So … it’s taken me a bit but I’m finally getting around to posting about our epic Chicago trip!
It’s nearly the end of the month and we went over the 4th weekend. Why has it taken me so long? To be honest, I got home and all the drama happening around the globe really got to me. Not trying to spark up a ton of emotions here but the gist is that between shootings, what happened in France and protests..posting about my vacation seemed like the least of mine or anyone else’s worry. Current events still aren’t good but I’ve regained the desire to work on photos and write again, so here we go!
First thing we did off the plane was buy a pass for the *awesome* L train and ride it into Chi-town (do “cool” people say this?) I hope the residents know how blessed they are with their public transportation! Only time we were in a car was Ubering when we wanted to rest our feet towards the end of the trip. Other than that it was the L, rented bikes or bus.
After dropping off our bags at our Airbnb, we went (read: ran) to the John Hancock building for the panoramic view of the city and made it just in time for the sunset. Dustin was insistent that it was better than the Willis Tower and I can’t imagine he was wrong! Felt like I could see every square inch from the lounge on the 96th floor.
Bottom level of the building.
See that Armitage sign on the left? That brick building right behind it was our home away from home! In the Airbnb listing they said light sleepers may be bothered by the train but they had earplugs in the room. I consider myself a light sleeper, however, the train didn’t bother me at all. Think it helped we got in pretty late each night, had been drinking and the room was really dark. I also play a noise machine app on my phone every single night regardless of where I stay so the combo of all that made being nearly ON the tracks no sweat. Getting to where we needed to go was literally just a few steps away. Convenience wins!
Following the best view ever we met up with Dustin’s cousin at this spot called Kings. His buddy was djing and hooked us up with free bowling, drinks and food! We danced and bowled till about 1:00am then rested up for day two.
To start the second day off right we began it with a hearty meal at Ann Sather. We had perused around Yelp but ultimately trusted the advice of our host and it was just what we needed (esp to kick that hangover…)
The original owner was Swedish so there’s bits of that background in the menu (meatballs!) but we also noticed a lot of Southern options, i.e. the biscuits and gravy Dustin chowed down on! Big portions, made from scratch all at low prices – speaking our language!
After the big breakfast we biked off all the carbs and headed to explore around the zoo. Our original itinerary didn’t include the zoo but upon learning it was free, we thought, ‘why the heck not..” I took a bunch of photos but you’ve all seen a camel and gorilla so I’ll save those for reminiscing. We honestly couldn’t believe it was free! SO so good. Really great primate exhibit and they seemed so happy and had tons of room.
After the zoo it was off to Goose Island Brewery!
The location was in a vacant, almost industrial part of town. There wasn’t a soul in sight on our walk to get there until we got right up to the brewery. We didn’t feel unsafe or anything but I just kept thinking, ok, is this place real and will it be open?
OPEN FOR SIPPING!
Unfortunately the tours were sold out but we’ve been through plenty of breweries so we didn’t worry about it and got right to the tasting. They had several taproom only offerings which happen to be my favorites! Unlike a lot of breweries they don’t do a “flight” so we made up our own with half pours and sharing.
Sofie~have had before, easy drinking
312~good wheat beer, one of D’s all time favorite
Four Stars Pils~another easy drinker. light and crisp.
MW X SW~the pretty, almost red/pink one. sweet but not too sweet. 8oz was just enough.
Rauchkeller~def lived up to the smoked characteristic, I liked, Dustin thought it was a little much
Gillian~we love Farmhouses! did not disappoint.
Such a shame we couldn’t take a growler of a special one home! Def a must visit if you’re a beer lover like us.
Next on the days schedule was the architectural boat tour!
Needless to say after the brewery we were pretty buzzed but I’d like to think that made the boat tour even better! This very touristy activity came highly recommended by friends and I don’t mind one bit doing some tourist things from time to time, especially when it’s on a BOAT!
It was so cool seeing some of the biggest and tallest buildings from the water. We learned so much about the city and having recently read The Devil in the White City (well, most of it) it was even cooler hearing about landmarks from the World’s Fair. One of the facts that made us laugh was that Chicago got it’s name from the Native Americans who thought it was stinky and “smelled of onions.”
For the duration of the tour we hung out on the roof but the bottom was so pretty, and had a bar, so I went exploring while still listening to the guide.
I loved this photo too much to not include because of a certain building in the background…Though it does say “AMERICA” if I do say so myself…
After the tour we went home to freshen up and grab dinner then met up with Dustin’s brother who was visiting his girlfriend who’s interning at the John Hancock building at a spot called Delilah’s.
Can you tell who’s related?
Meal we ate was SO INCREDIBLY GOOD we didn’t take any photos before we scarfed it down. Place was called Ba-Ba-Reeba and served up the best tapas I’ve ever had. The margaritas were also on point. First two days were a blast! Hard to believe it got better..more posts coming soon!
*sidenote* Photos were taken with iPhone 6+ and a rented Sony RX100 IV from PPR here in Atlanta. Renting and trying something new was fun but there were things I loved about it and things I’m kinda “meh” about. Now wishing I would have just brought my Mark II and just dealt with the weight. Oh well, thought I wanted to buy the little guy but now thinking the Mark is my go-to for life. Canon for the win.
Have a great weekend!
Come back to see part 2 <3