Okay, I'm giving myself a C+ on picture-taking. I took several on Saturday but none on Sunday. Baby steps, right? Part of the problem is that Darby and I spend a lot of time eating on vacation. I really don't like taking out my camera in a restaurant. And most of the places we ate were super busy, so it's not like I could ask the server to take our picture. But, anyway, here's our trip with a few pictures. I'll go for the A (or maybe a B) next time.
We rode the Amtrak from Bloomington on Saturday morning. There is a train that leaves from Champaign, but the times weren't good. Plus, we're always willing to make the 45-minute drive to Bloomington because they have a Krispy Kreme! And the hot and fresh sign was on. Yummy!! There is nothing better than a warm Krispy Kreme glazed donut. I could have ended our trip right there. :)
We got to Chicago and walked about 1/2 a mile to our hotel, the Palmer House Hilton. I got a great deal on the room, and the hotel was super-swanky. Our room was really colorful and modern-looking. We had two double beds instead of a king, but we don't mind being close. Haha...TMI, right? Our room was directly above the El train tracks, so it was little noisy, but we were so tired at the end of the day that it didn't bother us.
We went to lunch at Yolk, a breakfast and lunch place. We had the BEST omelettes and pancakes. Then, we took a bus to Navy Pier, which is like a mini carnival/amusement park on the water. We rode the ferris wheel. (Please ignore how horrible I look. I'm really bad at taking a picture of myself and looking like a normal person.)
Here's me looking slightly better.
There was a beautiful view of Lake Michigan and the skyline.
There was also a really cool FREE stained glass museum. It was kind of random and didn't fit in with the surroundings, but the windows were beautiful.
We rode the free trolley back to our hotel, took a nap, then walked to dinner at Lou Malnati's, a famous Chicago pizza place. It was good, but I'm not sure it was worth the hour wait and slow service. After dinner, we rode the El to Green Mill, a jazz club. Darby really wanted to see some live jazz. The band was really good, especially the vibraphone player, but it was incredibly crowded and hot. We didn't stay very long. Plus, we were a little scared to ride the El back to the hotel late at night. (We're not cityfolk.)
Sumday we slept in a little, then got coffee at Intelligentsia, which is like a more pretentious Starbucks (if you can believe it!) Then we walked up Michigan Avenue and ate lunch at Foodlife, a really awesome mall food court. (It sounds like an oxymoron, but the food was actually really good!) They give you a card as you go in, and you just go to the different stations and swipe your card. Then you pay on the way out. I had fettuccine alfredo and a hot fudge sundae. Doesn't get much healthier than that!
From there, we walked up the shoreline (a long way!) to Lincoln Park. There is a free zoo there. Darby and I LOVE zoos, so we had a lot of fun. We thanked our lucky stars that we didn't have a stroller to push around. Seriously, how do people do it? I really am not going to want to go anywhere with a stroller. It's hard enough for me to maneuver myself without bumping into anyone. I plan on using one of those babyslings, but what am I going to do when I have toddlers? I guess never leave the house.
We walked about a half mile to the El and rode back to our hotel. We still had a little time before we had to catch our train, so we sat and read at Barnes and Noble. It was great to rest our feet for a while. Then, it was back to the Amtrak station and home again!
It was a great trip! We had beautfiul weather...a little chilly (in the 40s and 50s) but very sunny. We about wore our legs out walking. I pretended that we burned enough calories to make up for all of the food we ate. Darby and I just love traveling together. And really, who wouldn't love traveling with this handsome guy?