We spent last weekend in Chicago and I’m still riding the high of being home and being foot-loose and fancy free without the babe, who we left with my gracious parents for 36 hours! Highlights include …
- HAMILTON. Obviously. Go see it. NOW. You’ll pay a pretty penny and it WILL BE WORTH IT. (Admittedly, Kyle reserved our tickets and I specifically asked him NOT to tell me how much they cost, because I knew it would make my frugal heart skip a few beats, but I obviously have a general idea of the price since, you know, we share a bank account and all.) We had excellent seats AND a seven year old was sitting in front of my (Go shorty, it’s MY Birthday!), so my view was completely unobstructed. Glory be to the theater gods.
- Intelligentsia Coffee. Though I have now found TWO Minneapolis establishments that serve my favorite brew, there is nothing quite like sipping it in the same place you first experienced it. And, I was struck by how friendly and professional the baristas were (they all wore ties!). There seems to be an unfortunate cultural shift where “barista” equates to “pretentious” and I don’t like it. They are bucking that stereotype at the Windy City Intelligentsia though.
- Those city streets. The sights! (Lake Michigan! The Bean! Grant Park!) The sounds! (Car horns, the El rattling by, and street musicians) The smells! (That stanky Chicago River.) We embraced our 36 hours as tourists and spent most of our time downtown – it was a gorgeous day, so we probably walked five miles along the lakefront, Michigan Ave, and through Millennium and Grant Parks. We did sneak in a short time on the north side, to visit a few old haunts of mine, which was nostalgic and wonderful too.
- The Palmer House Hotel. Ironically, my book club recently read Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth, and there are a number of scenes from the Palmer House in the book, so in addition to the beauty of this place, it was fun to imagine the book characters there at the hotel bar. Kyle and I grabbed coffee on Sunday morning and then just sat in the gorgeous lobby for half an hour sipping our coffee, people watching, and admiring the opulence.
- Irish Pubs. I’ve found plenty an Irish Pub here in the MSP (Have I mentioned my “Tour de Irish Pubs” that I invoked for my birthday celebration for about five years running?), but it felt particularly like home to be at the window table with Kyle and my brother-in-law, observing the shenanigans of an inebriated Bachelorette Party and solving the world’s problems over some whiskey (only two sips for me, and then on to the hard cider!).
Thanks for joining me down memory lane. Wishing you a spooky and fun Halloween week!