Went to visit my brother in the windy city last weekend. My parents, McGruff, and I took the 6 hour drive across Wisconsin to arrive at my brother's condo around midnight Thursday. Even though he had to work the next morning, he was standing in a parking spot right across the street from his building when we pulled up. He said he was lucky and had just walked out and found that (very conveniently located) spot. We hauled all of our stuff up to the 27th floor and got settled in for the night. After a quick view of the expansive, beautiful skyline and the city lights (the 27th floor and 2-sides of windows allow for an amazing view), we were quickly into bed. Friday morning, we were up somewhat early and on our way to Wrigleyville. After an El ride (Chicago's subway system is known as the El, for Elevated Train) and short walk, we found ourselves outside historic Wrigley Stadium.
We had a little bit of souvenier shopping before our tour began, so we ran across the street and looked at the vast amount of Cubs and Bears paraphenilia. My mom and I really liked these ornaments a snowman (made of tiny baseballs) wearing a cubs hat. Our tour of Wrigley was very interesting, and nearly 2 hours long! We heard many facts and stories of historic moments that happened in the 95 year old stadium. The Bears played 51 seasons of football, the Babe's famous "called shot" took place there, an outdoor hockey game and giant ski jump competition were also in this great place. Our tour took us to the outfield bleachers, visiting locker room, press box, dug out, and the home team locker room. I stood where many famous atheletes have stood.
After taking advantage of the numerous photo-ops, our growling tummys lead us across the street to Sluggers, for great food and average beer.
We made our way back downtown for a little shopping and mini sight-seeing. The "bean" is a giant lima bean shaped silver-reflective sculpture/monument in Millenium Park, of course I snapped a couple of photographs of our reflection and the skyline. We also wandered down past the Chicago Institute of Art to Buckingham Fountain (you know, from the opening credits of that 80's classic "Married with Children"), another great photo op.
We took a bit of a rest (all that smiling and wandering really wears a girl out!) before heading off to a delicious dinner at PJ Clarks.
Saturday was going to be a pretty early morning. The El takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get to Evanston. That's right, I watched the MN Gophers play Northwestern in an excellent outdoor football match-up. I was really excited for outdoor football (especially since it's pretty unlikely that I"ll make it to a Gopher home game at the new stadium this year). McGruff and I had our picture taken with Goldy, too! The game was excellent, lots of back and forth, hardly any penalties, and a Gopher Victory! Afterward, we headed back towards our temporary home for table top kegs of beer and chicken wings at Fern McCool's.
Dinner that night was pizza. 'Cause what's a trip to Chicago without pizza?!?! We headed to this tiny, dingy, down a dark alley, in the basement pizza joint. Of course, it was DELICIOUS! It was honestly a place I wouldn't want to go to by myself (even to meet friends), and it isn't a place I would have ventured into if my brother hadn't reassured me. The entrance was a bit scarry (to put it mildly). The restaurant itself, Bricks, was cute and dimley lit, romantic, and clean and smelled of garlic and baked cheese and crust. The service was impeccable, and the pizza was amazing. One of my favorite parts was the flavor combinations. Jalepenos with pepperoni and red peppers (the jalepenos weren't overpoweringly hot, but added a nice little kick). Roasted garlic with tomatoes, spinach, mozzarella and feta. I had a hard time narrowing down my choice, they all sounded good. (But, also normal... it wasn't roasted pears with gouda and balsamic, which I like too, but it was stuff my parents were even excited about eating).
That was the quick, but super fun trip to Chi-Chago (as my nephew would say), to visit my big brother.