On Friday, Ethan and I took the day off and flew down to Chicago for one night to see Dylan Moran. He’s easily my favorite comedian, and if you haven’t, you should check out his stand-up; there are plenty of videos available on youtube. He was definitely worth the trip down there.
We were lucky to be able to stay with a friend from work who is down in the Chicago office, and we even went to the office and hung out there briefly on Friday.
Since we were only staying for one night, but nearly two full days, we had lots of time to wander around and check out Chicago. First, I’d like to say I’m really impressed with the Chicago public transportation system. If the Twin Cities ever catch up, I could imagine how most people could get around without a car. We took the trains a few times, and caught a couple of buses as well. It was just incredibly efficient and easy.
When we first arrived in O’Hare, we took the train down to within a mile of The Nerdery and walked the rest of the way. After taking an office tour and dropping off our bag there, we headed out to find some food. Within a few blocks we found a nice diner called The Breakfast Club, and enjoyed a delicious brunch. After that, we began walking.
Ethan had done some brief research on what to do in Chicago and everything suggested we check out Navy Pier. It’s about 3 miles to the Navy Pier from the office, so we hoofed it, and took in the city around us. Once we got to the pier, it became clear that it was not really our cup of tea. It was swarming with children, and everyone else seemed to be trying to sell us souvenirs or junk food. The walk was nice, though, but we headed back to the office after a brief rest.
On the way back, we stepped into Grand View Tavern & Beer Garden which was amazing. By the time we got there, we had gotten up very early, flown, ridden a train and a bus and also walked for miles. The bartender asked us what we wanted and we just stared uncomprehendingly at the menu. I explained that we were exhausted, and unable to make decisions. Rather than be frustrated with us, she poured us a sample flight of beers to help us decide. We picked a couple that were both very good: a Two Brothers Sidekick and a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. If you can get your hands on the Kentucky Bourbon Barrel, definitely try it; it has the most amazing flavor. We enjoyed our beers on the nearly vacant patio behind the bar, surrounded by ancient grape vines.
After finishing the beers, we headed back to the office for Bottlecap. It was my first time in the Chicago office, so it was interesting to see the difference in how Bottlecap goes down there. There was so much food that we basically called it dinner and didn’t need anything more all night.
Following Bottlecap, we headed to the comedy club, and laughed so hard at Dylan that I literally thought I was going to wet myself. I wish I could say more about this, but you can’t really explain comedy. All I’ll say is that I had very high expectations, and he did not disappoint. I really hope to see him again in the future, whether we have to travel to do it or not.
The next day we had some delicious crepes at Icosium Kafe, and then headed out to do some more sightseeing. We were going to go to the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium, but the aquarium had a line at least a block long (I am not exaggerating) and the admission price for the museum was more than I was willing to pay. That being a bust, we went back to wandering around the city. We located a place that sold backpacks, and transferred our luggage, including the bag, into the backpack. We hiked around for a few more miles, and then decided we should pay for at least one touristy thing, and went to the Willis Tower Sky Deck. It was really, really tall. The view was pretty spectacular on all sides.
From there we took a train back to the airport, and began the journey home. That particular bit of travel deserves its own post altogether.