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 Macys 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. (we did that on our summer trip - NOT this winter!)
*Try a hot dog at Portillos.  And the chocolate cake!
*Enjoy borscht (beat soup - my new favorite soup) at the Russian Tea Room near the Art Museum.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you guys had fun! I'm also very glad that you made it home safe and sound. I missed you! But I'm very happy that you had a good time!

Kristina said...

That sounds like such a fun time! Your are making me want our babies to up faster so that Wes and I can go play. Although the Chocolate Cake sounds a bit gross if made with mayonaise. I'll just take your word for that one.

julie said...

I'm so jealous that you're able to just pick up and go when an opportunity to travel presents itself!

I'm glad you had fun and I'll remember your suggestions if I ever make it to Chicago.

Cindi said...

I'm so glad you had a good trip. Hearing about it makes me hungry.