Day 2 in Chicago was filled with more wandering, eating, drinking (not all booze, by the way), and walking. The weather was perfect; there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky, the humidity was low, and the temperature was just perfect.
Ben and I started our day off with breakfast at a local restaurant, before jumping on the subway to head downtown. We wandered the city, avoiding parts of Michigan Avenue so that we could avoid the crowds as best as possible. Our first stop was for some sort of coffee based beverage. We went to a Chicago born company called the Argo Tea Café. Based on the recommendation of one of the baristas, I ordered a 16oz small iced Maté Latte made with almond milk (which apparently only has about 90 Calories). Verdict: delicious and thirst quenching.
After satisfaction was found in the bottom of my Maté Latte, we moved on to the former library now known as the Chicago Cultural Centre to view the Tiffany Dome – the largest glass dome created by the company to bear its name. The building was beautiful, the dome was incredible, but I have to say my favourite part of the tour were the quotes from famous authors that decorated the walls. Specifically:
“A good book is the precious life blood of a master spirit embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.” Milton.
“A library implies an act of faith which generations still in darkness hid sign in their night in witness of the dawn.” Victor Hugo.
“The real use of all knowledge is this that we should dedicate that reason which was given us by god for the use and advantage of man.” Bacon.
and my personal favourite:
“He that loveth a book will never want a faithful friend, a wholesome counsellor, a cheerful companion, an effectual comforter.” Isaac Barrow.
Following the cultural tour we moseyed over to Millenium Park to see the giant Millenium Bean. And of course, play tourist by getting a bunch of stupid photos of ourselves in the reflection of the Bean. Awesome stuff.
The newly opened modern wing of the Art Institute of Chicago offered up a spectacular lunch of olives, pickled vegetables, white fish mousse, and various deli meats. Oh, and a tasty Ebel’s Weisse beer.
Full and re-energized, we continued our tour of the town. Amazingly, we randomly stumbled on the Marilyn Monroe statue that I had blogged about here. It was like Marilyn was a siren and we just couldn’t resist her siren song. And just like a siren, she managed to crush me under her massive heel. Ha. I kid. Of course, I am proud to say that I was the only one (at least, the only person at the time that we were there) that thought to crawl under Marilyn’s giant foot and pretend that I was being crushed by her. Everyone else was doing the typical ‘look up her skirt’ shot, or ‘hold on to her leg’ shot. It might have been that I was just uber clever, but it was probably more that the ground was metal and thus a billion billion degrees. That is to say, I burnt my ass while I was pretending to be crushed by an angry 26 foot tall Marilyn Monroe. Regardless, the pain was worth the picture, in my honest opinion.
Wandering the city a little more, we made stops here and there to sample the local foods, drinks, etc. Eventually we ended up back at Ben & Erin’s place, tidied ourselves up and headed to dinner. Our dinner location is a newer restaurant that has opened up in Ben’s neighbourhood of Logan Square. Called Telegraph, the restaurant is a fantastic little wine bar with excellent food. We split an order of frog legs, and some lemon blueberry cake. This was paired with a 1977 Madeira that was so freaking tasty, the $20 per glass that we spent doesn’t seem enough. I am going to hunt this stuff down so that I can have a bottle on hand at home.
Oh, our dinner was also shared with one Rahm Emmanuel - you know, the Mayor and former Chief of Staff at the Whitehouse. Ya, that’s right. He heard I was coming to town and insisted that he had a seat directly beside mine. Unfortunately, I wasn’t up for having my picture taken with him, so he had to go home without the souvenir he wanted.
Sadly, I leave tomorrow, but I still have an entire day of exploring Chicago to go. w00t!