A Bean To Remember...

Chicago Travel Blog

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Beer is food!

***Am looking forward to a return trip to Chi-Town this spring, and making it to a Cubs game, although Cubs tickets are few and far between....

I received a phone call from my Sake Bomber Brother, Bill (the_bill), that  he had received a terrific deal on Priceline.com for a four-star hotel in Chicago. "Who do you know who will be attending?" I asked. Tim from Austin (TYoungTX), was the email reply. That was good enough for me! Ready or not, here we come!

I knew Bill and Tim were all geared up for Chicago. I read the travel forum, and the Meet Up had the potential for 6-8 Chicagoans as well, so I was PUMPED!

Bill and I each took off Friday from work. Early in the morning I jumped into my gold Concorde, nicknamed "Nikita," and met Bill at the Mall of America, got Bill loaded up, and we headed East.

close up
I also had just purchased a new Fuji camera, like, the day before...so I was eager to try it out! Seven hours later, we were tooling down Michigan and Wacker!

***Sorry to all the Chicagoans who messaged me AFTER we were enjoying ourselves in your town....we shall have to ensure better communication next time BEFORE arriving in Chicago as there was as many people messaging me about not being able to make the meet up, if not more, than the Chicagoans who were present for the meet up....next time we hope to include you all! 

The Hyatt Regency was fabulous, and, as we found out, a mere two blocks away from where Tim was staying at the Hotel 71. The first Chicagoan we met, who was actually a graduate from the University of Minnesota, was Ron (jetsetboi), who is very hip on the Chicago night life scene and lives smack dab in the middle of everything downtown! Thanks for all the rides, Ron, your hospitality was amazing!

At Leona's, we met Michael (mmarc2000), who rounded out the male bonding.

Chicago at night
Leona's has super pizza, and great meat balls, though I could find little lasagna to go with it.

After Leona's, we headed down Clark Street, and just had to see Wrigley Field. I was amazed at how much renovated Chicago had experienced since my last time through! I don't recall feeling safe around Wrigley Field my last time in Chicago, but was amazed at all the new condos, renovated store fronts, and cleaned up neighborhoods.

On our trip back, we stopped at John Barleycorn's for a few beers, and sized up the young population inhabiting the Wrigley area. But after a 19 hour day, even Minnesota boys can get tired, so we retreated to our hotel for the evening.

Saturday morning Bill and I got up early, to do some retakes on photos from the previous night.

view just under the vodka bottles
We met Tim, who joined in the photo fest. We indulged in a game of "how many can you find," which included Walgreens, Starbucks, McDonalds, and 7-11's. At the end of Sunday the final count was: Walgreens - 8, Starbucks - 7, 7-11's - 6, and McDonalds - 4. What a poor showing for the Golden Arches!

Tim was meeting Ron for Dim Sum, and they asked if Bill and I would like to join them into Chicago's Chinatown. We dined at The Phoenix. We tasted so many wonderful treats, it was simply amazing! Try bubble tea, if you get the chance. We then wandered around the Chinese garden, and discovered which Chinese Zodiac year each of us is. I was born in the year of the Ram, and so is my daughter, and my son was born in the Year of the Pig, and somebody very dear to me was born under the sign of the Snake.

Bill in front of Hotel 71, where Tim was staying at

About 2pm, it was time to head to 10-Pin, a downtown Chicago bowling establishment, for bowling with a twist, and to see how many Chicagoans would be in attendance today. Michael was in attendance, and we spotted Alicia (agarcia) wandering around looking for us TravBuddies. Alicia is a world class bowler and civil engineer, and great ambassador of Chicago! After a couple rounds of bowling, we headed down to Millenium Park to see the outdoor ampitheater. We also got treated to "The Bean", the ice skating rink, and the water fountain blocks. The pictures of "The Bean" simply speak for themself.

Getting hungry, we wandered our way to Berghoff's German Restaurant, an establishment in operation since 1898.

The Trumph Tower
Berghoff's has the distinction of being the first establishment to acquire a City of Chicago liquor license at the end of Prohibition. This restaurant has excellent cuisine!

After Berghoff's, we headed down the Magnificent Mile past Macy's and viewed the window Christmas decorations, enroute to our hotel.

On Sunday, Tim had texted Bill as he was at the airport heading back to Austin. Bill and I still had some more picture-taking to be had, down at Millenium Park and Grant Park, and the much heralded boat tour up and down the Chicago River. Yes, absolutely....don't miss the boat tour!

And just as suddenly, our whirlwind weekend in the Windy City was over.

Heading toward the Water Tower

I learned a few lessons you don't want to soon follow: Internet in the hotels, at least in Chicago, is not free. Try the internet cafes, or coffee shops. A $5 cup of coffee is alot less expensive than the daily fee for hotel wifi. Hotel parking in Chicago is not included in the price of the room, either, and the parking ramps near the hotel are a LOT less expensive in comparison.  And, if you want to dine, do so at eating establishments. I am still smarting from my $13 vodka red bull and $14 mini pizza, and I was still hungry thereafter!!!

Outside of the cold wind, I loved the warm Chicago hospitality, and new TravBuddy friends I was able to meet. I look forward to seeing all of you again, whether at a future Chicago Meet Up, or back in Minneapolis at a meet up here in Minnesota next summer. Hats off to you, Chicago...I absolutely loved it!

We hope to see more Chicagoans on our next trip to Chicago, and leave a warm hand extended when we shall be hosting our next meet up in Minneapolis as well.

Until then,

 

Lord Mike

Petra2111 says:
Great pics!!
Posted on: Feb 06, 2009
Lord_Mike says:
I guess we stayed around the loop...and had we ventured more around and had more time there, the odds would have changed. I really thought McDonalds would have won out!
Posted on: Dec 09, 2008
festerwretch says:
Wow, Walgreens beat out Starbucks? That actually surprises me. I know one place where there is a Starbucks, and about a min. walk away is another one! (and ... yes there is a Walgreens near there too)
Posted on: Dec 07, 2008
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Beer is food!
Beer is food!
close up
close up
Chicago at night
Chicago at night
view just under the vodka bottles
view just under the vodka bottles
Bill in front of Hotel 71, where T…
Bill in front of Hotel 71, where …
The Trumph Tower
The Trumph Tower
Heading toward the Water Tower
Heading toward the Water Tower
Michigan Avenue Bridge
Michigan Avenue Bridge
Chicago is the site of Fort Dearbo…
Chicago is the site of Fort Dearb…
More Chicago at night
More Chicago at night
Our Hotel Room
Our Hotel Room
Fridays destination...Leonas
Friday's destination...Leona's
Ron and Tim
Ron and Tim
The Water Tower, from Rons roof w…
The Water Tower, from Ron's roof …
Me and Bill
Me and Bill
Leonaa has light fixtures!
Leona'a has light fixtures!
Lessons on how to Screw The Cork…
Lessons on how to "Screw The Cork…
Michael, the Meet Up organizer!
Michael, the Meet Up organizer!
Ah....Downtown Brown!
Ah....Downtown Brown!
Cheers!
Cheers!
Demolishing appetizers
Demolishing appetizers
A big a meat a ball lasagna
A big a meat a ball lasagna
Chicago style pizza
Chicago style pizza
Ron showing how to use the spatula
Ron showing how to use the spatula
Bill trying to state how much he l…
Bill trying to state how much he …
The meatball is HALF my lasagna...…
The meatball is HALF my lasagna..…
Ron is HUNGRY!
Ron is HUNGRY!
Mug shot
Mug shot
Our shy waitress
Our shy waitress
Heading down Clark Street. Bill an…
Heading down Clark Street. Bill a…
Nice title...
Nice title...
...and another Irish pub
...and another Irish pub
Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field
Jack Barleycorns kitty corner fro…
Jack Barleycorn's kitty corner fr…
Ron and Tim disagreeing
Ron and Tim disagreeing
I guess only senior citizens are a…
I guess only senior citizens are …
The Water Tower
The Water Tower
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Chicago River, from our hotel at t…
Chicago River, from our hotel at …
John Hancock in the distance
John Hancock in the distance
NBC building on the left
NBC building on the left
Work being done on Columbus Ave Br…
Work being done on Columbus Ave B…
View down Chicago River toward Lak…
View down Chicago River toward La…
Sailboats heading down the Chicago…
Sailboats heading down the Chicag…
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Trump Tower
Trump Tower
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
This guy looks cold!
This guy looks cold!
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Michigan Ave Bridge
Michigan Ave Bridge
Chicago Tribune Building, top
Chicago Tribune Building, top
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Nice gold dome!
Nice gold dome!
Railroad bridge
Railroad bridge
Michigan Ave Bridge
Michigan Ave Bridge
Sculpture artwork
Sculpture artwork
The heart of Chicago...Michigan an…
The heart of Chicago...Michigan a…
building on what used to be Fort D…
building on what used to be Fort …
Riverside Cafe
Riverside Cafe
A little politicking for the 2016 …
A little politicking for the 2016…
Michigan Ave Bridge
Michigan Ave Bridge
Michigan Ave Bridge
Michigan Ave Bridge
Michigan Ave Bridge
Michigan Ave Bridge
Michigan Ave Bridge
Michigan Ave Bridge
Michigan Ave Bridge
Michigan Ave Bridge
what Chicago Riverwalk looks like …
what Chicago Riverwalk looks like…
Bill and Tim
Bill and Tim
The moose is a little turned on...
The moose is a little turned on...
King Lear statue
King Lear statue
King Lear Statue
King Lear Statue
street fire hydrants
street fire hydrants
So many different names for variou…
So many different names for vario…
Somebody famous that I do not know…
Somebody famous that I do not kno…
More maps, more confusion
More maps, more confusion
Looking south down Michigan Ave
Looking south down Michigan Ave
Flag town...
Flag town...
Nathan Hale died a young man...
Nathan Hale died a young man...
Shopping, anyone?
Shopping, anyone?
Where is Soldier Field?
Where is Soldier Field?
We found another Irish Pub
We found another Irish Pub
The view over by Rons condo
The view over by Ron's condo
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
The view from 41st floor of Rons …
The view from 41st floor of Ron's…
The view from 41st floor of Rons …
The view from 41st floor of Ron's…
John Hancock Building, and Bill
John Hancock Building, and Bill
The view from 41st floor of Rons …
The view from 41st floor of Ron's…
The view from 41st floor of Rons …
The view from 41st floor of Ron's…
The view from 41st floor of Rons …
The view from 41st floor of Ron's…
The view from 41st floor of Rons …
The view from 41st floor of Ron's…
The view from 41st floor of Rons …
The view from 41st floor of Ron's…
The view from 41st floor of Rons …
The view from 41st floor of Ron's…
The view from 41st floor of Rons …
The view from 41st floor of Ron's…
The view from 41st floor of Rons …
The view from 41st floor of Ron's…
The Bill
The Bill
Bill, Me and Tim
Bill, Me and Tim
Ron and Tim
Ron and Tim
The view from 41st floor of Rons …
The view from 41st floor of Ron's…
Lord Mike
Lord Mike
41 stories down
41 stories down
Nice Boulevard!
Nice Boulevard!
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
The Posse heads into Chinatown
The Posse heads into Chinatown
At the Phoenix Restaurant
At the Phoenix Restaurant
Dim Sum at the Phoenix
Dim Sum at the Phoenix
Ron and Tim will have to tell you
Ron and Tim will have to tell you
Ron and Tim will have to tell you
Ron and Tim will have to tell you
Ron and Tim will have to tell you
Ron and Tim will have to tell you
Ron and Tim will have to tell you
Ron and Tim will have to tell you
Ron and Tim will have to tell you
Ron and Tim will have to tell you
Ron and Tim will have to tell you
Ron and Tim will have to tell you
Our card, sir!
Our card, sir!
Bubble Tea
Bubble Tea
Why are the straws so big?
Why are the straws so big?
Ron loves these
Ron loves these
I think it is stuck!
I think it is stuck!
Tim heavy in concentration
Tim heavy in concentration
Chinatown Square
Chinatown Square
Rub the ball for good luck
Rub the ball for good luck
Chinese Zodiacs
Chinese Zodiacs
I am a Ram
I am a Ram
My daughter is also a Ram
My daughter is also a Ram
Bill the Rat
Bill the Rat
And what a Rat is...and what years…
And what a Rat is...and what year…
I know somebody who was born under…
I know somebody who was born unde…
My son was born in the year of The…
My son was born in the year of Th…
Chinatown is on the Red Line Ell t…
Chinatown is on the Red Line Ell …
Chinatown looking north toward dow…
Chinatown looking north toward do…
Dim Sum, anyone?
Dim Sum, anyone?
Chinatown
Chinatown
Buildings in Chicago
Buildings in Chicago
Building Griffon
Building Griffon
Chicago Stock Exchange
Chicago Stock Exchange
We seemed to drive by a protest in…
We seemed to drive by a protest i…
Even the alleys are clean in Chica…
Even the alleys are clean in Chic…
330 Wacker
330 Wacker
Harry Carays
Harry Caray's
Harry Carays
Harry Caray's
House of Blues
House of Blues
Bill at the 10 Pin
Bill at the 10 Pin
Ron, Tim, Bill, Mike and Alicia
Ron, Tim, Bill, Mike and Alicia
Mike starts the show off
Mike starts the show off
Alicia doing her bowling dance
Alicia doing her bowling dance
These guys are serious bowlers!
These guys are serious bowlers!
Ron skipping down the lane
Ron skipping down the lane
He is skipping, isnt he?
He is skipping, isn't he?
I know my ball is in here, but whi…
I know my ball is in here, but wh…
Bill is a blur
Bill is a blur
Gutterball Champions!!!
Gutterball Champions!!!
It has been fun, but...
It has been fun, but...
Serious shot
Serious shot
Not so serious shot
Not so serious shot
Heading toward Millenium Park
Heading toward Millenium Park
Sending my love to my Baby! Buildi…
Sending my love to my Baby! Build…
Ampitheater within Millenium Park
Ampitheater within Millenium Park
The Bean
The Bean
Underneath The Bean
Underneath The Bean
The Meet Up Crew reflected by The …
The Meet Up Crew reflected by The…
You are here....
You are here....
The Ampitheater and The Bean from …
The Ampitheater and The Bean from…
At the Art Institute
At the Art Institute
Red, White and Blue
Red, White and Blue
Boy, what those newly weds wont d…
Boy, what those newly weds won't …
We dined at the Berghoff
We dined at the Berghoff
This place has been open for a whi…
This place has been open for a wh…
A sunday of bread slices!
A sunday of bread slices!
Berghoffs possesses the very firs…
Berghoff's possesses the very fir…
View inside Berghoffs
View inside Berghoff's
The Meet Up Crew
The Meet Up Crew
Michaels meal
Michael's meal
Rons meal
Ron's meal
Bills meal
Bill's meal
My meal
My meal
Back outside again...down the Mira…
Back outside again...down the Mir…
Shopping down State Street
Shopping down State Street
Macys
Macy's
All ready for Christmas
All ready for Christmas
Christmas display
Christmas display
heading toward the theater district
heading toward the theater district
Chicagos sewer caps are not as or…
Chicago's sewer caps are not as o…
I liked the reflection back onto t…
I liked the reflection back onto …
The Big Red Tongue
The Big Red Tongue
The Prudential Building
The Prudential Building
Map entering Millenium Park...I gu…
Map entering Millenium Park...I g…
Bill heading away from the Red Dot
Bill heading away from the Red Dot
The Ampitheater
The Ampitheater
The Bean...amazing, isnt it?
The Bean...amazing, isn't it?
Computer Geeks and The Bean
Computer Geeks and The Bean
Amazing reflections of Chicago
Amazing reflections of Chicago
Who is that guy?
Who is that guy?
He must think he is funny, or some…
He must think he is funny, or som…
Chicago advertises for 2016 here, …
Chicago advertises for 2016 here,…
Bill and The Bean
Bill and The Bean
parting shot of the Bean...and me …
parting shot of the Bean...and me…
Who is this guy, anyway?
Who is this guy, anyway?
And why does he keep pointing?
And why does he keep pointing?
Me taking a picture of the undersi…
Me taking a picture of the unders…
Lying down, under The Bean. How ma…
Lying down, under The Bean. How m…
View from the rear of the Ampithea…
View from the rear of the Ampithe…
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Try to control THIS traffic!
Try to control THIS traffic!
Statues on guard
Statues on guard
beautiful columns
beautiful columns
Alfa Lion at the Art Institute
Alfa Lion at the Art Institute
Beta Lion at the Art Institute
Beta Lion at the Art Institute
View from the Art Institute down M…
View from the Art Institute down …
Look who else is in town???
Look who else is in town???
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Near Grants Park
Near Grants' Park
Els near Grants Park
Els near Grant's Park
Statues in Grants Park
Statues in Grant's Park
Statues in Grants Park
Statues in Grant's Park
Statues in Grants Park
Statues in Grant's Park
Statues in Grants Park
Statues in Grant's Park
View down Michigan Ave
View down Michigan Ave
Statues in Grants Park
Statues in Grant's Park
Bizarre building
Bizarre building
Statues in Grants Park
Statues in Grant's Park
This one is dedicated to Theodore …
This one is dedicated to Theodore…
General Logan
General Logan
General Logan and The Bill
General Logan and The Bill
General Logan
General Logan
General Logan
General Logan
General Logan
General Logan
General Logan
General Logan
last shot of Grants Park before o…
last shot of Grant's Park before …
Heading down to the Riverboat crui…
Heading down to the Riverboat cru…
Michigan and Wacker, one more time
Michigan and Wacker, one more time
Heading out on the tour
Heading out on the tour
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
going under Chicago Ave
going under Chicago Ave
Old Montgomery Ward building
Old Montgomery Ward building
Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Chicago Ave
Chicago Ave
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Ohio Street
Ohio Street
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Chicago Sun Times
Chicago Sun Times
Heading back toward Wolf Point
Heading back toward Wolf Point
Heading back toward Wolf Point
Heading back toward Wolf Point
Chicago Skyline
Chicago Skyline
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Ginkgo trees
Ginkgo trees
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Opera Building
Opera Building
Where did the leopard come from?
Where did the leopard come from?
Mercantile Exchange Building
Mercantile Exchange Building
Monroe Street
Monroe Street
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Sears Tower protruding
Sears Tower protruding
...and moving away, or is it just …
...and moving away, or is it just…
Awesome wrap-around building
Awesome wrap-around building
Largest poured foundation
Largest poured foundation
Old Post Office building
Old Post Office building
Congress Parkway
Congress Parkway
I could live here
I could live here
Brown building is the fire house, …
Brown building is the fire house,…
Nice statue!
Nice statue!
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Sears tower revisited
Sears tower revisited
Clock towers on buildings
Clock towers on buildings
Nice waterfall design
Nice waterfall design
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Els crossing over the Chicago River
Els crossing over the Chicago River
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
LaSalle Street
LaSalle Street
Another clock tower
Another clock tower
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Marina City
Marina City
Marina City
Marina City
Buildings of Chicago, and Photogra…
Buildings of Chicago, and Photogr…
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
NBC Tower
NBC Tower
John Hancock in the middle
John Hancock in the middle
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Lake Shore Drive
Lake Shore Drive
Buildings of Chicago, left side of…
Buildings of Chicago, left side o…
Buildings of Chicago, center of Ch…
Buildings of Chicago, center of C…
Buildings of Chicago, right side o…
Buildings of Chicago, right side …
Navy Pier
Navy Pier
Navy Pier
Navy Pier
Harbor Lock
Harbor Lock
Lock and Navy Pier
Lock and Navy Pier
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago, Trump Tower …
Buildings of Chicago, Trump Tower…
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
Buildings of Chicago
The twin of the boat we took our t…
The twin of the boat we took our …
view from the dock
view from the dock
view from the dock
view from the dock
skyway between the two Hyatt towers
skyway between the two Hyatt towers
view from out window from skyway
view from out window from skyway
view above my seat in skyway
view above my seat in skyway
view from the bar
view from the bar
Not your a-typical Chicago pizza
Not your a-typical Chicago pizza
Heading down Lake Street
Heading down Lake Street
Loves Park, IL
Loves Park, IL
Beliot, WI
Beliot, WI
Hormel plant in Beliot
Hormel plant in Beliot
The Wisconsin River
The Wisconsin River
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Chicago
photo by: mahoney