Monday, January 17, 2011

a brief visit to the windy city

Back in July, I had to go to Milwaukee for work. We worked really long days all week so when the weekend finally arrived and we were given a break, we decided to take advantage! We did some fun things in Milwaukee (which I'll write about in a later post) but we also took a road trip down to Chicago. The drive was less than two hours (including bits of traffic here and there) but it was so easy. That's also why lots of times, travel advisors recommend that when you're headed to Chicago, you could fly into Milwaukee General Mitchell Airport if it's cheaper (though, you'd want to factor in the costs to get to Chicago from Milwaukee).

Our trip was brief (total of 4 hours, maybe?) but it was fun.

First, we took some photos at the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) and then we found a parking garage and then headed towards Cloud Gate a.k.a. 'the bean.' It's an art installation which is pretty cool. It's v. reflective so you can take photos of your own reflection in it and you see the city skyline in it as well. The concept is interesting. On our walk, we saw a few props for the upcoming Transformers movie.
Sears Tower a.k.a. Willis Tower
Transformers prop
damaged taxi!!
the Bean! a.k.a. Cloudgate
warped reflection photo
After grabbing a Chicago style hot dog (YUM) from one of the nearby vendors, we headed down towards the Crown Fountains (or as I like to call them, the face waterfalls), but not before running into a DINOSAUR! AHH!! (The little plaque in front of it said it was made in China, haha). The waterfalls are cool because you can dip your feet in the water. There were tons of families walking around, getting a bit of relief from the sun.

people enjoying the water
hot dog!
(ASIDE: let me just say that I'm in love with the Chicago style hot dog. It was $3 for a dingy little hot dog in a pathetic little poppy-seeded bun, but then there was an entire cart with diced onions, relish, diced tomatoes, little pickled hot peppers, ketchup, mustard, and pickle spears. I took advantage, of course, and loaded my hot dog to the max.)




dinosaur!
waterfalls
Then we headed to Pizzeria Due (because it was closer to our parking garage - though Pizzeria Uno is only 1 block down) for some deep dish. You can't visit Chicago without ordering deep dish pizza. Because the pizza takes quite a while to cook (45 minutes or more!) we were allowed to order our pizza even before we were seated (since there was about a 15 minute wait before they expected a table to open up). Once seated, we ordered a cheesy garlic bread and waited for our sausage deep dish to come out.

pizza
The pizza was so good! The crust was crisp on the outside and it was sort of crumbly (and not chewy like New York pizza - in fact, it was buttery and similar to a biscuit or scone's texture). The cheese was REALLY white (I'm assuming it's mozzarella) and was layered underneath the toppings and the sauce (since it would burn otherwise, being in the oven for that long). I also really liked that there was a solid layer of sausage (underneath the sauce so you can't really see from the photo) so you got sausage in every bite. Unlike "normal" pizzas where there are random toppings sprinkled across the top (and you have to rely on the generosity of the pizza place to determine whether or not you get sausage in every bite).

After we ate, we decided to head back to Milwaukee. But before we left, I insisted on finding the Calder Flamingo (which I had learned about in my Architectural history class). We saw this huge eyeball on the way (which has stirred up a bit of controversy amongst some as to whether or not it qualifies as art).

Calder Flamingo
the Eye

Corncobs

It was a really brief trip, but I think we saw enough "touristy" things to call it a successful trip. I'm sure Chicago residents will scoff at this post, but hey, if you ever only have a few hours to spend here, I think this is the way to go.

2 comments:

  1. First of all, I just STUMBLED UPON your blog!!! So exciting!!!!!

    2nd this is perfect, as I'm going to Chicago saturday for the first time ever!!! I'm super jealous that you went in Summer, I can only imagine how cold it will be this weekend lol. I have a little more time, about 24 hours to be exact.. "Staying" at the Intercontinental and by staying I mean probably not sleeping because we're going to Vision, but they have a wine bar with a 37 page wine list and for $11 you can get a flight of cheese that includes 3 gourmet cheeses, two types of bread, marmalade, olives, and almonds! Yum!!!!!
    http://www.icchicagohotel.com/dining/eno.cfm

    I'm trying to be pescetarian again but I've been ordered by several people to eat a hot dog and I think I will hahahahaha :)

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  2. YES. make an exception for the hot dog!!!

    ReplyDelete

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