Saturday, December 12, 2009

WHAT a Trip! Part One

Our grand adventure started with the news that our daughter purchased a postal car over the internet.  She is a rural postal carrier in our community.  Rural carriers must provide their own means of transportation though they are reimbursed in milage and wear.  The company she bought the car from would ship it to her for $1700 - a fair price, but Candleman & I could see an opportunity so we told her we could deliver it to her for $1000. 

With our plane tickets paid we flew to Chicago a day and a half later.  I admit I was a bit reluctant at first - Chicago in December was apt to be cold, but then I thought about seeing the holiday decorations and was excited.  We were fortunate that our trip was a few days before the extreme cold hit Chicago and the nation.  Temps were in the 30s both Thursday and Friday.  We dressed warmly, bought some wonderful earmuffs in Chicago and rode the tour bus to our major destinations.

Our first morning, I slept in.  Good grief!  We enjoyed lunch at Macey's Walnut Room.  That was such a delightful experience that we ate lunch there again on Friday.  We loved the hot chocolate, the Swedish meatballs and, of course, the Frango mint chocolate cheesecake.  It was fun seeing the beautiful architecture and Tiffany vaulted ceiling in Maceys.

We walked over to Daley Plaza where they had a German Christkindl village - little shops that sold ornaments, food, clocks, etc.  We bought a pair of mittens for our youngest daughter.  After riding the tour bus for the rest of its loop we enjoyed a Chicago hot dog at Portillos.

Friday, after our lunch at Maceys we went to the Chicago Aquarium.  Fabulous!  Our bus tour person, Rosetta, told us about this excellent Irish Pub, so we went there for dinner.  Candleman was hoping for bangers and mash, but they were having a big Christmas party so we went to the Hard Rock and shared a chicken fajita dinner.  Rosetta also told us about the great mayonaise chocolate cake at Portillos and since it was across the street we indulged.  I'm not a cake lover, but their cake was delicious.  We sat in Portillos for over an hour visiting and enjoying the friendly, happy atmosphere.  We loved our time in Chicago.  What a city!  Can't wait to go back.  We've visited in July and December, so next time needs to be in spring or fall.

My recommendations (based on my minimum personal experience):
*Ride the Chicago Trolley Hop On Hop Off City Tours and keep your fingers crossed that you get Rosetta as your tour guide.
*Visit Maceys downtown after listening to the audio tour that you can find online.  Eat in the Walnut Room.  There was a 20-minute wait the first day, but they had us in our seats in less than 10.
*Take the Chicago architecture boat tour.
*Try a hot dog at Portillos.  And the chocolate cake!


Lexi said...

Oh, it sounds like you all had a WONDERFUL trip!

Framed said...

It's not as if I don't already have enough places on my TBV (To Be Visited) list. I think Chicago was already on it but pretty far down. It's sounds like you had a great time and I'm glad you're safely home. How was driving a right-handed car?

Helen's Book Blog said...

Chicago at Christmas! So much fun. I am hoping to get to Chicago for spring break this year; I hear it is a fabulous city.

Anonymous said...

Oh, booklogged, you did all the best things there are to do in Chicago! Even though I only live 35 miles or so away, I've not done one of those yet this year. The news showed the Kristkindle Markt and I said to my husband, "Why don't we ever go?!" I have such fond memories of eating in The Walnut Room at Field's, before it was "ruined" by Macy's...I always order the chicken pot pie, and of course it must be followed by Frango Mint pie. I hope you bought a box of those to bring home with you, and I hope you had a lovely time...which it sounds that you did. Blessings!

Aarti said...

Ah, I didn't know you were in my beloved city this week! I hope you had fun. I LOVE Kindlmarkt. It's so fun to drink the apple cider and wander the booths there. I hope you also saw the decorated windows at Macy's, though they are pretty lame compared to how gorgeous they were when I was growing up in the 80s and 90s. And if you took an architectural boat tour in December, I am SUPER impressed with you!

Other things to do: Eat deep-dish pizza :-) And I agree about Portillo's chocolate cake. SO GOOD.

Staci said...

Chicago is such a great town. Your visit has inspired me to make sure that I take my son there to visit this summer!!!

Les said...

My husband was born in Chicago and lived there until he was 8 or 9. We're a day's drive or a short less-than-an-hour flight away. I have never been!! It's on my Must Do Soon list. As in next summer some time. I want to go to the Art museum so badly. And a baseball game. Thanks for all the recommendations. Keep 'em coming! :)

Kailana said...

Sounds like an adventure! I enjoy your posts about your trips. :)

bookjourney said...

If I ever get there I want to do all of the above! What a great experience!

Anonymous said...

Great trip! I've done the boat tour and loved it!