Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Chicago: Day 4 (& 5)

I'm sitting on my bed lamenting that our Chicago vacation (which I've been looking forward to for weeks) is officially over. Why do vacations always end so quickly? I'm not ready for real life yet!

Yesterday (the last full day of the trip), Zach and I left early for the Lincoln Park Zoo. We only made it a block before turning around and going back for more layers. Chicago weather is crazy. How did it go from 95* on Friday to 60* on Monday?

Nonetheless, we still made it to the zoo in good spirits (albeit a little frostbitten.)

[Ignore Zach's cheesy smile. See the tallest building in the back? That's where we had drinks on Sunday night. The Signature Lounge - on the 96th floor.]

[I've been trying to get a good shot of my new haircut. It's been difficult. Here's the best so far.] 

[Baby kangaroo at the zoo. A plastic bag fell into his cage and he went crazy. He thought it was new playmate.] 

[Zach and I decided we should try to domesticate zebras.]

[I love monkeys.]

[Smelly penguins.]

After the zoo, Zach and I tried to find a good hot dog place (since, having been in the city for 3 days, we still hadn't eaten one.) Our first two choices were closed (labor day, schmabor day), so we settled for The Wiener's Circle.

On the way, however, we stumbled upon a Five Guys. Since Zach's never eaten there, we faced a dilemma. Hot dogs or burgers?

Solution: eat two lunches.

Yep.

[Zach, satisfied after lunch #1 at Five Guys.]

[Lunch #2 at Wiener's Circle.]

[Chicago dogs are delicious!]

We finished lunch just in time for the start of the Cubs game. So, we took the crowded train to Wrigleyville - looking a little out of place in our colorful sweaters, scarves and boots amidst a sea of blue.

We had such a good time! Zach got us great seats - super close to the field. And, although my fingers almost froze off (yes, hard to believe in 60* weather), I loved every moment.

 [Our view, #1]

[Our view, #2]

[This was great: stands built on the tops of the buildings around the park.]

We finished out the evening by revisiting Wicker Park for The Violet Hour - a legitimate speakeasy (thanks again for the suggestion, Brad and Staci!) You can only enter the lounge through a hidden door, that leads to a dark hallway where you have to feel your way through two sets of thick black curtains. Did I mention that this was legit??

[Violet Hour's hidden doorway.]

Since our plane was flying back to LA at 7am on Tuesday morning, we decided to spend the night at an airport hotel. We left Violet Hour fairly early, went back into the city to collect our luggage, then took the train back to O'Hare.

[O'Hare train station.]

This morning, at 4:30am, my alarm clock brought our vacation to a screeching halt. Already, it was time to crawl out of bed and back to real life. After 9 hours of airport traveling (don't ask), we arrived back to our sauna-like apartment (thanks for the welcome, LA!)

Looking back though, I can't be anything but happy. Zach and I ate some really good food, did some really fun things, and all around had a great time. I'm already looking forward to the next time we get to go back.

Ultimately, I leave you with this: If you haven't been to Chicago. GO. You won't regret it!

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