Well…Day 3 in Chicago did not go as planned thanks to…SNOW.
Yes you heard me, snow, I was actually in Chicago at the beginning of November (this post is VERY delayed), it snowed as early as then!
It was a bit discouraging to try and drag my butt out to explore the city. But told myself, you can relax when you’re back in Vancouver you won’t have another chance to explore the city.
My plan was to take one bus to the Buckingham Fountain and eventually walk towards the Cloud Gate (did you know that’s the real name for the Bean, crazy hey!). After 30 minutes of waiting for the bus in my Nikes (I didn’t pack for snow!) I headed back to the apartment. I didn’t purchase a US phone plan because this trip was so short so I crossed my fingers ordering an Uber without data would work, it did!
Into the Uber Pool (seriously Vancouver why do we not have this yet?!) on my way to the Buckingham Fountain. When I was dropped off it felt like I was in the middle of nowhere, no one was there!
It felt very free-ing to be in this large park with no one else around to see. You could hear the hustle and bustle of the city with the serenity of this open space in such a condensed area. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to dance a little bit. P.s. for those of you who don’t know a bit more about me, I’m a dancer! I dance, I teach dance and I manage a studio.
After finally finding someone to make sure I was walking in the right direction towards the ‘Bean’ I continued on my way. Dancing, finding more open spaces, enjoying the scarcity of tourists and making the first tracks in some snow paths.
Here’s a tid bit of information again, did you know the bean which it is commonly referred to is actually called the Cloud Gate? To me it just looked like a giant donut as the layer of snow on top looked like the icing (could be the foodie eyes).
Even for the weather conditions many people were at this location, taking photos from afar, mirror images into the Bean and going underneath it.
Food for thought: What would happen if all art budgets were cut from the governemnt? Sculptures such as this wouldn’t exist!
Okay by this time I was freezing and HUNGRY! It was time for the thing Chicago is known for, their deep dish pizzas. I snuck in to Giordano’s just before the real lunch crowd arrived.
When I ordered I had the option of getting a freshly frozen pizza or waiting 45 minutes to an hour for a fresh pizza. You’d think I had ordered something super complicated but nope it was just a six inch cheese pizza! Best part of travelling for me on this trip was no time constraints. I mean, I had a few times set up to be home when the friend I was staying with was, but I was in no rush to not wait for the fresh pizza and let me tell you it was worth the wait.
While I waited I enjoyed a tomato basil soup which I thought would be too much with the tomato on the pizza and the tomato in the sauce but it was delicious. Rich, creamy annnnddddd grilled cheese croutons! What a decadent treat to bite into. Then the PIZZA arrived!
The deep dish pizza crust is like a pie crust, flaky, soft and rich and the cheese….it just doesn’t end. I swear it’s two inches of cheese combined with a light, fresh tomato sauce making for heaven in 6 inches. Not for any one who’s plant based or trying to eat like that…
A few people after asked me if they think this is something I could eat regularly, I’d have to say no to that (it wouldn’t really go with my eating habits at home) but if I find myself back in Chicago, I’d go for a treat!
After that meal a walk was definitely what I needed! I headed down to the river walk (of course asking for directions first).
The architecture tour which I’ve had heard great reviews for just wasn’t in my budget, I had to make my own tour. The river walk was a bit chilly at this time in the afternoon, but I was amazed how they had constructed the city of Chicago around a body of water.
After all that walking I needed a few things:
1) wi-fi (first world struggle of travelling cheap)
2) warmer toes
3) a bit of caffeine afternoon pick me-up. I found Intelligentsia…basically Chicago’s version of JJ Bean. I splurged big time on an Oat Milk Matcha Latte and it was worth every penny. Oat Milk creates such a whole, frothy taste and doesn’t have an after taste like some almond milks. HIGHLY recommend their shop.
Dinner was back at home with my friend trying to re-create SPUD’s Vegan Tofu Stir fry from memory. I had to improvise on the amount for the sauce but it was delicious, quick and saved us some money before heading out for an evening.
First stop was the John Hancock Tower, one of the tallest buildings in Chicago with a 360 degree observatory from the 94th floor. We were sneaky and just sat in for a drink. If you attend the bar you save on paying an entrance fee which our mindset was that the drink was the entrance fee for the view! If your budget is a bit bigger I would highly recommend staying in for dinner, the view is spectacular from all angles and beautiful at night!
My friend Melissa! We met while doing our BFAs in dance in Vancouver, it was SO good to see her again!
Our last venture for the evening was tickets to a show at Second City Comedy (after trying to scramble to find our Uber!). We didn’t see the main stage show but headed to the small theatre for The Second City e.t.c.’s 41st revue, Fantastic Super Great Nation Numero Uno. We weren’t expecting a ton from the performance but this show was literally laugh out loud. They switched from skit to skit very quickly, touching on present day topics and situations making for a light but hilarious show, highly recommend going to see any of Second City’s show! Ps they have servers moving during the show so I was able to get some delicious truffle fries and a glass of vino while watching!
Us trying to take a selfie on an iPhone 5 and selfie stick, ha. WOW, that recaps day 3…it was a long one! Day 4 was planned to be a much slower day!