Tales of Chicago Natalie: Part 4 – Conclusion
After the huge cluster-fuck that was Friday, we were (understandably) a bit foggy Saturday morning and slept in a little bit. It also helped that neither of us had our dogs with us - when you have a dog it’s really, really hard to sleep in, regardless of how ridiculously late you get home the night before. No dogs = glorious extra hours of sleep.
No breakfast was required, considering we consumed the equivalent of 23 eggs and a block of cheddar cheese at 5:30 am the night before. As mentioned previously, we were a little bit embarrassed of our new-found intimacy with the concierge and bellhop, so we tucked our heads under our wings like cowards and scuttled out the hotel lobby as quick as possible.
We hadn’t done anything touristy yet, so we thought we should at least walk around the city for a bit and admire the architecture. Chicago really is beautiful – the balance between new design and historical architecture is really well thought-out. Additionally, the green space and the rivers flowing throughout the city make everything seem really lush and picturesque. Our hotel was right next to Marina Bay, which Pam and I thought looked cool – kind of like a concrete loofah:
We were also very excited to see the building from ADVENTURES IN BABYBITTING!!!
We also wanted to visit Millennium Park and see the big bean. Although I’m usually somewhat unimpressed when I finally see things that have been overly hyped up, the bean was pretty cool. PLUS, we met two super-hot chicks:
Here, we tried to be like that chick from u2′s Mysterious Ways video… Hops got it right, but I just look like I’m crouching down in an outhouse:
We stopped into an adorable little cheese/wine/bread shop called Pastoral - it was really cute and the salespeople were great. I was convinced to buy a huge piece of taleggio, some olives and some rosemary crackers with strawberry and rosemary jam… MMMMmmmmm! Little did I know that we would not really have time to eat the cheese, and I had to force it down my throat when we got home at the end of the night in a guilty attempt to not waste high quality cheese. It was a lot of cheese. My stomach was not thrilled.
ANYway, back to Saturday morning. We decided to try to walk around again and went up the Magnificent Mile just to see what it was like. It was REALLY packed, and it just seemed like all of the stores were the same as the ones in the local mall in Canada, so we very quickly booted out of there and started walking across Chicago Ave. Our ultimate goal was to find a patio or restaurant to have a relaxed lunch… maybe in the sun… similar to the patio we sat at the day before…
So we walked. For HOURS. No restaurants. No patios. If we DID see a restaurant, it was closed for the day. On a BEAUTIFUL Saturday in gorgeous weather. This baffled our minds. I mean, don’t people need to eat? Don’t people want to escape from their house-caves and consume calories in order to sustain life? Aren’t there tourists visiting that need to eat? Aren’t there people who are related to people in Chicago who are visiting for the weekend and need to eat? WHAT IS GOING ON?
We walked. And walked. And walked. SO HUNGRY. And walked. Incidentally, we happened upon another vintage store that we had wanted to go to called Dovetail. The girl and guy who ran the shop were really cool and tried to suggest places to go that night. After our “Silver-Jeans-Pink-Bar-Tops” experience the night before, we were eager to listen. The store was awesome, and she had some really well-selected pieces. Again, I lucked out and found an almost mint-condition Dooney and Bourke hunter green saddle bag. I LOVE IT.
I also found this plaid shirt with a short placket… so awesome. It makes me feel like a hipster Peter Pan:
After that, we finally happened upon a great vegetarian place called Mana. I personally think their food was the best I had the whole time in Chicago, and since we kind of just stumbled upon it, I think that made it even more awesome.
Mmmmm best Caponata I’ve ever had and some delicious veggie lasagna:
Hey! Remember when we bought AWESOME boots yesterday? Me too:
I felt completely and utterly fantastic that day… despite the numerous, numerous drinks and late night on Friday, so I was loving life. Unfortunately, P-Hops wasn’t feeling quite so chipper. And by that I mean she was so hungover that she could barely communicate and just wanted to go home and pass out. We took a brief nap, then went out for dinner. We had really wanted to try this other veggie place called Green Zebra… but of course we couldn’t get our shit together and didn’t make a reservation. When we got there, the server told us it was “Sweetest Day” (Whaaaaaat the fuck?). Apparently, it’s a Valentine’s Day alternative for peeps in the Midwest. So a whole bunch of couples were there frigging staring into each other eyes and blowing kisses at each other. GROOOSS.
So we went to this other place called Lokal. It was ok.
Pam was really feeling like SHEEEET, so we went home early and passed out for our flight the next day. When I got back to the hotel, I ate a huge block of Taleggio, as mentioned earlier. Then, I felt like sweaty ballsacks and went to bed.
Toronto Natalie was percolating and was ready to re-emerge.