Monday 2 July 2018

Chicago Trip Report (with photos)

With Photos!  An understatement if I ever heard one. 
There are over 40 photos in this post.  I've never ever posted as many in a single post before.
Also, because there are so many photos you will find this post is slightly different from my usual trip reports which tend to be a straightforward timeline of what I got up to each day. 
Indeed this is a bit more of a cacophony of Chicago! Please enjoy!
I arrived early to Dublin airport so as to have a smooth passage through security and immigration.
As I was early and because the airport was crazy busy I figured I would check into the airport lounge.  It was cool and calm, and as I sipped on my flat white martini and read the newspapers I was glad I made the choice.

I may also have arrived early to the airport because I was so excited to get going! Here I am on the airplane looking very excited :)

It must be said that it is so handy to get from Chicago O'Hare straight into downtown Chicago.
Here I am on the blue line train looking very excited.
The jetlag hit me hard on this trip - but not so much that I was tired during the day or wasn't enjoying myself.  More so that I was awake early every morning (6am-ish).  The first morning however was particularly spectacular.  I woke up at 3am and simply could not sleep.  I eventually gave up and this is me drinking out of my favourite N.Wood Street mug and enjoying sunrise on the balcony at 6am


I can now add Wisconsin to the list of US states I have visited
We arrived before it started so I had some time pottering around on my own.  I love this photo of the sky ride/gondolas while they are empty and at a standstill
I got to see the bands on all the stages (6) doing their warm ups/sound checks which was very cool
Did you know that Milwaukee is famous for Harley Davidson, Beer and Cheese?
It's also famous for their fish frys.  And for some strange reason instead of going for a fish fry or even something cheesey (beer battered cheese curds anyone?!) I ended up going for the most awful Chinese food ever.  Ah well.  Lesson learned!
Summerfest is located on the shores of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee.. 
Later on I sailed on Lake Michigan (in Chicago) this begged the question how big exactly is Lake Michigan??! 
Specifically the question; is Lake Michigan bigger then Ireland maybe?! (Insert shocked face emoji here).
The answer is No. 
 Ireland is bigger than Lake Michigan.  JUST!  Ireland is 1.21 times the size of Lake Michigan

Food! Glorious food!

In no particular order, here is some of the scrumptious goodness I ate

Lobster tails! (Pre being butterflied, buttered & garliced)

Lobster tail on the barbeque...or as Americans call it the "grill"

This lobster tail and shrimp tasted divine.  That is all I can say

Waffles, bacon and Canadian 100% pure maple syrup.
More divineness

The usual order from The Smoke Daddy.  BBQ spare ribs, cornbread, mac and cheese. 
 Cannot be beaten

Dove's Luncheonette. 
This was a new find for me.  I of course adored the d├ęcor!

But my God I simply cannot describe how amazing this dish tasted.
The first time I had tamales was in Chicago at Christmas but jeebs this lifted it to the next level. It was filled with country ham and carnitas, over mole verde.  If you remember on my last trip I was excited about trying mole?  Well I'm addicted.

Jeni's Ice-cream
Peanut brittle, chocolate and espresso
Yes a flight of three. What I can say? It was HOT (36 degrees Celsius)
More grilling!
Chicken and Steak Kabobs
Taco De Pescado (beer battered tilapia fish) from Big Star
Taco Al Pastor (pork)
These are the lobster tails from up above in the supermarket
I first tried sushi in 1998 when on my J1 in Florida and I did not like it. I've never tried it since.
Well, twenty years later, I like it.
One last treat in the airport before going home.  I love Bao Buns.  You cannot get these in Dublin/Ireland so I stuffed myself full lol

The Bean

No two ways about it this is pure amazing.  I don't care if it's really touristy.  I don't care that there was myself and a million others there looking at it.  It's just beautiful

I love this photo I snapped of it peeking out from behind the greenery as I arrived upon it

Seriously!!! Beautiful right?!

Can you spot me?

One last glimpse back before we headed down to THE BOAT!!!

Sailing on Lake Michigan

This was absolutely the highlight of my trip

 First of all there was a cooler with beer, sodas, and my alcoholic beverage of choice ;)

Secondly, views like this

And this

And finally.  There is me. On the tiller. For two hours solid.
Check out the captain behind me.  He looks pretty chilled and relaxed with me in charge eh?!


The Robey Hotel, Wicker Park


A really cool art deco hotel with beautiful MCM furniture

Did I mention the most beautiful MCM furniture?
These chairs were so comfortable!!!

Two very good cocktails.
The top one (Holy Cow!) was nicer than the below (Fire over Lake Michigan).

Spectacular views from the rooftop bar

Only 13 floors up but unbelievable views.  Look how much green there is!

There's the blue line!  (Right hand side of the pic) 
I really enjoyed the little drink in The Robey.  Those views! Swoooooooon.  If you are in the Wicker Park area this is definitely a Go See.
Speaking of Wicker Park...!

Well of course I had to go visit my favourite coffee shop and ogle the life size DeLorean

And the coolest little Mexican bakery.  With prices so cheap I seriously have to question how they are surviving??  Coconut cake that I pay $5 for in Key West can be had from here for 80c!!

I took a pic of these bar signs as I was walking to Velvet Goldmine on Division.  Some day I will do a whole blog of shop/bar signs - particularly all the old 1950s ones on Milwaukee Avenue.
I don't have any photos but Velvet Goldmine was amazing.  Beautifully curated pieces at not the worst prices.  I've been following them for a while on instagram and I'm glad I got to check it out in real life.

Time to go home!
All in all another wonderful trip to Wicker Park.  Hard to believe but (ALL of) those photos above probably don't capture everything.  There was loads more great stuff. Some of it the most simplest of things eg. hanging out on the balcony, having evening drinks and chatting. Watching the world cup and chatting.  Chatting. Did I mention chatting?
All good things must come to an end however!
Insert sad face emoji here
Until the next time Chicago :-)


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