Summertime Chi

Writing about my recent trip to California got me thinking: I never wrote about Chicago! I was lucky to go for work a few weeks back, July 11-14 to be exact, and bring Katie as well! (ps, California post coming up next..)

So, we stayed at the McCormick Place Hyatt Regency on the south side. Home of the most massive trade show floors that we’d be working for the next couple of days, representing the Georgia Pecan Commission’s Center for Pecan Innovation. Great hotel and amazing staff, albeit a bit crazy during shows. There was even a national basketball tournament in the same building, the same weekend we were there! Here’s some pictures…

Me and Margaret.
In action.
The scene.

So the goal was basically to talk the likes of Godiva, Chobani, Mars, etc. into adding pecans variations to their products. Uses include oil, flour, butter, and they’re all gluten-free, filling, tasty, high in fiber/antioxidants…ok, you get it. We rocked it. So. Between talking pecans we actually did manage to see some of the city!

Our Trip

Took Divvybikes on our somewhat-rainy Saturday afternoon, rode down Lakeshore Drive along Lake Michigan and checked out the museums, docks and parks. Rode through Soldier Field, and wow, what a stadium. Unbelievable architecture, can’t imagine tailgating and watching a game there (probably in the snow, too!). Made our way through Maggie Daley and Grant Park and saw the Buckingham Fountain… Then to Michigan Ave, where we had to get off our bikes because too many tourists; partially because it was Taste of Chicago weekend. Then rode all the way to Navy Pier where we had some local brews – Revolution’s Rosa Hibiscus beer – delicious and great packaging!

Really picturesque bike ride. From the lake coast, football stadium, and parks, to the canals, boats and restaurants in the middle of an extremely congested city. Those buildings are everywhere around you, it almost feels like more of a concrete jungle than NYC!

On a separate excursion, we ubered up to Wrigleyville for a night. That meant pizza. Lots of pizza. We opted for Lou Malnati’s (traditionally a deep dish place) over Giordano’s (traditionally stuffed pizzas), and were not in the least bit disappointed. Chicago pizza definitely raises the bar for the rest of the world.

Unfortunately didn’t get to check out much up on the north end at all, just Wrigley at night (on a non-game day).

So it’s not much, but here’s what I have for Chicago:

  • 7/11-14, 2015, for IFT trade show with Margaret Lisi, Katie Abrams, and Ashia Sims. Stayed at the Hyatt at McCormick Place.
  • Next time:
    • Lincoln Square, Lincoln Park, North Avenue Beach w/ volleyball etc.
    • Look into canal kayaking under bridge at Wacker street.
    • Look for rooftop bars around Trump!
    • “Bean” is by Millennium / “Cloud Gate” … Don’t know how we missed this.
  • Michigan Ave: busy and lots of stores, window shopping, tourists.
  • Had Vitani cocktails at Uncorkit liquor store, very good and local.
  • Ate at Triple Crown in China Town – whole China Town seemed very rundown..
  • BOSS Bar one night with Katie. Cool scene.
  • Wrigleyville/Boystown — walked around at Clark/Addison intersection. Witnessed a car being broken into, and watched the USMNT Gold Cup game at a bar around here.
  • Recommendations from a friend: Francesca’s (italian), Portillo’s (BBQ, burgers, etc.), Girl and the Goat (oysters, goat, cocktails, upscale), Pick Me Up Cafe (brunch in Wrigleyville), Lost Lake Tiki (fun drinks).
One note: The Divvybikes were great, but the 30 minute return cycle were a big hold. Basically meaning that as soon as you rent your “new” bike, you have to bike in the direction of another station, otherwise you’d be charged extra. Inconvenient but makes sense, I guess.. Just something to be aware of.
Navy Pier
Navy Pier
chicago building wow
Navy Pier
Navy Pier
Back to tha A
Back to tha A

Overall loved Chicago! Next time maybe I’ll try to visit in the winter??


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