Berkeley to Boston: Day 9 (Chicago)

Day 9 (August 23, 2011): Madison, WI to Chicago, IL to Grand Rapids, MI

My plan was to go for a run in this huge Arboretum at University of Wisconsin, but I woke up one minute before my alarm went off to a HUGE thunderstorm with pouring rain.  It definitely got me up since I remembered at that point that we had left our car windows cracked open… in the POURING rain.  Of course I ran outside the hotel in my PJs, leaving my leather flip flops in the lobby to keep them dry.  Luckily, only the front windows were cracked open, so all of our stuff wasn’t soaked, but the whole front of the car was wet.  I dried it with our towels and ran the air for a few minutes, and then I vetoed the run and went back to bed.

A few hours later we were on our way to Chicago! 

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We got really excited as we were approaching the Windy City…

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I was really surprised by how much I liked Chicago.  It had a lot of the fresh fast food trendiness that I LOVE!  There were so many cool places to pick from for lunch in the financial district.  We chose Pret a Manger…

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mostly because it was close to the parking garage where I was paying $12/hour…definitely a big city!

We drove to a less busy area and found some street parking… still expensive, but less… and then we went for a walk through the city!

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… and then we had ANOTHER thunderstorm, so we hid out in the park under cover for a while…

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Chicago Tribune…

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Marilyn Monroe…

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Gorgeous river through the city…

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And then it was time for PIZZA!!! I read an article from Chicago Magazine with the 10 best pizzas in the city, and I just searched for the location of the first deep-dish on the list.  Lou Malnati’s.

We went to their location in this SUPER cute restaurant area downtown… and started with bruschetta

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Nice lighting, right!?  and then salad!!!!!!!

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I am getting a little obsessed with vegetables.  I think I was having withdrawals.

Our pizza had tomato sauce, spinach, mushrooms, mozzarella, cheddar, and sausage!DSCN0633

It was definitely good, but it was pretty greasy, so it wasn’t really our thing.  It was SO FUN to be having Chicago deep-dish pizza in Chicago at this great pizza place in an awesome part of the city. 

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This street was set up to look like a cute neighborhood in Italy with big patio areas in front of every restaurant and gelato places in kiosks in the middle of the plaza.  It was so charming!! We got some gelato before getting back into the car and starting the late drive through more thunderstorms for Michigan. 

Ok this post is getting long, but check this out: we paid THREE tolls within ten minutes as we drove from Chicago to Grand Rapids!  WHAT!?  AND… one of them was only 60 cents… WHY are you making me stop for this stupid thing!?  Oh well… Chicago was pretty awesome. 

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