Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Chicago

 We are just back from Chicago and as usual, we loved every second of our trip.  We combined some work travel for me with a little mini getaway.  The timing was just right - we needed a change of scenery and luckily, the temperatures were really mild and that made our walks around the city enjoyable.

When we had some free time, we took off for adventuring.  One of our first stops was the Laurie Gardens on our way to the Taste of Chicago, a food festival in Grant Park. 

I love the Laurie Gardens because you feel like you get away from the city and have the contrast of beautiful flowers and plants with the backdrop of the dramatic buildings.  We make it a tradition to cruise through the gardens either to or from The Bean sculpture.

This was our second time that we took in the Taste of Chicago and we loved trying some different foods from area restaurants.  We debated whether we should skip the festival since we went last year.  In the end, we thought since it only happens once a year, we should definitely go.
 Our favorite memory might be scoring GIANT free pieces of cheesecake from Eli's cheesecake.  They had a birthday celebration cake and by giant, I mean over three feet tall and over three feet wide. No tickets needed for delicious cheesecake, my husband's favorite.
 I find it really amazing how the restaurants can set up a kitchen in the tents and serve so many people over the course of the festival.  Have you ever seen so much corn on the cob?!
 One of our Chicago traditions - seeing The Bean.
 We took in a show at the Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier.  Our show was a hip hop version of Othello called, Othello: The Remix.  A few years ago, we saw a hip hop version of Much Ado About Nothing and loved it.  We thought it would be a great night at the theater and a ton of fun.  The entire show is done in hip hop style rap with Shakespeare language.  I have told everyone that one of the best views of the Chicago skyline is from the bathroom at this theater.  The photo above is from my bathroom stall.  Weird, I know, but I had to prove that this view is amazing.
 This photo was from near the sinks.  In my defense, I wasn't the only tourist taking photos in the bathroom of the skyline.
 After we left the show, we got this great view.  It wasn't from the bathroom, but from one of the lobbies.  And, the orbs in the photo are not UFOs, but a reflection from the light fixtures.  I know, weird.
Something new for this trip was taking a water taxi for transportation from Chinatown, where we went to see some dragon boat races.  We took a car taxi to Chinatown and by chance noticed a water taxi stop near the park where the boat races were held.  The views from the boat were awesome!  I would highly recommend using the water taxi as a way to get around the city.

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