Monday, April 21, 2014

2014 - Chicago (Day 4)

Today is our last day here and our long drive back to Toronto.  The drive is about 9 hours long.

We went to The Girl and her Goat diner for breakfast this morning and they had some amazing food.  Highly recommended.  After we went to Glazed and Infused for one last round of donuts before we head back.
The drive back was pretty long and uneventful.  We did have a lot of crazy conversations.

Based on this trip is are my observations.

Allison & Christina - they would make an awesome YouTube channel with their random questions.
Harold - makes a lot of strange faces.
Mike - makes fantastic guides for food choices.
Chicago - a fun city.  I would visit again to do some of the museums and boat cruise next time.  There is still a lot of places to try out and we missed an entire section of the magnificent mile.

Until the next trip!

2014 - Chicago (Day 3)

Today is our last full day in Chicago.  We drive back tomorrow morning and arrive tomorrow evening in Toronto.

This morning we went to The Publican for breakfast and it was amazing.  The place had four James Beard awards.  Everything we had was good with the bacon being everyone's favorite.

Afterwards we went to Glazed and infused for a donut.  You should try this place.  The donuts are actually cakey in texture.  We will try to head back here tomorrow morning before we head back.

We were looking at stopping by moosejaw to see if we could find any climbing gear.  Once we got there we found out that they had an easter promotion where you search for eggs hidden in the store and you get the discount that is inside.  1.5 hours later we ended up buying our climbing shoes and harness here.  I guess we are committed!!

Onto See's to see if they are open to get some toffettes.  Unfortunately they were not open today.  Easter Sunday is a big day here with a lot of stores being closed.

We went to the Chicago premium outlets next.  We all thought it wasn't as good as expected since it is smaller than expected.

Unfortunately we weren't able to arrive back in time for the boat cruise.  Maybe next time!!
For dinner we went to Weber Grill and they had some good BBQ food there.  I was told that we shouldn't be allowed to drink... Or we can drink and record our conversations since we would make a great YouTube channel.
And that is the end of the adventure.  Until next time!!!  Tomorrow we just drive back to Toronto.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

2014 - Chicago (Day 2)

Today is the first full day that we spend in Chicago.  First stop, breakfast!!

We head down to Yolk for breakfast which is by the bottom of the loop in the downtown.  The transit system is pretty neat.  We paid for the one day pass which is $10.  You get an electronic NFC card.  It seems similar to the system in New York.

Yolk had an hour wait time so we stopped by the Trader Joe's that is nearby.  Neat little shop.  Harold was disappointed because it didn't have espresso pillows so we had to go find another one.

After Trader Joe's we went back to Yolk to see how the line was and we were still 30 minutes away.  So we went to the nearby art installation and had some awesome shots.  Yolk was pretty good.  Reminds me of Over Easy.

Next stop we went to our friend's 62 chicken shack location for a quick peek and photo.
Next we went to see the Buckingham fountain which is the fountain in Married with Children.  A lot bigger than I thought it would be.

Onto the bean!!!  Or Cloud Gate as it is officially known.  This thing is pretty awesome.  Check out the pictures!!!

After we went to the magnificent mile which is the shopping district.  Found a lot of big shops.  Nike was four stories.  Burberry is five stories!!!  We stopped by Grand Lux Cafe for a snack.  We had desserts and some drinks.  Everything was great.  There is a famous popcorn place here called Garrett's and the line was ridiculous!  This better be the best popcorn ever.  Instead we left and hoped for the best at Navy Pier since there is a second location there.

We wandered a bit more after and headed to the John Hancock Tower.  Unfortunately after looking at what they had to offer we decided not to go up it even though we just made it.  We will try for the Sears Tower tomorrow.

Wandered down to pizza thinking the line wouldn't be bad but it was an hour wait.  Walked to another one, same deal.  So we decided to try Purple Pig.  The line was 2.5 hours long.  So we decided to go to Navy Pier instead.

Navy Pier was unfortunately under construction so we weren't able to see anything.  Maybe next time.  Luckily the line up at Garrett's wasn't as bad but we still spent about 30 minutes waiting and for them to go through all of our orders.

We tried one more time for pizza and we were successful.  The deep dish pizza was okay.  We were told there are better places.

Our day ended with us getting back at 12:20am.  Longer day than expected.  Harold again out spent us all again.  Popcorn alone Harold spent $72!!!

Tomorrow we look into the boat cruise and maybe a baseball game.

Friday, April 18, 2014

2014 - Chicago (Day 1)

Off to an early start today!  We decided to start our trip to Chicago early and leave at 3am.  This time around it is with a bigger group of people and there are 5 of us.  We rented a car at Alamo and it was $220 for 4 days.  We made it to the Sarnia border at 5:30, ahead of schedule.  We were actually at McDonalds before it opened.  So we stopped by the Tim Horton's.  Did you know it is a cafe and bake shop down south?

We stopped at the McDonalds after to grab some breakfast and continued on.  Since we were early we decided to stop at a Target.  The deals do seem better down here although I didn't get anything.

Our first main stop is Great Lakes Crossing.  Which is an outlet mall in Michigan that reminds me of Vaughan Mills.  Lots of sales but we didn't end up buying much.

After the outlet we went to Olive Garden for lunch.  $10 will get you a full main course along with unlimited bread sticks and your choice of unlimited soup or salad.  Americans have such plentiful meals!!

Mike took the first shift from Toronto to GLC.  I drove from GLC until the car complained that it needed gas.  When we got to the gas station I tried to pull the gas cap release to no avail.  Mike and Harold tried as well with no luck.  After about 10 minutes I figured out that the latch wasn't pulling the release enough to pop the cap.  Issue resolved!!

After this Harold decided to take the next shift to test out the car to see why Mike and I was complaining about the CVT of this car.  He seemed okay with it minus the lag.

About 1.5 hours in and a nap from all of us we awoke to a state trooper pulling us over.  He told Harold that he basically cut him off.  He called it in but luckily didn't charge him.  He drove a bit more before we took a pitstop at a McDonalds and I drove the rest of the way to the airbnb location.

The places seems okay.  Two rooms with a pull out sofa bed but it only has one bathroom.

We went to Girl and her Goat for dinner thanks to Allison's brother for the reservations.  The food was great so it was a good end to the long day.

Tomorrow we explore Chicago.