(The following entry is from a previous trip – not the present day.)
Sunday, August 5.
I love big Sunday breakfasts.
Especially those involving pancakes and sausages or bacon.
Which is why this morning’s meal is making my mouth water in anticipation.
On a recommendation from the front-desk staff at our hotel, Lori and I make our way over to a place with an enormous range of dishes on its menu – eggs, pancakes, sandwiches, you name it.
Our server is fantastic, as are his recommendations. Lori digs into peach cobbler crepes, while I savour my beloved pancakes – topped with peaches – and just the right amount of bacon. (I’m not sure if there is such a thing as “the right amount” of bacon, but it was for me.)
After our Sunday Breakfast of Sugary Triumph, we hop on the bus, make our way down to Millennium Park, and get on a trolley headed for Chicago’s South Side.
Our tour guide isn’t as gregarious as the one we had yesterday, but he’s equally as friendly, informative, and open to any questions we have.
We catch a glimpse of some of the cities’ museums during one of our stops. But because of time constraints, we don’t get off.
Our tour trolley passes by numerous neighbourhoods, including the leafy, tree-covered Hyde Park neighbourhood (which, if I remember correctly, is close to one of the universities). We even pass by the street the Obamas live (lived?) on – which is noticeable because of the metal barricades blocking off the street.
After the tour, we walk down to the river front, winding our way towards the offices where we buy our tickets for one of the city’s famed architectural tours.
After a bit of a wait for the arrival of the boat, our group and our guide – a volunteer from the architectural society – set off.
Despite being out on the water, the sun is HOT. I have to take cover in a seat under the boat’s awning, to be able to enjoy the tour.
But the view – while not exactly camera-friendly – is still stunning.
Glass-paned windows sparkle; concrete structures stand out. Even the functional criss-crossing of the steel-beamed bridges seem to be somewhat stylized. The guide who describes each major building of interest is a wealth of information – firing off names of architectural firms, styles, and eras with precision.
It is, arguably, the best money – and 90 minutes – spent, if you’ve got any interest in architecture, or even in seeing Chicago from another point of view.
After the tour, we head back down the riverfront, and stop by the lakefront restaurant for two heaping bowls of salad, to tide us over until we can grab dinner.
For our last evening meal in town, we head to a restaurant recommended by friends, called SUSHISAMBA – a Brazilian/Japanese/Peruvian fusion eatery (with six U.S. locations and a fifth in London).
Despite my initial reservations about the sushi portion of the menu (because of two previous unsuccessful outings involving sushi), I did order something I ended up liking very much. Lori orders some sashimi rolls and loves every bite.
Another thing we enjoy? Our waiter. Apart from being super helpful, he is easy on the eyes.
We top off our excellent meals with dessert, then decide to head out in search of some live music.
Relatively close to our hotel, is a little blues bar. We arrive and order drinks just before the band starts. They’re a lively group – they’re funny, friendly, and interact with small folks from the small crowd in attendance. And the music is pretty catchy.
But we only end up staying for an hour; Lori has to board a plane the following morning.
Despite the limited time, our taste of Chicago is brief, but it’s enough to consider a return trip. Probably just not during Lollapalooza.