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Chicago/Shipshewana Roadtrip 2010

10 May

Day 5- Tues. Apr. 27, 2010:

            Again on
the recommendation of the guidebook we headed out. This time to Manny’s Café (it
seems to be a common theme, to eat at a recommended breakfast place) where the book
forewarned about large portion sizes. When we got there we were at first a bit
put off, it was rather sketchy looking. But it was reassuring to see a picture
of President Obama at the register; I gather he was rather fond of the place? As
I did in San Francisco, I ordered the pancakes. They were soft and fluffy and
delicious. And the book was right. My plate was piled high! And as we looked
around, workers were coming in for what seemed like an early lunch (keep in
mind it was only 10am!) and ordering sandwiches. Sandwiches almost as big as my
head! It was amazing watching them grab a hold of it and just bite into it. It was
quite the sight to see. It was a much clearer day, the sun was out (and yet it
was SO cold, about 5 degrees I think?) so we thought we would go check out the Sears
Tower again, see if maybe the top was visible this time. And it was. As we
walked back to the hotel we took smaller side streets we hadn’t yet been on
thus getting to see more of the city. In keeping with the mild Ferris Bueller
theme to the trip we actually walked by the stock exchange and saw some brokers
outside on their morning cigarette breaks. Unfortunately to go inside and watch
them trade (which is now lamer because of computers unlike in the old days as
in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)
you had to have special permission of sorts (i.e.: be part of a school group).

            We drove
to Oak Hill which is just outside of Chicago to go on a tour of Frank Lloyd
Wright’s house and studio. It was one of the more interesting tours I have been
on. I enjoyed how he built it so that a small cramped space would lead out to a
giant space, a “bam” effect as the tour guide put it. From there we drove to
Hillside to Mount Carmel cemetery in hopes of finding Al Capone’s grave. No such
luck, there was no sign or anything so we just wandered for a bit and gave up
really quickly. I guess it hadn’t really occurred to me to look up where
exactly it was. We drove to Superdawg (yet another podcast recommendation) for
lunch. It was catastrophic at best. First I dropped some of my hot peppers as I
tried to pass them to Brent, then as I tried to take a bite of my giant hotdog
the cucumber fell out and onto the floor, leaving a trail of relish on my
pants. But it was very good food. The hot dog came buried in fries so I had to
eat my way to it. It was about as good as Portillo’s but the relish was a weird
shade of green, with a slight hint more teal to it. It was also a bit more piquant
in flavour.

            Superdawg
is on Milwaukee Ave. which also happens (further south) to be one of Chicago’s
Polish districts.  It also happened to
intersect with North Paulina Street (yes I am still taking pictures of all my
avenues that I come across) which just happens to be where my great aunt had
once lived. Being the small residential area that it was, there was no parking
to be found anywhere, so we just drove by and I took pictures out the window. We
couldn’t park on Milwaukee Ave. either because there was massive construction
underway. We drove back to the hotel using random streets so we could see even
more of the city. Stopping at a red light on a draw bridge while the El-Train
passes overhead is scary, the whole thing rumbles and shakes and it’s loud.

            After crashing
in the hotel for a bit I grabbed my camera and headed out solo to photograph
the city. Instead I took hundreds of pictures of Buckingham Fountain, the small
surrounding fountains near it, and Cloudgate (the bean). What can I say, the
lighting was good! I was there for a couple hours and the sun was setting so I decided
to head back to the hotel via the next street over, continuing with the theme of
the day really. Except the way it happened I was actually two streets over on
State Street. With a giant green tea from Starbucks in hand I headed back… only
I got distracted by a TJ Maxx across the street (which is where I had just been
at Starbucks, so I may have looked mildly crazy). I only meant to go in there
for a few minutes; after all I had my sunglasses on and in the spirit of
comfort had not brought my purse (thus my change of glasses). And yet I was in
there for a few hours, it’s so much better than the Canadian counterpart,
Winners! Not fair. When I left I kind of went the wrong way. I was mildly
disoriented and thrown off by the fact that as I had been heading to the hotel I
quickly ran across the street to TJ Maxx, so as I headed back I forgot I was on
the other side of the street. Thankfully I got about 1 block north before I caught
on. On the plus though I did get to see the Chicago Theatre marquee all lit up.
Yep, by the time I left TJ Maxx it was dark outside, the sun had managed to
set.

            I looked
crazy as I walked back to the hotel, it was dark outside and there I was
smiling like an idiot and wearing sunglasses. I was also really hungry, but I first
wanted to go get my regular glasses, it was also rather hard to see. Upon reuniting
with Brent at the hotel we headed out to get me some dinner. I just about
settled on a bag of cold (already cooked though, just meant to be heated up)
chicken wings at Jewel-Osco (weirdest name for a supermarket ever!). Instead I had
Subway for dinner. Except it was kind of weird, they had on offer a sandwich
called “The Feast” which I later learned was just meat piled on top of meat on top
of meat. Gross. And of course: what’s dinner without soda and candy? The next
Mountain Dew we tried was “Voltage”, it was blue and tasted like gummies,
unlike the white one that tasted like licking the inside of a freezer. Sadly though
there weren’t any good diet sodas on offering (they were out of Cherry Coke
Zero!) so I had to settle for ingesting high-fructose corn syrup.

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Posted by on May 10, 2010 in Travel

 

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