Thursday morning found us feeling more refreshed thanks to an early nights sleep. We got up early and headed up to the hotel’s “sky lounge” for breakfast. I was hesitant to start putting items on my plate once I saw the instant eggs, stale bread, and mini boxes of cereal – been to too many hotels to fall for this scam – but my wife had already started. After a brief breakfast with a lovely view and $50 dollars later, we were on Michigan Avenue trying to figure out how to kill a few hours until the Cubs game.
We happened upon the Old Water Tower and the adjoining pumping station. The water tower was a bit of a let down (we weren’t allowed in the Tower part) and the pumping station didn’t let us get far in it’s innards, but it was next to Chicago’s Tourism Department and they sell half price tickets to shows. We managed to pick up tickets to the play form of High Fidelity and have to go back this morning to snag ticket for a Second City show after.
After getting the tickets we went to the John Hancock Center to catch the crazy views of Chicago that the city of skyscrapers is known for. The building did not disappoint. It costs $30 bucks to get to the top which makes it an official tourist trap, but it was still and excellent view. After taking some pictures we came back down and headed back to the hotel to dump our stuff and head to the game.
Once again we used the city’s excellent sub-way system (the Red Line) and managed to get to Wrigley Field before the game started. Sadly the Cubs were defeated by the Brewers… there were a lot of Brewers fans in the house. Why can’t the Cubbies get love in their own stadium? It was a fantastic day to see a game and we had an official Chicago style foot-long which Allison had to take the peppers off of.
We decided to visit the Art Institute of Chicago on our way back from the Cubs game. Once again my feeling is that while it was a wonderful museum, they aren’t as good as Philadelphia’s. There was a whole wing dedicated to modernist paintings (aka color splotches) – which I am completely convinced is a total scam. To each their own. After a solid two hours, it was time to go back to the hotel.
Knowing red meat was in my immediate future, I decided to hit the treadmill and my legs were like jelly from walking around the city all day. After a shower, my wife informed me that we were going to Boston Blackies. Our friends Jack and Lorraine recommended this establishment as one of the best burgers they have ever had. That was enough for me. The burger was outstanding, the onion rings were tasty, their own amber ale brew had me buzzing and our waitress was wonderful. At one point she sat down with us and talked Chicago politics and told us what “true Southies” thoughts were about the city and the new president. Outstanding.
It was dark, so we decided to head back to the hotel to plan the next day because if things go according to plan, it is going to be a long day packed with Chicago theater and tourist attractions.
To Be Continued….