On The Windy City...

This post is roughly six months delayed.

But to be fair, it's been a busy six months.  More on that later.

What's important is finally sharing my trip to, what I think, is one of the greatest cities in the country. (Aside from San Francisco, of course).

I couldn't tell you what has always drawn me to Chicago.  Maybe it's the ancient ivy on the walls of Wrigley Field, maybe it's movies like Ferris Beueller's Day Off or Return To Me, or maybe it's because some of my family used to live there.

For whatever reason, I've been aching to travel there for [what seems like] forever.

Thankfully, last year I met someone amazing who is from the midwest and felt like April was as good of a time as any to finally take the trip! I obliged, of course :)

What I learned about Chicago, myself and my partner, is that we are all more awesome than I'd ever imagined.  I can safely say, this was the best trip I've ever been on as an adult.  The most fun, the most exciting, and the most romantic to date.

Chicago is a brilliant town filled with history, quirkiness, delicious food, amazing art and style for days.  It reminded me a little of San Francisco in some ways.  The way the executives descended from their high rises to meet their wives at swanky bars for dinner, the way the rainy fog can slip between the buildings and block the tops from sight, and the overall look and feel of the city.

We decided to give ourselves a whole week to explore.  This gave us time to do touristy things as well as explore on our own.  We went to some museums but not all, some parks but not all, and ate plenty of food.  Some of my favorites things include...

The Museum of Science and Industry where we saw so many amazing things.  One of the coolest was definitely this submarine.

Millennium Park and THE BEAN!  I read about The Bean once and have been obsessed with it since.  Like my obsession with Chicago, it has no reason, but if I were to be soul mates with an art installation, this would be it.

We loved it so much, we visited it twice!

Wrigley Field.  As some of you know, I am a devoted baseball and San Francisco Giants fan.  Not just as an adult, but as a kid.  I've watched baseball with my family as long as I can remember, and since then, I've wanted to see a game at Wrigley, home of the Chicago Cubs.  Part of the reason we decided to take this trip in april, was so we could see our team play at the yard.

While the ivy was more like sticks than green and the weather was freezing, the park was every bit as awesome as I'd hoped.  We spent some extra bucks before the game to take a ball park tour.  For anyone in any city who is a baseball fan, I highly recommend doing this.  It's a great way to learn the facts, stories and traditions of your team and its organization.  We had a great tour guide who told us all about the ins and outs of the field.  What I was even more impressed with was how welcoming the Cubs fans were!  We had a fun time getting to know some of them.

The food tour.  I've heard so many good things about food tours all over the country.  Despite the extra cost, I think they're a great idea.  Like the ballpark tour, I totally recommend this even in cities where you're from!  Ours tour took place along the Gold Coast and Old Town of Chicago.  I could bore you with all kinds of facts about why it's called the "Gold Coast" and what the old Playboy Mansion has inscribed on the doorbell, but I'll let you discover that for yourself :)

Even though it was rainy and cold, we were able to try: deep dish pizza, tea, sushi, chocolate, spices and perogies!  Our guide was fun, our tour group was full of good sports and the food was delicious.  The tour gave us a chance to try local things in one sitting, without having to search for the best ones on our own.

The Lincoln Park Zoo.  You guys, this zoo is FREE! One of the last in the country.  It's an amazing zoo, to boot!  When we went it was rainy and cold, but I was so surprised to see so many animals out and and about!  We took our time wandering around and warming our frozen fingers inside the reptile and monkey houses, but my favorite part was totally the big cat house.  Lots of active kitties to be seen :)

Lastly, The Shedd Aquarium.  As a Californian, I've been to a lot of aquariums, but this place was pretty special.  There's little to be said here except...


Touristy stuff aside, we did some nice things together too.  Went out to a fancy dinner, sipped champagne at a bar, tried some local ethnic food and got colds! (Okay, maybe the last one isn't so nice).

The best thing about this trip is that I want to go back. I want to go back a million more times.  Even if I see the same things, I want to spend more time in Chicago.  There are so many more things I want to do!  Go to the Museum of Contemporary Art, take a boat tour, eat more pizza, the list goes on and on.

One thing is for sure, if I do go back, it has to be with the same person :)  Otherwise, it's just no fun!

There are so many more things I could say about our trip, but I feel like this is enough.  I love the city, I love my partner, I love The Bean.

The End.