Last week Bill and I pulled up stakes and moved to Chicago… for a week. We snagged a short-term rental on the 29th floor of our son and daughter-in-law’s building and quickly realized that we could get used to living in the city. Seriously, couldn’t you get used to falling asleep to this view every night?
Our trip had been on the books for quite some time – two years in fact – because our oldest son Joseph was graduating from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Chicago Booth is ranked the third top business school in the United States and Joseph would be graduating with honors. Bill and I couldn’t have been any more proud and wanted to savor every moment!
We flew out of DC early Tuesday morning and headed straight to Joseph and Julie’s apartment to chill until it was time for lunch. We Ubered several miles away for tacos (a salad for me) and then walked home. Note to self, don’t have a margarita for lunch and then expect to walk several miles in the sun and heat without starting to drag behind. I only hit the wall in one of my marathons, but I somehow managed to hit the wall that afternoon.
After recovering back in our apartment, we went to Au Cheval for hamburgers that evening. We learned that often during the weekend there’s a two to three hour wait to get in, but we were lucky and met J and J after they’d made the shorter one-hour wait until our table was ready. I was hardly worthy of my burger after taking off the thick piece of chewy bacon and setting it aside – I’m more of a thin and crispy kind of bacon eater. As you can see, Bill enjoyed an egg on his burger.
With Joseph studying for his last exam and Julie at school (she’s a math teacher), Bill and I were on our own for most of the day on Wednesday. I celebrated Global Running Day by running through some of my favorite parks as I headed toward Lake Michigan.
That evening, Bill and I enjoyed a salad and pizza alfresco for dinner at Bongiorno’s Pizzeria after taking a long walk around the city. We’ve hit up this little Italian place on each of our visits and definitely wanted to eat there during this visit as well.
On Thursday morning my GoPro (affiliate link) housing case broke just as we were heading out for our early morning run/walk. As a result, Bill carried his fancy camera to capture pictures of me running in front of Cloud Gate (aka The Bean) in Millennium Park. I knew to arrive early if I wanted pictures without a bunch of other people around. Arriving around 6:30 gave us about ten minutes before a few other tourists started arriving.
Once back at the apartment, I ordered a new waterproof housing case (affiliate link) for my GoPro from Amazon which arrived the following day. Amazon is a wonderful thing!
After leaving The Bean, Bill noticed this reflective pool and suggested we take some pictures so I struck a side star plank, followed by a jump. I’m saving that picture for a later post…
Later in the morning Julie’s parents and sister arrived, and with Joseph’s final exam at Booth behind him, we headed to Giordano’s Deep Dish Pizza for lunch.. after going back out for a quick four-mile run together.
And our check came with these little chocolate cuties…
Thursday evening we went to Wrigley Field to watch the World Series Champions Cubs play and sadly lose 4-1 to the Rockies. Despite the loss, it was fun to see another ballpark and I may have checked my ESPN app a couple of times to see how the Nationals were doing. 😉
Early Friday, our other son Daniel arrived in Chicago and we spent much of the day on the University of Chicago campus at a Chicago Booth Open House where we attended two very interesting model classes, took a tour of the campus, and enjoyed a luncheon.
Back near our apartment we all gathered at the Tiki Bar for a couple of hours of corn hole, giant Jenga, and drinks before leaving for dinner.
We headed back to near Wrigley Field to Fahlstrom’s Fresh Fish Market for our pre-graduation celebration dinner. We’ve been there twice before and really love the place. If you have a chance to go, their scallops are amazing!
On Saturday morning, Janet (Julie’s mom) joined me for a long run along the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. We had a great time and enjoyed reminiscing about “the hills” along the same course in the Chicago Spring Half we ran together last year.
Later Saturday afternoon found us celebrating Joseph’s hard work as he walked across the stage to receive his MBA from Chicago Booth.
Immediately after the ceremonies we enjoy a champaign toast to the new graduates and I couldn’t be more excited to see what the future holds for these two in New Jersey!
After graduation we went to The Rosebud in Little Italy for dinner where we started with an amazingly delicious family sized salad. Portions of our dinners were so huge that most of us left with leftovers which we enjoyed for lunch on Sunday.
Of course, none of us were too full to enjoy the delicious celebratory cake Julie served back at their apartment!
Before Joseph started grad school at Booth, Bill and I had never been to Chicago, but since Joseph and Julie moved there two years ago, we’ve visited four times. It’s a city we’ve come to love and hope to visit again soon; however, I have a feeling we’ll be visiting New Jersey several times before returning to Chicago. As always, it’s family first!
- Have you been to Chicago?
- If so, what’s your favorite restaurant?
- Do you pack your workout clothes when you travel?