Sherri and I took our first vacation to Chicago together. Sherri has never been there and I have never been there with her . *hint hint*. It is interesting how I actually remember a lot about chicago, but like every guy, my memory becomes hazy when i tell sherri about it because i came out here last time for a girl. Anyways, the trip was just a fun extended weekend trip filled with food, and fun.
Friday, Sherri and I arrived at Chicago late, and ended up at our cute little AirBnB in the Gold Coast. Below is a picture of the place in the morning. The one thing i noticed about Chicago is that it is a big place, but most of the attractions and activties in that city are really located within the Chicago Loop, and right up against the coast. Nothing is really too far away from each other.
The place we ended up using was a really nice, simple, small single room studio. It reminded me of my friend’s 1 bedroom studios at Berkeley. There was no view out the windows except of the red brick of the neighboring building. However, it was walking distance from second City and all the food over there.
On Saturday, Sherri and I experienced a cold overcast Chicago day. The one thing I really hate is the sticky feeling of being in such humid weather. It feels the same as if i had just finished a mild/medium workout. I knew that Sherri was having a really stressful week, so I let her sleep, so I just sat around playing Clash Royale on my phone to pass the time .
Eventually she got up, and we made it over to the Navy Pier. The muggy and random showers in the morning kept us from picking up our bicycles early. So we ended up buying some souvenoirs and eating at Navy Pier. That place reminds me of pier 39, and the food is just generic chain food, made up mostly by a lot of gastropub food.
The skies cleared around noon time, so we were able to get to the bicycles, and road down the coast. I have been trying to be better at yelling at people to move around to side when they are in the bicycle lane. It must be because I am fairly proficient at riding, however Sherri gets mad at me when i don’t say it loud enough to get them out of the way. I finally figured out it is because I need to remember that Sherri is not a good bicyclist so she can’t manuever around them as well.
So we end up at Buckingham Fountain.
Then we make it to the bean and take a lot of pictures there with Sherri. Chicago must have so many visitors, because there were so many people taking pictures at the Bean. The only place i have noticed is the easiest spot to take picture of the bean is from the side near the street. I think it is because everyone usually congregates that the first spot they see, and the street side of the bean is not the way most people come up, so the sides are a little more clear.
Here we are in the backside which has less people, and we can take really cool pictures. With my pretty Wife!
So we continue go biking down the coast and learn what it means to bike in the windy city. The wind was a good 20 mph going back against us while we were biking back. It was a really good burn, especially since we had rented cruiser style bicycles, which mean they were heavier. We had to walk a good half mile with the bikes, because our legs were hurting (I am out of bicycling shape, had to stand up to get the last umph going up some of the small hills with the wind against me)
The last spot on our bicycling trip was riding to the Alder Planetarium. I still really love the science museum. I think my favorite thing is just looking at black space with different lights. Especially the photos of nebulas.
Then I found the best misquote in a while.
After the planetarium, we continued to bike back to the navy pier. Here are some more pictures we took out there.
Here is sherri posing for a pretty picture. She thought this was a good picture, which made me feel so happy.
The last thing we did was take the architecture cruise, I really enjoyed it, because I loved how they talked about the history off all the buildings. How it reflected the economy and policy of the time.
Here is the danny devito building, which was the first contemporary modern skyscraper in 1950’s. Here are more pictures from the boat ride, I think Sherri really loved the boat ride too! She found all the art deco at the building to be so fantastic. Overall, i think this was one of the best things we did today.
Finally, here is the King and Queen Skyscraper of Chicago. It is interesting how all the skyscrapers work together with each other. After taking this tour, i now understand the show “how i met your mother” even better. I understand why Ted would want to be an architect in chicago.
We then were planning on ending the night eating at Navy Pier to watch the fireworks. However, the weather was still really overcast and looked like it was going to rain. So we thought it would be better to just do something else.
We ended up walking to the Gold Coast to eat at Lou Malnati, Sherri wished we had taken lyft to get there, however I wanted her to just walk around and see all the buildings and streets in Chicago. It was a nice muggy warm night. Back to the food, the deep dish pizza was so delicious. The only thing i forgot about was how hearty one deep dish is, the waiter told us that he was not surprised that we could not finish all the food we ordered. (We got a deep dish, salad, and some bread) The waiter said that there was a full sausage in the pizza.
The funny part of the night was when we were leaving, we walked across a room that was hosting a private party. As I was walking next to the room, the door open (it has a huge window slot in it) and who do i see but Levar Ball, and Lonzo Ball. They were filming something for their tv show. So i was telling sherri how I guess they were filming in there. Sherri didn’t really exactly know who they were so she was just awkwardly looking in, and the camera man inside was doing a 360 surround footage of Levar Ball, and looking at sherri wondering what she was doing. Then Sherri asks me how i know for sure it is the ball, i told her if she looked down at the bench outside the room, there was 1 guy wearing Big baller brand clothing, sitting with 2 other guys doing nothing.
On sunday, we stayed in fairly late and left around 10am to get to the Chicago Natural Museum. But before we went there, we had to get some snacks. We ended up getting the nutella pouch
I used my reciprocal science membership to get us the basic extrance fee, and only had to pay for the special exhibits. One of the big exhibits was about what it would be like if we were shrunk 100x. So we were simulated to be inside a small hole in the ground. It reminded me of being inside something from a Stranger Things.
The other main exhibit that they had was mummies. Where they showed mummies from different parts of the world. How they would use x-ray to see inside the wrappings. Overall, I love the museum, it is really large and you can spend a whole day there. I bet if you wanted to look at everything, it would take maybe 6 hours to look through all the exhibits.
We left the museum around 4pm, and ended up eating dinner at an italian resturant Topo Gigio. That restaurant was pretty good, the specials were delicious, and i got a halibut, and sherri got a seafood risotto. Then we ended up with a really delicious dessert.
Then we got to second city for the 7pm showing. Overall, I would say the show is pretty fun. The show was set up in a way that the first 2 hours were a set of written sketches, and then the last half hour was improv. I would say their sketches took a little bit of time to start off, because it was a really random title called “Dream Freaks Fall from Space”. So it felt like the cast had to see what the crowd was like that night, and get us to buy into the premise they had for the night.
I think the 2 main girls were really good, while i think the guys were hit or miss. The funniest sketch was when they tried to play 6 degrees of kevin bacon and the first person they went to was a lady that lives in budapest.
However, the improv part of the show was a disaster, they were doing a long form improv with the idea of making an agatha christie style from the title “the trailer”, and i think a couple of the main guys didn’t know what an agatha christie story was like. So there was no killing and mystery shown at all.
Sherri and I had brunch at a place called Blue Door. They let us sit right in the front of the door which had a good view of the street. We were the first people there , but by the time we were done the place was pretty packed. Now i know what moms with babies do for lunch, they all go have brunch and drink mimosas.
This was a view of the second floor where the restroom was. It was a really pretty industrial feel restaurant with a lot of light.
Then Sherri and I ended up at the Lincoln Park Botanical Gardens and the Zoo. Nice thing about these places are that they are funded by the state so admission is free into both of them, and the places are well taken care of.
I like the style of this plant, and it is now one of my favorite ferns.
We didn’t stay too long at the Zoo because it was a fairly warm day, and there was one more museum i wanted to go to. In chicago there is there a History of Surgical Science Museum. Inside this museum are historical things showing how surgery was done back in the 1800/1900’s. I would say there isn’t too many artifacts, but there are a lot of paintings and pretty busts/statues in there. It is a really beautiful 4 story mansion turned into a school then into a museum.
Here is a painting depicting surgery in the 1800’s, mostly pregnancy procedures.
They had one room designed to share the stories about nurses and nursing.
Overall, I would say this was a very small museum. Most of the stuff that are on display are small items, I guess if you think about it at the end of the day. There really are not that many different things to use to take care of people back in the day. It has really only been in the recent times that technology has allowed us to make really big and complicated machines for surgery. Sherri really liked the building because it was a really beautiful building and had a lot of nice medical theme art.
Then we got to the sears tower as fast as we could to do our last adventure of the night. My initial goal was to get up to the sears tower and take some pictures, then come down and have a little bit of time to walk around the chicago riverwalk. However, the line was much longer than i thought it would be at 5pm on a monday. Google maps said it was a little above average in wait time, like 1 hour. When i waited it line, it took around 1 hour 45 minutes to get from the front of the line to the elevator. There were maybe 5 rooms that we had to snake around through. It was a good thing i had my phone charger, because Sherri and I ended up watching through 2 episodes of Flip or Flop, and the rest of the time we were just sitting there waiting in line watching the korean family in front of us. The 3 kids were messing around with each other, which made it really fun to watch them.
My suggestion is that if you do go and want to see the view and take a picture in the box, if it is a busy day it might be worth it to pay the speed pass (which is double the price.) I think those people took maybe 15 minutes in line to get to the elevator.
Once we got to the top there were more lines to wait in, however since I noticed that there were 4 windows, i walked around the first line to see if it was a snaking line, or 4 separate window lines. It ended up being 4 separate window lines, so i got sherri and we went to the back 2 windows.
This was the view from the top. We were lucky to have a really nice guy who was standing behind us that was good at taking pictures, so took our pictures. We reciprocated the deed for him.
Then we went to the offical picture taking place on the far window. Where they made us a take a picture that they would sell to us, and then they would take a picture of us with our phones. I did my only one good deed that day, there was a family behind me that had also waited in line, and i guess they didn’t expect the line to be that long too. So they had ended up using all the battery on their phone (all 5 of them). I could hear them taking about it, so i offered to let them use the charger in my backpack, so i just connected a cord to their phone, and the guy got a good 5 % in the 5 minutes while he was connected to me in line before i took my pictures.
I learned how scared Sherri is of heights that day. It was really cute, and i love her because she looked down and had to scooch herself out farther over the glass. With the night mostly wasted away because of the long line, we ended up going straight to eating dinner at around 8pm. I looked at the map, and tried to find a place that was on the river that was not too crazy expensive. Mostly because I didn’t want to have to eat too heavy, and most of the places were steak places. However, i found a place that did family style roast. So we ended up eating at River Roast, and they had a really delicious meal. And inspires me to make more roast meals
Here is the background, in case you wonder how close to the river we were. We are right on the edge and there is a little docking area that is maybe 25 feet down. We then look at the dessert menu and i end up asking the waitress what is good, and we tried the pb&J cheesecake. She asks us to tell her how it tastes. Oh gosh, it was so heavy, i thought i was slogging through a jar of peanut butter. I think in my mind, I thought it would be a little more airy/creamier. So the waitress felt a little bad for us, so took that off our check. Super nice of her.
Last day here in Chicago, so Sherri and I sleep in a little and then pack up everything before taking lyft to the Chicago Art Institute. Over there we do a bag check for our luggage and proceed to enjoy the museum. They had a sanger exhibit there, and he loves to draw portraits. Sherri has a really good eye for expensive stuff, the nice thing was that even though the exhibit was not on our ticket, there was a spot to buy tickets to the exhibit near the entrance to the special exhibition.
The traditional art picture that i see in the commercials.
Finally, we were about to leave the art musuem, but i had to use the restroom. So I go downstairs and come across a tiny diarama house exhibit. So I bring sherri down and we enjoy all the tiny doll houses. The lady made them so exact and i think out of mostly the same type of material. If i put my camera right up against the glass, it looks like I am inside the building in the pictures.
So to recap. I really enjoyed Chicago with Sherri, all the museums are top notch. I think the only place that would have better museums would be D.C. Otherside if you wanted to look at a really good art, science museum, chicago is the place to go. I think our favorite thing to do was bicycling, and just enjoying the deep dish pizza. That was my Chicago Trip.