Sweet Home Chicago

Tom took me to Chicago this weekend to celebrate our anniversary. Our anniversary was actually about a week and a half ago, but this was the weekend we had chosen for our escape.

First we dropped the kids off with my parents. This involved driving to the Cabela’s store in Hammond Indiana and transferring the children from the car they had just spent six hours in to my dad’s car where they would spend another two hours. Then I dropped my car off at my sister’s house in Oak Park and took the El into the city. I love Chicago but driving downtown makes me nervous. And the El is very pleasant.

We stayed at the Burnham Hotel, which is in the old Reliance building on the corner of State and Washington for those of you who are familiar with Chicago architecture. And even for those of you who aren’t. They gave us a lovely suite with very nice free toiletries and a lovely view of Old Navy. (Actually, it really was a very nice room). I arrived first and placed a call to our friend R to see about meeting for drinks later that night. Then I took a shower to use some of the very very nice L’Occitane shampoo et al the Hotel Burnham had provided for me.

After Tom arrived we went to the Star of Siam for dinner. We used to go there a lot when we were dating because it was convenient and it was cheap. It is still cheap, and still convenient, but it has clearly been remodeled. It is much nicer than I remember it. Then it was off to the Ale House in Old Town to meet R and drink many pitchers of Old Style. That is all I have to say about that. When we got back to the hotel room it was after midnight, and a construction crew was gearing up in the intersection just outside our window. They proceeded to spend the entire night jackhammering the pavement. Can you say loud? They finally stopped at about 4am.

We bought some earplugs Saturday morning on our way to the Art Institute.

I love the Art Institute. I always have. My family had a membership when I was in college and when I was temping downtown I kind of considered it my own personal museum.

After a couple hours of Art and Culture we were ready for some lunch. Where to? The Billy Goat of course. Remember Saturday Night Live? “cheezborger cheezborger cheezborger. No fries, chips. No Pepsi Coke”. It’s awesome. We had double cheeseburgers because that is what the counter man told us we wanted. It’s really best to listen to him.

We did a little shopping after that and then stopped at Harry Caray’s for a beer. Perfect timing! We arrived just as the Cubs game ended – Cubs Win! Holy Cow! They played “Go Cubs Go” in the bar after the game. Of course the only beer you can possibly drink at Harry Caray’s is Budweiser.

We met more of our friends, A nd R for dinner at the Park Grill. A and I have been friends since I was 16 years old. That’s a long time. We ate heirloom tomato salads and hamburgers made of Kobe beef and talked about all manner of things. We haven’t seen them in a while and it was great fun to catch up with them. We really should do it more often.

The earplugs worked a treat and we slept much better Saturday night.

Sunday I reversed the arrival procedure. El to my sister’s, then lunch at Al’s Grill. Then on to Cabela’s which meant running the gauntlet on the Tri-State. Get the children out of one car and put them in another car. Then drive home. Stop at Culvers for dinner. The end. Then, put the children to bed and sit down to watch the eagerly anticipated Valencia Grand Prix. But I already told you about that particular train wreck.

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