eat. zoo. eat. nkotb.

Chicago Travel Blog

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I met Trisha about a quarter til 8 and we headed north for our weekend in Chicago.  On our way, Trisha gave me a crashcourse in New Kids on the Block trivia since I know next to nothing about the boy band.  But, somehow, we started talking about breakfast and pancakes, and on a whim, decided to make a detour for pancakes in Champaign.  She knew of a breakfast diner that her mom had eaten in forty years ago, but in googling it on my phone, the only restaurant that came up what Uncle Jack's. It seemed to be a fairly new establishment, and the waitress was not that helpful, but we each ordered a plate of pancakes.

  Less than an hour later, we were back on the road.  We made fairly good time, despite the construction.  That is, until we came into Chicago and came to a complete standstill in traffic.  It took us an additional hour to get to our first stop -- the Lincoln Park Zoo.

We found the zoo (with the help of the GPS), and drove around forever before we could find a parking space.  We wandered aimlessly to where we thought the entrance might be, following a few people we hoped were going to the zoo as well.  Fortunately, we had headed off in the right direction.  Once we entered the zoo, we agreed what animals we each had to see before leaving: me, the penguins, Trish, the gorillas.  We had most of the afternoon, so we meandered through the zoo, being mesmerized by many of the animals.

  The silver-back gorillas are amazing creatures, and there was a zebra baby that was just a week old.  He was absolutely ADORABLE.  There was a news crew there, filming for the 5 o'clock broadcast.  We were just about mesmerized by the baby.  We saw just about everything at the zoo, tracking down the penguins at the very end. As we were leaving (it started to look like it could rain any minute, and even sprinkled a bit), Trisha got a text from Christen saying that she was held up at work.  Uh-oh.  We had time to kill.  Luckily, I had brought my Chicago cards with me (I have a travel index that I keep with various restaurants and things to do in cities around the world), and we opted for a mid-afternoon snack.  Going through them, we decided on cupcakes, and luckily, a cupcakery was near.

Swirlz Cupcakes was just a few blocks away.  We navigated the city pretty well, and figured out the parking situation (don't laugh -- my town doesn't even have parking meters).  Being close to the end of the day, the cupcake selection was a little picked over, but I got the surprise cupcake of the day (it wasn't such a surprise, she told us what it was straightforward) -- chocolate with coconut, mmm.  Once we got to Christen's, we had just enough time to change clothes and head out to the casino for the concert.  We ate dinner ahead of time at the Buffet at the Horseshoe.  An awesome array of food was before us.  I behaved myself... that is, until dessert.  I could have eaten plate after plate of dessert.  They were all incredible.

The concert was just the New Kids on the Block.  No opening act.  I didn't know the first song, but it was an awesome concert.  I couldn't believe how much fun I had.  I even think I will download some nkotb songs!  Christen and Trisha have been life-long fans, so I was put in charge of pictures, and I took waaaay too many.  Oh, well.  At one point, the band came out into the audience, with one of them coming right behind us...  we were in the second from back row of the entire place.

alyssa_ob says:
Fun! I was a huge new kids fan when I was younger. I missed their concert when the came up to the Twin Cities - I think because I didn't want to wait in line at 4 am for tickets. Either that or I couldn't find anyone willing to go with me, lol!
Posted on: Aug 09, 2010
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