In between a hectic two weeks of visiting family and friends and our journey back to England, Lucas and I squeezed in a quick break in Chicago. I’ve been told that Chicago is the ONLY place to get GOOD deep dish pizza, and as a New Englander loyal to New Haven style thin crust I was unconvinced it would be better. I had never been to Chicago before, so I was very excited to explore a new city (and ride the L). We had booked tickets to a Blackhawks game one night, and a Bulls game the second and those were our only plans. (Apologies in advance for iPhone quality photos, the camera didn’t make the cut for things to bring on our trip back to the states).
We arrived late afternoon on Monday and checked into our hotel. We stayed at the Hampton Inn Majestic in the loop, which I would recommend for the reasonable prices, proximity to main attractions, the fact that they will store your bags for free after checkout while you explore the city and it is literally across the street from the blue line which takes you straight to O’Hare. I was told I needed to experience REAL Italian beef (I’ve tried to make it in a crockpot but it isn’t the same) so we went to Al’s, which was a favorite of some friends we met for the game. The beef was delicious, spicier than I have had before but I really enjoyed it. Luckily, the Blackhawks won in a shootout, over all a successful day.
Day two started with a walk to Millennium Park to check out the Bean and other sculptures in the area. We took the quintessential Bean photos, it really is a neat sculpture.
One thing we weren’t prepared for was the weather, after leaving a 50F England, and heading to CT and IL for only slightly cooler weather, the 17F with icy blasts of wind was a bit of a shock. (I wore leggings under my jeans the second day, and that was an awesome decision.) We then walked down to Navy Pier, and checked out the Winter Fest going on there, as well as the shopping and large greenhouse with live palm trees. After our wandering, we headed to Gino’s East for some real deep dish.
We did have to wait in the cold for a bit, but the pizza was so good it was worth it. (As a note to anyone planning on eating deep dish for lunch, it can take up to an hour for them to cook the pizza, so don’t go when you’re starving or in a hurry). While New Haven thin crust pizza will always be my favorite, I found I could genuinely enjoy pizza that requires a fork to eat as well.
Unfortunately, the Bulls did not fare as well as the Blackhawks and lost pretty badly. Still fun though, and my first pro basketball game!
On our final day in Chicago, we walked the Magnificent Mile and checked out some of the very interesting architecture for as long as we could stand the cold. We took a city bus back to the loop and walked ourselves to the Art Institute, a very impressive museum with tons of artifacts and paintings (many of them paintings I actually recognized!- Note, my knowledge of art is very limited, and although I’m working on it, it mostly comes from playing the board game Masterpiece, middle school art class and studying various Spanish and Mexican artists in AP Spanish). Either way, the museum was fantastic, and I could have easily spent an entire day wandering there.
We met some of Lucas’s relatives for lunch downtown, picked up our bags at the hotel and headed off to O’Hare on the blue line. There are still a lot of things I would like to do in the windy city, such as an architecture tour, and maybe some more deep dish pizza…