I was up early(ish) this morning to start the day at the hotel’s fitness center, knowing that we had another calorie-rich day ahead of us – and wowsers, glad I thought ahead… First on the docket was brunch at Publican, a relatively new restaurant just west of the river. From our little table in the corner of the open, airy dining room, we feasted on pecan sticky buns, asparagus frittata, and a fluffy, pork-topped omelette. When the waiter asked if we’d like to add a side of bacon, Shane nodded his head enthusiastically. Let me say, ‘thick-cut’ bacon has an entirely new meaning now – by ‘side of bacon’, I think the waiter meant ‘side of a pig’. This stuff was insane! But since we’re on vacation, and since it makes Shane smile, I won’t regret the indulgence.

After lunch, we took a short walk around the neighborhood, enjoying the industrial vibe of the street, with its low-rise brick buildings, topped with old wooden water towers.

From there, we took a bus over the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, where we spent an hour wandering through the galleries. The current Jim Nutt exhibit was not super-engaging for me, but I did come across one of my favorite Francis Bacon paintings, so the visit was well worth our time.

Post-museum, we grabbed a table at a sidewalk cafe where we could enjoy a cup of coffee and a good dose of sunshine – the weather today was perfect, almost as if making up for the drizzle we endured at the ballgame yesterday. Fueled with caffeine and Vitamin D, we made our way to Navy Pier, to catch our boat for the Chicago River architectural tour. This was the highlight of our day – totally relaxing, totally fascinating, and just a perfect way to take in the city on a sunny afternoon. I had visions of Shane and I slow dancing at the back of the boat, a la Julie Roberts and Dylan McDermott in ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’, but apparently they discourage standing while the vessel is in motion. Hmph. Nonetheless, we saw some really beautiful buildings and learned a ton about Chicago’s history.

After our cruise, we strolled down Michigan Avenue, popping into a few stores and taking in ‘The Magnificent Mile’. Our walk landed us at the base of the John Hancock building, which Shane heard has a cool bar on the 96th floor with amazing panoramic views of the city. How incredibly convenient! And so we hopped in the elevator, snagged a couple of seats by a window, and ordered our drinks. Shane’s martini wasn’t quite up to his standards, but we were able to overlook that fact for the sake of the view.

And check out the perspective from the women’s restroom – I kid you not!

By the time we left the bar, we were hungry – our decision to skip lunch was intentional, as we knew that tonight was the night that we would set out for Chicago’s best deep-dish pizza. Shane had done extensive polling of anyone we knew who had lived in Chicago, and we settled on Lou Malnati’s as our joint. We were given a table by the window and promptly ordered their classic pizza, with sausage, cheese, and tomatoes. We hungrily dug in when it arrived, and although the deep-dish is no match for our beloved Tutta Bella thin-crust, it hit the spot. It also did us in – our plans of hitting up one more cocktail bar were dashed when I thought about how nice it would be to get back to the room, put on my stretchy pants, and veg out. And so we ended our night watching basketball from our comfy hotel bed. Yes, these are the things vacations are made of.


  1. Michelle says:

    what a great day! so glad you’re enjoying the sights (and local cuisine)!

  2. la v says:

    You preferred Tutta Bella over a classic Chicago style deep dish pizza??? Wow. Sounds like a great trip so far…. What a fantastic view from the women’s restroom!