Saturday, March 24, 2007

Chicago Recap

We did have a great time while in Chicago. We were visiting a friend (Beth) who went to grad school with me here in Kansas and her fiance (Josh). We managed to pack a lot into our trip, even though on most days we did not leave the house until after 11 am. Places we visited, the Shed Aquarium, the Chicago Botanical Gardens, the Art Institute, and Millennium Park. Beth and Josh are to be married in the Granger Ballroom (which we were able to peak in on) with their reception at the Shed Aquarium. The Shed may seem like an unusual place for a wedding reception, but Beth is a snail biologist. Plus the Shed is gorgeous and after fighting our way through the crowds on Sunday, I am really looking forward to seeing the Shed when we have it all to ourselves.

We also ate at some really good restaurants. My favorites were the Bongo Room and Potbellies. We had brunch at the Bongo Room, a small restaurant that has been rated by someone as the number one place for breakfast in Chicago. Their specialty appeared to be fancy pancakes covered with sweet-goodness. Steve and I split our orders - each getting one half of a breakfast burrito and one half of a croissant sandwich. SO good. Definitely worth the 45 minute wait. Potbellies is a local Chicago sandwich shop. It was the best sandwich I have had in a long time. I ordered the Italian. The bread, the meat, the cheese, all were delicious with the sandwich toasted to perfection. The best part - only $3.98.

While in Chicago we also went to see Second City. I highly recommend this - it was funny, relying on wit instead of vulgarity for laughs. My favorite skit was about the Art Institute, which we had visited just a few hours before.

We also did a lot of just hanging out - watching MST3K, playing video games, and talking. Plus, Josh and Beth got us both to play World of Warcraft (something I have been resisting for a long time). It's a good thing that I don't have high speed internet.

In comments to the previous post, Pat asked if Chicago was a beautiful place, because she had heard that it might not be so. I have to say, that I was surprised by how nice the downtown area was. Granted we had terrific weather while we were there, no cold, cloudy, windy days for us. But still, I did not expect the downtown area to look so clean and to have so many interesting sculptures and parks. And the lake - the one thing that surprised me the most was the color of the water in the lake. Never in a million years would I have expected this color of blue. What I was expecting was gunmetal gray. So I was surprised that even on the cloudiest day we were there that the water was so blue.

In addition to the downtown area, we spent a little time in the Wrigleyville area (without getting to see Wrigley Stadium itself). It was a neat area also, not a grand as the downtown, but not ugly.

But we did not venture into the poorer neighborhoods or really to anywhere that I would call slums. We did drive by one area that is bad off on the way to the airport and saw lots of old houses that were boarded up. And the area around the airport is not pretty at all.

All in all it was a great trip and I looking forward to visiting again.

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