigh, yum.  I literally distracted myself from what I was saying by thinking about the food.  What did I love besides the food and the buildings?

The people.  I don’t know if it’s a midwest thing, or a Chicago thing, or even what exactly to say that explains it but, the city is just friendly.  It’s a very different feel than New York.  New York is hectic, frenetic, crazy insane wonderful.  There are people clogging every street and it beats a constant thrum all its own that can’t be dupilicated.

Chicago is different.  Maybe because we were there when it was 20 degrees (I really get why it’s called the windy city now, really get it.)  Maybe that kept people off the streets a bit.  But everywhere we went, from the restaurants to the musuems to the bus to the train, people were just friendlier.  People were more relaxed.  Maybe it was me who was more relaxed, but I felt a big difference from being New York.  The difference isn’t good or bad…just different.

Picture for memory purpose only, no, I am not going to be a Cubs fan!
We had a great time.  The kids loved it (I even caught camera shy Thor digging the trolley tour which was 2.5 hours long).  We went on the Chicago Trolley and Bus Tour experience (our driver/guide was so dang funny.  I think his name was Yorn? York?).  We went to the Musuem of Science and Industry, The Children’s Musuem, Wrigley Field, Navy Pier and walked down the Magnificent Mile of Michigan Avenue.
I loved Chicago.  Chicago loved me.  I can’t wait to go back.
What’s your favorite place?  Where have you been recently that left you feeling speechless?

16 thoughts on “Oh Chicago!

  1. Ohhhh, I am so jealous. Well, I guess you probably already know my thoughts on Chi-Town. Sounds like you hit all the right spots for the kids, and Wrigley Field, that's only a few blocks from where I used to live.I'm really glad you all had a good time.


  2. I was in Chicago for one day about 25 years ago, so I don't really recall much about it. My favorite place I've been recently was Cincinnati this past summer. I am one of those oddball people who absolutely hates to travel for the sake of traveling. I don't mind going somewhere to do something (e.g. watch my favorite team play!) but to go somewhere just to “see the sights” has never been my style. My other favorite destinations the last few years were Miami (to watch the Dolphins play) and Saint John, New Brunswick (to see my local hockey team play). Maybe it's a Canadian thing, but Saint John was the friendliest city I've ever visited. A cab driver stopped in the middle of the street to see if I needed help finding something- apparently I looked lost!I would definitely like to go back to Chicago to see a game at Wrigley Field (vs. the Reds of course). I've been to Fenway, and I thaink that Wrigley is the other ballpark that every baseball fan needs to see before they die.


  3. Did you take Chick to the American Girl doll store? I love that place and I don't even have any little kids. In the Summer a great activity is the River Architectural Tour.You may have to wait until the kids are a little older for that one. Glad you had fun!


  4. Half my family lives in Chicago so it is near and dear to my heart. I'd like it better if I could find a decent steak or pizza there, but that is ok.Not to mention that they have 3 months of good weather, just not consecutively. In spite of these shortcomings I still like the city very much.


  5. Ahhh…I want to go back. I went there for the American Institute of Architects Convention in 2004, and loved it! If you like architecture (I do!) and food (I do!), yes, it is indeed Nirvana. Gorged myself silly on buildings and food (hey, that sounds like a Talking Heads album…)Nice pics, too!


  6. I like your disclaimer..I AM NOT GOING TO BE A CUBS FAN. (tee,hee)I have never been anywhere close to Chicago. I love to visit big cities, the shops, resturants, buildings…all thatbut alas, I am a country gal and I would go nuts if I had to live in that hectic fast paced ant hill. I am glad you had a good time!!and I love the new look on your header


  7. I would totally love to see Chicago in person. This looks like a wonderful trip away from it all, while being in the middle of it all?:0 I'm not a huge fan of big cities mostly because of my fear of getting lost?


  8. I LOVE Chicago! It is such a great place. And we go every May!! Matt is there for an incredible convention – the NRA, no not anything to do with guns. The National Restaurant Association. HUGE!! Food galore! Its like Costco tasting on steriods!! He goes to his convention and I go to the musuems, shopping on Michigan Ave. Spa, and hit the convention when I think I need food. Glad you had a great time.missty


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