Friday, August 15, 2014

A Bunch of Chicago

Dave said it feels like he's been in Chicago more this past month than any other time in our almost 20 years of living in Illinois. We've had lots of new experiences during Chicago's Rock & Roll Race Weekend (see post). In addition, Dave's dad was in town from New York recently which led to two more visits to the city.

Day 1 we took the Metra into the city. Our first stop was The Field Museum. We've been here before but there's always something new (or old....Ha Ha!) to see. The main reason for today's visit was to see the special exhibit on the 1893 Chicago World's Fair (The Columbian Exposition). But before going into the special exhibit we made our way through the entire Africa and Egypt exhibits.

The 1893 World's Fair exhibit was mostly focused on recreating displays that guests would have seen attending that particular event vs. featuring the creation and design of the fair. That means we saw a lot of rocks, taxidermic animals, and jars of oil. Still very interesting. We learned that the fair's structures were temporary except for the Palace of Fine Arts (Today's Science and Industry Museum); which became a museum after the fair featuring donated items from the fair. That museum morphed into the Field Museum and moved to its current location in 1921.

The exhibit dumped us in a gift shop where they had 2 interesting items. There was a cool book called Chicago Then and Now combining old pictures of well-known Chicago locations with today's photos. Another item was a pint glass that reminded me the Field had their own exclusive beer. The glass was fun. We didn't have the Field beer since other beer was in our near future (and it sounded hoppy).....

We needed to grab Holly a souvenir. Fortunately a Mold-A-Rama featured one of her favorite animals. In case you've never seen one, the Mold-A-Rama is a Chicago museum staple - put in $2 and watch a plastic statue being made right before your eyes!

Soon-after, the fact settled in that Dave was stuck carrying this thing the rest of the day.

After a brisk stroll through the taxidermic animals on display (they have a lot of them) we called it quits, jumped in a cab, and visited a new Chicago bar located in Printer's Row: First Draft. The place was fun and had that old-time after-work bar feel: tin ceiling, dark wood, and high top tables. There were over 60 beers on draft featuring a good mix of all styles and a few local options. We made sure to try a few with our lunch.

The next day we had another trip to the city: this time driving to Evanston and taking the El to Wrigleyville. Lunch was at one of our favorite places: Goose Island Wrigleyville. A lot of people write-off Goose Island nowadays because of the purchase by InBev. However, Goose Island still runs its two Chicago brewpubs independent of the mothership which still gives them lots of creative freedom. We had Belgian darks, Weiss beers, and their Wrigleyville Cubbies Blueberry exclusive. We lucked-out and nabbed a beer garden table where we enjoyed pulled pork and Cuban sandwiches.

After lunch we walked over to Wrigley Field for the Cubs game. Dave's dad loves baseball and seeing games in old parks. We don't share that love. Wrigley Field is a pit and the north side baseball team deserves a stadium redo like almost every other ball team. The Cubs aren't good so give us something to occupy our time, like a Jumbotron or a bunch of mascots running the field.

Dinner was at Smylie Brothers Brewing in Evanston. Things would have gone better here if two things didn't happen: the kitchen losing our order and the porter being replaced a day before our arrival. Holly didn't find any beers of interest so we went with Moscow Mules. We were there an hour without receiving food and our waitress offered no explanation or apology. The two beers Dave sampled, the Cali Common and Berry Weiss  ("Purple Line") seasonal were decent. The wood oven pizzas were very good.

That should be the end of some Chicago adventures for the next few months. The fall marathon season is gearing up so we'll be visiting some other exciting cities soon: Logan, UT is next.

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