Monday, November 15, 2010

Chicago Tomfoolery...The Trilogy, Part 3

Sunday November 7 was a much more relaxed day than the one before it. There was no fourteen hour wedding party and Lindsey and I were able to catch up on some much needed rest. Lindsey and I had decided that it would be best for us if we just went back to Chicago on Sunday rather than Monday because it would allow us more time. So we begrudgingly began to move our bodies and get our things back into the car and ready for the relatively short, but seemingly massive drive we were about to have to undertake. Of course by this time we had loaded and unloaded of our bags a ridiculous number of times so we were less than excited to have to do it again knowing that we would be undoing it all over again once we got back to Chicago. However, we are not so easily put off from a task and eventually we got the job done. Heading out of South Bend we were lucky enough to snap some pictures of Touchdown Jesus right outside of Notre Dame’s football stadium so the entire Sunday was not lost in silent idleness.

{a NOT so focused Linz}

To be sure our trip always held some adventure on our way back to Chicago, which unfortunately features a toll road, we were hit with a $12.50 charge because the piece of crap automated toll ticket machine (not sure if that is its official name) registered our car as a five axle vehicle. You might wonder if Honda Accords now come with five axles and my answer would be that they do not have five axles but merely two. So now we are out of pocket almost 13 bucks to pay for the use of a road we don’t frequent that much and then there were still two more toll booth stops where we had to pay $3.50 and $1.50 respectively. I respectfully hate everything about the toll highway system now and I do not foresee my hatred of that system ever abating.

(We also got stuck in a traffic jam that kept us moving anywhere between 0 and 2 miles per hour for about an hour while on the toll road. I am not sure if you have ever seen what an 18-wheeler can do to the median when it crosses over and smashes into oncoming traffic but it is brutal. I was surprised they got the whole thing moving as fast as they did and was really glad that we were not involved in any way with the accident outside of being merely inconvenienced for a while.)

Once back in Chicago it was off to another restaurant because without food we cannot live and without good food life is not worth living. I am not sure of the name of the place but Jordan and Patrick took us there. The food was incredible and fresh. They also had a long list of wines to choose from and whichever kind was chosen did the trick of putting me to sleep within ten minutes of our return to the apartment.

Monday November 8 was a complete and total tourist day for Lindsey and I. After some serious couch time watching CSI: Miami reruns it was off to the “L” train for a trip downtown. Our first order of business was getting as high as possible in Chicago so we did that, by taking the elevator all the way to the Sky Deck of the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower.) In what has to be one of the fastest elevators in the country you are rocketed to the Sky Deck, 103 floors high, overlooking all of Chicago and a huge portion of the Midwest I believe. On such a clear and lovely day as the one we experienced it was hard to imagine you were not seeing almost the entire portion of the country. It was a real touristy but great way to spend some time in downtown Chicago. The clear decks you can walk out over the streets on are a must for anyone who likes doing dangerous things in a setting where there is no possibility that they could get hurt. I consider that the perfect type of dare devil activity.

After conquering our fear of falling from immeasurable heights we headed off to see what else we could get into in the downtown area. We spent some really enjoyable time just walking around and jumping into and out of several stores along the way.
After walking around Millennium Park and seeing the Bean plus the various other wonders and sights of the area we headed to a quaint bar and grille for lunch. After downing some much needed and incredibly good sandwiches, we headed off to the Art Institute of Chicago.

The Art Institute of Chicago, as you may or may not know, is the size of several aircraft carriers. This might be one of the biggest places I have ever been in. This place is a sprawling complex filled with some of the most famous pieces of art you can remember from your days in Art Appreciation 101. It was like walking inside of your textbook. I know Lindsey really enjoyed getting a chance to see some of her favorite paintings in person and I was equally happy to be there and get to see the six paintings I know as well. We really had to rush through the place though because we didn’t realize it closed at five and we didn’t get there until 4. Hopefully next time we will get there with enough time to allow Lindsey her due time with some of the most famous pieces of art in the world.

{etc, etc, etc}

After the Art Institute it was back on the train for the ride to the apartment and some much needed rest for our feet. Jordan and Patrick had been planning to take us to their favorite restaurant in the city. As noted in a previous post, The Publican did not disappoint. From the beginning right to the very end we were treated to some of the best foods and beers I have ever had the privilege of consuming. It saddens me to know that we live in a world where most of the people on the planet will not get to experience food such as what they serve there. If you are ever in Chicago for any amount of time I highly recommend you carry yourself there or you will be doing all of us a great disservice.

Once we were done consuming the food of the gods, it was back to the apartment for some sleep and to get ready to come back home. After six days of hanging out, sightseeing, walking, talking, and a lot of eating we were finally coming back home. A trip that mentally and physically we did not want to take but knew we had to for the sake of sweet Lindsey’s job.

I won’t bore you with the details of our trip home. Needless to say it was long, as long as it was getting there, but stacked under the dread of returning to the routine of life and our jobs. But we made it back and are no worse for the wear. It was an amazing trip with an amazing person and I will never forget the experience. Thanks for reading, I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading about our Chicago trip as much as I enjoyed actually participating in it.

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