We decided it would be nice to have a little spring getaway – seeing that spring avoids Calgary like a polar bear avoids the beach. Our flight was uneventful and we got into a cab with a very grateful and kind young man. We arrived at rush hour and the freeway was moving along very slowly. Very slowly. The driver asked us if we minded taking an alternate route. The driver asked us if we minded taking an alternate route. He said everything at least twice. It reminded me of the book “Jacob Two Two” from days gone by. Bevan never heard of this great piece of literature – perhaps because he grew up in a small town that didn’t have a lot of culture. Anyways, the drive to the hotel was very interesting – we went through several neighbourhoods, several school zones, playgrounds, back alleys, and parks. It is all a little bit of a blur – mostly because he was travelling at the speed of light!
Our hotel, The Thompson – Chicago , was outstanding. The doormen and reception staff were all very welcoming and friendly. Our suite was relatively small but the living room window looked down a bustling street of restaurants and cafes and a little park that we found out is called “Viagra Park” by locals. It has something to do with the steady stream of Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys and the like parked along it. Lots of grey hair and bald spots and nicely dressed people stopping at the cement park for a latte or a juice. We went for a quick walk and then enjoyed some cocktails and snacks on the outdoor patio of our hotel’s restaurant – a great place to people watch. (we saw a bit too much of some people, if you know what I mean. Short shorts should still be longer than your crotch people!)
At 8:30 pm we headed to “The Girl and the Goat” restaurant. It is a very loud and busy place that was recommended to us by our good friends who are always in the know – purdy much about anything. I scanned the menu and the green beans, cauliflower, scallops and halibut jumped out at me. I asked our waiter for recommendations and he listed the same 4 items!!! He is my food twin!!! We told him we were in his hands and asked him just to bring us whatever he wanted to. We began with a scallop, then halibut that was to die for!!! I can’t even start to explain the flavours! In addition to the beans and cauliflower (not sure how they made those veggies with so much flavour!) we had oysters (my first one ever – always thought how can anyone put something that ugly into their mouths). However, my 11 year old niece eats them and I was moved by her never ending sense of adventure and bravery, so I had one. Not as gross as I thought, but I don’t feel the need to try another! We also had something called “Pig Face” – which I think was pork cheek – very tender and delicate, and ?Goat Tummy? I didn’t ask, but by this time everything had been so amazing I just went with it. We could not eat another bite so declined dessert – but the waiter brought a gratis dessert as we “have to try this!” There was bacon flavoured toffee on top of some kind of whipped bliss. I gained at least 10 pounds but who cares – they have stores in Chicago where bigger clothes can be purchased.
Speaking of stores…. Chicago is a great shopping city! I helped Bevan find some great spring/summer clothes, shoes, etc. I found a couple of items for myself but didn’t go crazy.
Other highlights of the trip were talking to locals, the hop on hop off bus tour, Millenium Park, and the architectural society’s river tour.
Weird things: It isn’t weird for people to compliment Bevan’s attire but his shoes were getting lots of attention – from sales people,a tour guide, and even a homeless man complimented Bevan on his “Cole Haan Shoes” and said “they coordinated great with his outfit”! Also, when we were on the trolley tour a man walked straight toward the bus, right up to our window and took our photo. The driver asked if it was someone we knew or if we were famous. Reminded us a little bit of the guy who took my picture in a restaurant inRome. And the weirdest thing of all – 4 days away and I did not buy one single solitary pair of shoes!!!