We made it safely and right on schedule. We checked into our hotel and went straight to the front desk for dinner advice (and directions). The staff couldn't have been more helpful. Harry gave us a map and circled everything we needed to see during our trip. He told us to start with the Magnificent Mile which had tons of shops and restaurants. We figured out the train and made it downtown. We were immediately floored by the buildings. I mean, OKC has buildings...but not like this.
We walked around a little and spotted Harry Caray's. we knew it was a famous local place so we decided that we would go there for dinner.
It was very fancy and we were a little under-dressed but it was tasty and that's what matters. We walked around a little more and went back to the hotel early. We knew the next day would be busy.
Friday, we ate some donuts and decided that we would try the trolley tour Harry had recommended. We had a little trouble finding the stop, and I got hungry before we even made it. It turned out to be a good thing because we ate lunch at Potbelly's. It was amazing. After that, we hopped on the trolley to see the city.
One of the first stops the trolley made was Navy Pier. That was on our list, so we hopped off.
It was a pretty fun place, and for some reason not crowded at all. We got Paxton a special souvenir (who deserves his own post), and some ice cream. The views were amazing.
By the time we got back to the trolley, there was a line so it took us a few trolleys to be able to board. Luckily they come every 20 minutes so it wasn't too bad. We wanted to eat at Hard Rock, which was a few stops down the line. We saw some more of Chicago, and then made it to the restaurant. Hard Rock was right next to Rainforest Cafe, which for some reason is one of my very favorite places. Jared doesn't share my enthusiasm so we just stopped in to look around.
After dinner, we had tickets to an improv show that we were pretty excited about. We had a little trouble getting directions because we thought it was at the Conservatory...turns out it was at the CORNservatory. It was hilarious and we had a great time.
Saturday, we slept in and had an early lunch at TGIFriday's. It was kind of a waste of a Chicago meal, but we wanted to get to the trolley quickly. Our tickets came with three "neighborhood tours" so we wanted to do the West Neighborhoods tour which would go to China Town, Greek Town and Little Italy. The trolley picked us up at Millennium Park, so we stopped to visit the Bean.
Then we started our neighborhood tour.
We also saw where the Chicago Fire started:
And Oprah's studio:
And some cool Chicago signs:
That night we wanted to go to the Water Tower, which was a vertical mall. We weren't super impressed, but we did get to try Chicago pizza which was delicious. By that time, we thought we had the public transportation system figured out, so we hopped on a bus that we thought was going to a train station. Either we were wrong or we gave up too quickly, because we ended up a little lost. Thanks to Jared's great navigating (and the iPhone...), we made it to the train safely. Unfortunately, the stop we found had huge spiders in the ceiling that were starting to drop down for the night. I was glad when that train came.
Sunday morning, we got up early for breakfast at the hotel. After that, we made our way to the Museum of Science and Industry.
It was pretty fun, but definitely would have been more fun with Pax. My favorite part was the ice cream cart outside where we got ice cream bars.
Our trolley was still about 45 minutes away for the North Neighborhood tour we wanted to take next, so we visited the Bean again since we were right there. We got Chicago dogs for lunch at a little stand in the park.
The North Neighborhood tour was really neat. We got to see Lincoln Park and the zoo. Jared was most excited for the Wrigley Field stop. We got out, thinking we would just be able to walk in and look at the field. That wasn't the case. You could take a tour for $25 each, but we didn't really want to do that, so we ended up shopping at the Cubs stores outside the field for a souvenir for a certain toddler.
The sun was doing some pretty neat things on the way back to Millennium Park.
Our tour guide told us we couldn't leave Chicago without getting a cheeseburger at Billy Goat Tavern, so we stopped there for dinner.
It was pretty tasty. We might have done a little more shopping on the Magnificent Mile, and a certain toddler might have ended up with another souvenir.
The next morning, we had to get up super early and head to the airport. By 11:30 that morning, our family was whole again.
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