And so begins my weekends of visitors. Sarah and Beth flew in Wednesday morning from Springfield, Missouri. Luckily, their arrival was at about the same time as I usually take lunch, so I picked them up. Unfortunately, I still have another four hours at work… so I pretty much had to drop them off in Park Ridge to entertain themselves until I was done. They watched a movie, so it worked out.
I cooked that night and we had a little family dinner around my coffee table. Not having a table hasn’t been much of a problem until now (I’m still in search for the perfect pub-height dining room table). The cocktails were being made almost as soon as we walked through the door, so they looked at me for what we should do next. I wasn’t sure what their energy level was going to be, but apparently they wanted to go out. So I took them to Gatsby’s- a favorite of mine (of course) and where a couple of my guy friends were. It was a standard night there for us- pretty laid back, lots of liquor. People there were amusing as usual- got stuck in the parking lot for an extra 15 minutes because this older gentleman couldn’t stop going on about this History Channel documentary on how great Harry S. Truman was.
I had taken Thursday off because I have quite a few unused vacation days and I wanted to go roam the city just as much as they did. We slept in- which was an amazing feeling in the middle of the week. After a quick work-out and showers, we were on our way to catch the metra. And we barely did. I was nervously glancing at the clock as I searched for an open parking space. We got out of the car and were walking to cross the tracks just as the bell started ringing and the gates were going down to keep cars from passing. I just said, “ok, we’re running” and we took off. We may or may not have ducked the guards and slid past them to cross the tracks in time. Don’t try that at home, kids… But we sprinted and made it just in time. Good thing- the next metra wasn’t coming for another two hours. We would have been screwed…
I do not claim to be an expert on Chicago Public Transit. Nor do I think I will ever be. But I discovered Google Transit and think it may be the best invention since the Bump-it. I do not use them, but consider them genius nonetheless. So it helped us find our way around from metra to bus stop to destination. We managed it pretty well. I’m still a newbie to the bus system, so I was pretty proud of myself.
Our first stop was the Chicago Dog House on Fullerton in Lincoln Park. Hot dogs and deep dish are always on everyone’s list. Thought I’d knock one of them out right away- and I was intrigued by all the variations of hot dogs they had. Mine was the T-Frank. It included cream cheese (what???), avocado, a random sauce I do not know, and bacon. The bacon is what sold me. Yummmmmm. They both had the Snoop Dog. Beth swears it’s the best hot dog she’s ever had. Damn straight it was.
We actually made the trip down Fullerton all the way to the zoo by foot. Figured it might be a good idea- the fries were greasy. And we all know the nutritional value of a hot dog. And, in my case, bacon. It was a nice, breezy 76 degrees. We stopped in the park for pictures and then spent a few hours at the zoo. We were on a quest to find the bears when the sky started to look a little questionable. Then we heard thunder. We had plans to also hit “Chic Chicago”, the exhibit at the History Museum that I was dying to see, so I suggested an early exit. I didn’t want to get poured on the entire walk to the museum. So we left just as drops started to come down. We got a little wet on the way. Turned out to be a wasted trip- the museum closed 15 minutes before we got there. Apparently they recently changed hours? I was soooo sad.
One thing they really got a kick out of- we passed some news vans and wondered what they were doing. Then, we passed a guy on his phone saying Obama was getting ready to land. I knew he was making a trip in town, but had no idea we were going to be so close to all the action! Unfortunately, it was raining and we really had no desire to stand out in the rain or try to search him out. So we ducked into a Starbucks to try and figure out our next move. We decided we were tired and it was time to head home.
A quick bus ride and trip on the metra later, we were back in the ‘burbs. The trip was quick- the wait for the bus was not. Maybe because it was raining, but it felt like we had to stand forever for #73. Blah! Rosati’s was a call I made on the way home. Beth had never experienced true Chicago deep dish. And it had been awhile since I’ve had pizza- I had no problems calling it in. Pizza and a movie were the best way to end a long day. *Sigh
Filed under: Places to Drink, Places to Eat, Places to Go, Places to See | Tagged: Chicago Dog House, Chicago-Style Hot Dog, Deep Dish Pizza, Gatsby's, Google Transit, History Museum, House Guests, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Park Zoo, Metra, Park Ridge, Public Transportation, Rosati's, Starbucks | Leave a Comment »