It isn't cold? Beaches? Cheeseballs? Kickball?

Trip Start Jun 06, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Hilary and Maggie's Place

Flag of United States  , Illinois
Friday, July 30, 2010

Thursday, July 22
It was a 16.5 hour drive from Denver to Chicago.  I split it up and camped at a KOA in Des Moines, Iowa which provided very fine amenities for your average camper.  Free Wi-Fi! haha
Setting up a 3-4 person tent by yourself has become a newly developed skill for me.  I am thinking about putting it on my resume.  

Side Notes:  Verbatim on the sign welcoming you to Nebraska:   "Nebraska...the Good Life"   -  I loved it.   The drive through Nebraska was not half as bad as Kansas FYI.

Friday, July 23
Arrived in Chicago during rush hour and one of the worst storms i have ever seen.  The highway was flooding!!  Luckily my Jeep just plowed through the lakes of water and I made it safely.  The original plan for my night getting in to see two of my best friends Hilary and Maggie from high school was to take it easy and wake up early to head to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. Our plans changed into cocktails and conversation and a taxi to a pretty cool bar called Stanley's.  After meeting up with some people there, we continued to a bar called Butches which was prettty fun.  We then continued to what i thought was a bar called Cheeseballs, only to learn that it was a small restaurant place that served fried cheeseballs!!!  And they were amazing!!!
All in all it was a great start to my Chicago experience.

Saturday, July 24
Maggie and I headed up to Wrigleyville and found the best FREE parking space right next to the field.  Tickets were $70 so we decided to go grab something to eat and wait for the game to start for some cheaper tickets.  3 hours. A DJ. Food. Vines on Clark. Many Cocktails. Performers in the Streets.... and we missed the game.  Not such a big loss due to the great times and none of us like the Cubs or the Cardinals. 
We continued down the street (on rickshaw!) to a place called Houndstooth which is a Country Bar that serves 40 oz bottles of beer.  Excellent.  We danced, chatted, and gained a few friends along the way. After that we went out to a place called Dirkens then Butches then Bar Chicago.  Overall, it isn't cold here, and I was having great times with friends.

Side notes:  I ate more cheeseballs later that night + a Philly cheesesteak + jalapeno poppers. ha ha  oh my.  When the cubs win a game, the fans start to sing one of the goofiest songs I have ever heard.  Google : "cubs victory song" if you feel like laughing

Sunday, July 25
Took a longgg much needed nap.
Ate at an awesome restaurant called Hugo's Frog Bar in the Gold Coast neighborhood with Hilary, Maggie, and Alyssa.  There was a (in my opinion Russian) (in Maggie's opinion South American) SILENT SERIAL KILLER BUS BOY.  He was very nice though.  
After lunch we checked out the Hancock Building's 96th floor "The Signature Lounge" to enjoy a pretty breathtaking view of the city during the day.  One expensive cocktail and we left. ha ha.
After our mid-day lunch and cocktails in the sky, we all headed to play in Hilary and Maggie's kickball league where we dominated an overzealous group of kickballers. I got to meet some new friends and freshen up my kickball skills.  Just to note the the ump was a crazy man and the competitions team captain/pitcher was wearing a knee high socks, cleats, wristbands, and a frontward facing viser.  It was almost enough to stop me from ever wearing a viser again.  I should probably stop anyways. haha  After our victory we headed to a free carnival/concert on the streets where we eventually ended up at a Mexican Restaurant called Fiesta Mexicana for some food and margaritas.  Finally, we ended the night with dancing to a couple of Chicago Blues Bands in a place called Kingston Mines where we were lucky enough to witness one of the most bizarre things I have ever seen.  The lead blues singer called up like 6 girls to have the weirdest "booty/speed" dance off that lasted a good 30 minutes.  It was hilarious.  What an awesome Day/Night!!

Monday, July 26
Our Terrific Tourism Tour day in Chicago!!!
 Hilary and I started off with attempting to take a peek in Wrigley Field only to find out two disappointing things.  1.) On Saturday we could have gotten tickets for $20 and 2.) Tours were closed.  So we walked around the Field and then headed to Navy Pier.
 We walked the whole length of the pier (about a mile) to this huge 8 ton anchor for some pictures.  We then ate lunch at Riva (delicious lobster bisque, fish & chips, and Blackened grouper sandwich)  mmmmmmm.  Next on the schedule was the ferris wheel ride. (please note that Ferris Wheels do not travel fast enough to cause stomach discomfort).....Hilary.  The ride was slow and relaxing with great views of the city and the pier. Next: Double Dutch Bus Tour

We hopped on this Red (Coach) Double Decker West Side Bus Tour to China Town, Little Italy, Greek Town, and Opera's Studio.  Snapped a bunch of pictures and enjoyed a little history of the city.   After the bus tour, we checked out Millennium Park where there is an awesome amphitheater (pretty much the opposite of Red Rocks in terms of architecture and design) and this random mirrored bean structure. Very Cool.
After our terrific tourism day, Hilary and I were worn out.  As she headed to a work event, Hilary, Alyssa, and I had reservations at David Burke's Primehouse.  I don't know what it was, but the steak I had was unique to any steak I have ever had.  Maybe correlated with the diet of the cow? vegetarian/organic? Anyways, it was a fantastic dinner with great company.  I highly recommend the food and service at David Burkes Primehouse.  Total order consisted of; lobster bisque, heirloom tomato/watermelon salad, 28 day aged ribeye, bone-in filet, and red velvet cake "in a can" (literally) with cream cheese icing and vanilla ice cream.  After dinner, we met up with Hilary to have some drinks and do a little Karaoke: Forever Young, 500 miles "you know I'm gonna be"

Tuesday, July 27
 I can't leave Chicago.  I love it here for soooo many reasons.  I decided to do a little more tourism activities.  I met Hilary for lunch at Pot Bellys downtown (Delicious sandwiches!) and got to look around her office on the 42nd floor which had a beautiful view of the city. We also got to check out some of the set/props for Transformers 3.  Very cool.  I then proceeded to head to Millennium Park to meet Alyssa (her work building overlooks the park. Jealous I am.) and check out the Art Institute of Chicago.  The museum was amazing, and I was surprised to find out how many extremely famous works were on display.  See the pictures for some of my favorites. After the museum, I decided to run back to Hilary and Maggie's along the Lakeshore Side Walk which passes by Navy Pier and the Beaches along Lake Michigan.  Lets just say it was more than 3.2 miles, and it was super hot outside.
We decided to take it easy for the night and go see a movie. I planned on leaving in the morning to go back home.  I can't wait to go back!   Hilary and Maggie were soo nice to let me crash with them, and I want to give a shoutout to how special it was to hang out with them in such a great city.  Thanks for everything girls!!
Chattanooga, here I come.
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