Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Chicago: Days 1-3

Here comes a super long recap of our Chicago trip. I'm realizing that I should always try to promptly recap these trips because I forget all the details and while I'm writing these things for my readers, I'm also writing this up for myself so I can remember later what we did. An online diary if you will. Unfortunately I'm using the iphone photos a lot because I would forget my good camera (like an idiot) and the iphone I just snap snap so I can remember what we did.

As we know, Matt doesn't like to fly so I tried to make it as pleasant a trip as possible so we flew Virgin America, the pimpest of pimpy airlines. He did well on the flight and I was able to enjoy a wine and cheese pairing on the way there (and the way back) which helped chill me out even though I didn't need it. Lookit this cute situation. A TINY WINE BOTTLE AH!
So now we've landed I'm calling it "Day 1" since it was July 1 to keep it simple. We got there late and after we'd met our host and gotten into our rental apt we tried to find a place to eat that was open and all we could find were bars where Scottish dudes sang national anthems.
As we remember the following morning, Day 2, I went for a run along Lake Michigan, a run I was planning on doing daily and was promptly plowed by a bicycle, throwing that idea out the window. We went to the ER and got X-rayed told I didn't break anything (woo-hoo) and was given a prescription for extra strength pain medication so I could survive the week and believe me I needed them. We did a whole lot of walking daily and my knee would last the amount of time those drugs would.
Anyway, after the hospital we walked to find a food place and then walked to Lincoln Park.
Did you know the Lincoln Park Zoo is free? It was very exciting to learn and I made friends with this amazing bird with Elvis hair I've learned is called a Kenya Crested Guineafowl. I like to pretend I'm Dr. Doolittle at zoos and call to the animals in whatever noise they're making and it usually works, this guy came right up to the fence to talk to me. Or to show off his do, either or.
It's hard not to snap great photos of general Chicago skyline majesty and there's gonna be rando shots of it along these recaps. You'll learn to love them.
From all the early morning scariness, Matt went down for a nap and I walked to find Dunkin and a nearby clothing store since I'd only packed one pair of pants and the forecast called for rain the next day. Any excuse to shop eh? I was a very good girl on this trip though, I just bought one pair of minty pants and a striped shirt at Forever 21.
The neighborhood we stayed in was the Gold Coast that a friend of ours recommended and I'm so glad he did. It was like a movie backlot, full of these amazing buildings and perfectly manicured front yards and quiet as could be. We were about a block from Lincoln Park and four blocks from an L stop. If we lived in Chicago, I could definitely see us living in a neighborhood like this.
After the nap we walked to The Second City (a few blocks away as well) and went to see a revue of Chicago by some of their B-level improv troops. After that show was over we were able to go see the Improv at the mainstage with the A-level people and they were so good. I can see some Lorne Michaels in their future for certain and I can see why Tina and Amy and all those guys came outta here.
The following morning, Day 3, we headed to the DD by the train station where Matt and I would come for the next few mornings. Grab some coffee and a bagel, take the train to wherever. It was our thing. Matt was amazed I was able to figure out what side of the train station to take simply by reading the L station map. I wouldn't get it if it wasn't for the training in trains from Boston and New York.
The most important stop on the trip was next, well the most important one to me and the buildings were starting to feel incredibly familiar even though it was the first time I'd seen them.
As we walked up these steps you could not believe the excitement I was feeling. I was downright giddy.
I'd been planning this for years. Someday I'll go to Chicago and stand in this train station with the man I love and he'll pick me up like the cover of the movie and take a picture.
And while it wasn't a perfect recreation it was still so very special. Everyone that sees the photo takes less than a milli-second to recognize what Matt and I were doing.
The station has fallen on hard times. I'm blaming Rahm Emmanuel 'cause every cab driver we encountered blamed him for everything.
Oh god sir this is not good! There's a train coming and it's fast. It's an express!
Next was the Art Institute of Chicago which in addition to being a world class art museum was featured in the 1986 film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off".
Oh yeah, Chicago was still celebrating the recent Stanley Cup win by the Blackhawks.
The art institute is pretty spectacular. So is this guy of mine.
I remember studying this painting in high school. Insane to see these works in the flesh.
After the museum we had to find a place to eat which was the most challenging part of our trip. The feeding of a vegan in the midwest. And while we love eating locally and not eating at chain stores we did end up going to a chain we knew well called Native Foods where I finally had an actual vegetable that wasn't cut into a fry. While there it started pouring rain and we hung 'til it died a little then walked to find a place to stay dry and ended up at another filming location, Chicago Union Station.
It's a lovely train station and while he didn't realize it, I was trying to capture this from a movie.
Not surprisingly he's never seen "My Best Friend's Wedding" but I sure have and how could I forget the scene where Julianne laments that she's pond scum.
Matt bought a Bears hat (he's decided to adopt them as his football team since he don't have one to root for)
The Untouchables was also filmed there and I did my best Eliott Ness.
We tried to find a few Dark Knight locations too. This is the beginning of where a big chase scene takes the batmobile under ground.
Wayne Tower in the background.
I've been told this is also a filming location but I just knew it was a special place to check out so we did. It's called Cloud Atlas and it's in Millennium Park.
While we were there we heard music and turns out there was a free concert nearby with some patriotic music as led by a kilt wearing Scot (geez they were everywhere). 
After the concert, we took a walk along a special place where thanks to stupid Donald Trump the view had been altered.
 It was unmistakeable though.
The most romantic place for a walk.
On the way back we headed to the recommended deep dish pizza place.
I should have just gotten the individual, I went for the small and the pizza was just way too much for me. I ate this one slice and that was all I could handle. It's very good, very. I mean the crust was a little bland but the sauce and the cheese were perfect.
So that's Days 1-3 in magical Chicago. 


evenimente corporate said...

What a wonderful trip! Everything is awesome in the pictures you showed us!

Michelle said...

you are so freaking lucky that you didn't get your face all smashed up for that picture. glad you are okay.