Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer Road Trip 2010: Chicago, Illinois Part One

The SIZE of Chicago's skyline surprised me upon our arrival (in rain, and fog). I know it's the third largest city in the country, but even comparing LA to NYC is night and day, and Chicago spread so much further across the horizon than I ever imagined. I've actually flown THROUGH Chicago before, but I guess I never got out and pondered the skyline like I did while I sat in a traffic jam on the journey into town.
Everything is more ‘aged’ and historical than some of the Western cities I've seen, with lots of black wrought iron. After checking into our hotel, we ate lunch at Gino’s East pizza.

I added my name to the walls of graffiti (I had no idea this is a legal, and encouraged past time in this very eclectic restaurant)

…and I added ‘Chicago Deep Dish’ to my list of things I’ve now had in all it’s authenticity.

Just a little fyi if you go-be ready to order right away b/c it takes 45 minutes for a deep dish to make it's way through the oven. Second, bring some whiteout or a permanent marker to add your name to any and every surface in/on their restaurant walls. It’s a tradition they encourage. Legal graffiti is fun...or does it defeat the purpose?
After that, we walked around a bit before heading to the train (bring exact change, or a credit card to buy your tickets b/c the machines don't give change) to attend a Cubs game at Wrigley field, a game here is an item on my 101 List (a personal list I keep, with no expiration date, but it keeps me moving, and exploring my world)!

I love baseball. A lot.

The game was delayed 2 hours because of rain, but I pretended like it just extended my Wrigley experience, AND I did get to see a game in this land of ivy and brick, and historic baseball plays and players.

A few things I learned about Wrigley-it’s actually kinda small (go figure, they didn’t renovate it to make it larger, and I love that). BECAUSE of the size, and location, it overlooks some of Chicago’s skyline, AND the outfield is low enough that locals have built ‘outfield seating’ above what must have been condos or businesses at some point, and you can buy seats from these individuals. They even have installed stadium seating on their rooftops, it’s just weird!

Also, a lot of the scoreboard is still run manually.

It was kinda fun to watch them move the numbers around. This made for a quieter game (than the ones I normally attend in Arlington) with less animation. There weren't as many songs, and announcements, it was very 'game oriented' (hmm), and an organist piped in traditional baseball music. We got seats towards the top, and it turned out to be a good thing b/c these seats were covered. There are also no handrails to hold on to, and the steps are steep (which makes the view better b/c the seats are further down, so there is little ‘looking around heads,’ but a lot of folks struggled getting up and down the stairs.
I also ate the best hot dog of my life (Nathan's in New Jersey is pretty wonderful too, but the poppy seed bun this came on put it over the top in my world).

Unfortunately, I did not see the best game of my life.

After that almost 2 hour rain delay (insert baywatch theme for the picture of the field crew running out to prepare the water logged field)...

The Athletes beat the Cubs. I did, however, meet a local legend-Ronnie Woo.

He walks the stands and yells ‘Cubs, Woo!’ for hours…over…and over…and over again. He has an amazing story (I wikipedia'd it), he’s been leading the Cubs in spirit since the 40’s….and the man never….and I mean NEVER, quits cheering. He was really nice and posed with all of, I think, 20,456 people in the entire ballpark...while he continued yelling.


alissa said...

Glad you had fun in Chicago Christy! I'm headed there today - my sister lives there and it's only a three hour drive from home. I love Chicago! Especially in the summer. It's such a great city!

Sarah @HarriganHowdy said...

Oh, my gosh, Christy!! I am so jealous. :) That's my town, girl. And we don't get to go home this summer to enjoy it as we usually do. So what did you think about Gino's East deep dish pizza. Really. Like, or dislike? I've had Gino's, but I actually like a few of the other pizza places better than theirs. It's a fun place to go though, because of the graffiti.

And a CUBS GAME?!! Aah.. so awesome. I didn't know about the "Woo" guy. And I've been to tons of games at Wrigley. I'm going to have to add that to my list now. lol.

Thanks for sharing!

Oh! And I have a ? for you... have you ever been blueberry picking over by Canton, TX? I think we might try to go next Saturday, but wasn't sure if there were any "insider tips" you might know of.


Scrappy Gifts said...

How fun! Can't wait to get my hands on some Chicago Deep Dish Pizza later this week! I get to go back home! Woo hoo! Your post made me more excited about it.