Chicago

November 13, 2007 at 9:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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James and I discovered that nine hours in the car goes by so much faster when you’ve got Harry Potter on the ipod. Aside from some highway loopiness, we made it to my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Lake Villa, IL, by Thursday evening. To say Lake Villa is in Chicago is a bit of an overstatement — it’s really just a stone’s throw to Wisconsin. But free room and board and a great time with family made the hour and a half train ride into the city well worth it.

We spent a brisk Friday morning exploring South Loop, checking out some lofts and highrises we’d seen on Craigslist and getting a feel for the neighborhood. I was a bit disappointed in Printer’s Row, touted as a quaint street lined with bookstores and coffee shops, but really just a short, unimpressive block. We preferred some areas south on State Street and Michigan Avenue, though the whole place was under construction, which I found annoyingly frustrating. Not ideal to live amongst the jack-hammering, but James was quick to remind me to see “the potential.” We’ll see. We took a detour along the shore, stopping at Millennium Park to check out the “Jellybean” (at right). Check out more photos here.

Saturday we walked ourselves to death sight-seeing, hitting the Field Museum (highlight: the Tsavo Lions, the Aquarium (highlight: baby Baluga whale, preeecious!!), the River West and River North neighborhoods (with a disappointing trip to the Blommer Chocolate Factory, which makes the whole neighborhood smell like chocolate 24 hours a day/7 days a week, but is only open for business from 9am – 1pm on Saturdays, d’oh!), and a fabulous dinner at Mirabell, a german place I found online that was just as good as the food we ate in Austria. We had an hour to kill until the next train back to the suburbs, so we took the elevator up 103 stories to the top of the Sears Tower for some awesome nighttime views of the city.

Sunday we were beat, so Jenny and Kim took us to this great Whistle Stop cafe for brunch, and we spent the rest of the day visiting with my cousin Shelly, her hubby Don, and their adorable little girls Taylor and Julia. James really hit it off with this side of the family, and we’re excited at the possibility of moving up there and getting to see them more often. We made the long trek back home Monday, and now we’re back counting the days until this weekend. A busy week of volunteering at Harvesters, working on Urban Times, and getting my fat butt back to yoga class will hopefully make the week pass faster.

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