Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 3

If you haven't realized by the other two posts... we love Chicago and we are having a blast on our vacation. Our 3rd day goal is to hit at least 3 touristy spots and then go to a Pasta and Wine festival at night. Our first stop of the day is Millennium park, which has lots of things to do and see. Our first stop is the Crown Fountain which are two fountains that consist of two 50 foot glass block towers which shows a video of 1000 different Chicago residents. There were a TON of kids playing around in the water at the display.

This kid cracked us up... he would stand right at the edge of the water and move slightly to get wet, turn around run out and do a little dance.

Here you can see the face on the tower (on the left of the photo) along with all of the kids playing

This is the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. According to, the Pavilion stands 120 feet high which can hold 4000 in the fixed seats and 7000 in the lawn. There was an orchstra practicing while we were there, and they sounded really good. I would have loved to return at night when they were playing. Perhaps on our next trip.

View from the other side of the lawn

At the Lurie Garden

This garden is paying homage to Chicago's motto which (once again)according to is "Urbs in Horto" (City in Garden) which refers to Chicagos transformation from its flat and marshy orgins to a bold and powerful city. The flowers were blooming and it was a beautiful sight in the middle of the city.

This was my favorite section of the park. This is the Cloud Gate. It is a 110 tone elliptical sculpture which many have dubbed the Bean due to the shape. There is a 12 foot arch under the structure that you can walk under, which will give you a different perspective than when you just walk next to it. The sculpture is 66 feet long and 33 feet high and UBER fun to plan around with if you enjoy photography.

Jim and I laying down

LOVE this shot

After walking around the park, we headed to the edge of the park to the Art Institute of Chicago. This museum was massive and I don't think we even saw 2/3 of it. I tried to track how much we walked in there, and my counter had us at right around 2 miles.

hmmmm...which one is Jim?


We stopped in at the Billy Goat Tavern for a burger. This tavern has been around since 1934 and it is named after the original owner (it was originally called the Lincoln Tavern). He got the nick name Billy Goat because a goat fell off of a passing truck and wandered inside. The tavern moved to its current location in 1964.

Here is the more history from

Ordering at the Billy Goat may go something like this: "Cheezborger! Cheezborger! You want doublecheez?!? Who's next!?! WHO'S NEXT!?!" If you take more than one second to answer: "Don't look at the menu, look at ME! I order for you - DOUBLECHEEZ!" If you only feel like a single: "No. DOUBLECHEEZ!!!" If it's the end of the week: "It's Friday, doublecheez for everybody! It's payday! Triplecheez for the big guy!" Want French fries with that? "No fries - CHEEPS!" Thirsty? "No Pepsi - COKE!" To drink: "Coke or Diet?!" Such rantings by the Billy Goat staff have gone on for almost 40 years and originated when Billy Goat Sianis and another Greek immigrant by the name of Bill Charuchas would entertain patrons by yelling out: "Try the double cheese! It's the best! No fries, cheeps!" In the 1978, Sam Sianis and Charuchas were immortalized by Saturday Night Live's John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Loraine Newman. The sketch was originally written by Don Novello (of Father Guido Sarducci fame) when he was an advertising copywriter in Chicago. John Belushi and Bill Murray knew the Billy Goat from their Second City days, and the rest is history. As a result, the Billy Goat Tavern achieved national infamy. When in Chicago, Don Novello and Bill Murray still come by and visit Sam and the Billy Goat staff and have their "Doublecheezborger"!
I have to say, their cheese burgers won't be winning any awards for their burgers, but the experience was worth it.

Streets of Chicago

We ended up going to a street festival just outside of downtown Chicago. There were a bunch of restaurants that were selling their food so the street smelled absolutely heavenly. As we walked up to the block the garlic smell led the way to the festival. To get here, we took a train then a bus and then walked 2 blocks....have I mentioned how much I LOVE public transportation!?!

Unfortunately we weren't as hungry at this festival since we had just had the Billy Goat Tavern burger a few hours before. We tried the Penne with Vodka sauce, and it was heavenly. I really wanted to try their polena fries, but my stomach said no :(

Waiting on the train

View of downtown from the train platform, the largest building is the John Hancock Building

We only hung around the Italian festival for about an hour before heading back to downtown. Once we were there, we decided to have a drink at Harry Carray's restaurant. It would have been nice to have something to eat but they were busy and we were still stuffed from before.

Here we are with Harry Carray's bust

After Harry Carray's we walked around to a few other bars... one wine bar, one bar at the top of the John Hancock Building (but thanks to a 2 hr wait we decided to leave), and then at the bar in the Hotel Sofitel. We found some very comfy chairs so we had a couple of drinks there while resting our feet. Our 3 day was another long day of walking and having fun. We enjoyed a cheese plate before we decided it was time to head out.

No comments: