Saturday, September 3, 2011

Chicago: Days 1 & 2

Good news! After an incredibly long day of shuttle buses, airplanes and trains, we made it to Chicago!

[getting ready to take off]

So far, Zach and I are having an amazing adventure... and we're loving every moment of our trip. 

Our hotel room is, well, crappy. It's a coat closet... freakin' TINY. But, it's in the loop and close to everything. We can't complain too much. 

[the view from our hotel room]

Last night, we enjoyed dinner at Giordano's - famous for it's stuffed pizza (thanks for the suggestion, Jana!) After a day of airport food though, stuffed pizza seemed too heavy. Instead, we went with the thin-crust. It was great. (And, yes. We did eat the ENTIRE pizza ourselves... in one sitting.)

[olive, pineapple, and green pepper pizza)

We both decided that Chicago reminds us of Berlin. The trains run on platforms over the city - there are big iron columns in the middle of the roads.

[Zach in front of a train stop]

This morning, we had breakfast at Intelligentsia - our favorite coffee shop. Although there are Intelligentsia's in Los Angeles and New York now, they originated in Chicago. And, we were so excited to have cappuccinos and croissants in the original location.

[yummy latte]

After breakfast, we made our way to Millennium Park: the home of the big bean ("Cloud Gate"). And, we definitely took our share of typical tourist pics.

After a quick walk around the park, we visited The Art Institute of Chicago. A-maz-ing. We saw works by some of our favorite artists (including Picasso, Pollock, Mondrian, and Monet.) Who knew that freshman Art History class would come in so handy?

 [Paris Street: Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte]

[Greyed Rainbow by Jackson Pollock]

 [Bowditch Alphabet by Danh Vo]

[Untitled by Lee Bontecou]

When we finished our museum tour, we found ourselves in the middle of a freak thunder storm. Most people had umbrellas (like ourselves), but a few were left clamoring for any cover. I loved this group of people huddling under Marilyn Monroe's open dress. (See the guy in the white shirt looking up? Awkward.)

We stopped for lunch at The Billy Goat Tavern - an underground (literally), hole-in-the-wall burger joint.

Despite the shady atmosphere, the food and drinks were crazy good. Zach and I decided we'll probably have to make another stop there during the trip. 

I'm totally falling in love with this city! It's so beautiful.

For dinner, we rode the train up to Wicker Park. Our friends, Brad and Staci, told us we HAD to try Big Star. Apparently, they have the most amazing tacos.  

[outdoor seating at Big Star]

We weren't disappointed! The food and drinks at this place are incredible. (Can Chicago food get any better?)

 [Zach's excited for his tacos]


Tomorrow, we have an architectural tour and the Hancock tower on our to-do list. I can't wait!

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