11 Feb

Chicago Day Two

Saturday morning I woke up around 6:30 and couldn’t help snapping a couple of pictures out the window.

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Then I lay back down in the bed to sleep some more and…popped back up 15 minutes later. I couldn’t stand the idea that I would be able to see the sun rise over the lake and I might miss it! I got online and saw that sunrise was at 6:55 but with a thin cloud layer over the lake it would take just a little longer until it was visible.


I woke Zach to tell him what I was doing and to join me only if he wanted to. Minutes later I had a visitor in my little pillow fort I made in the corner of the next room. 🙂


He may look half asleep still but he was a willing participant completely on his own! Love that he enjoys the same things I do when we travel. As we watched the sun started to come up over Lake Michigan and once it shows up a little, the rest happens fast.

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Like really fast.

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So pleased that we were awake for all of that! We decided to pretend to be true city natives and walked a couple of blocks to grab doughnuts and hot drinks for everyone for breakfast. When we got outside we already were reaping the benefits of what would be one of the warmest days we’ve had this winter. Even with the warmer temps though I immediately determined that if you moved to Chicago, durable yet fashionable winter gear would be the first priority! Haha. We got back from Dunkin’ Donuts armed with coffee for Dad, hot tea for Mom, espresso for Zach and doughnuts for both of us. I had a doughnut for fun + an apple for health. 😉

Once we were ready for our day we caught an Uber to the nearby Shedd Aquarium.


Going by Uber and at 9am right when they opened were the BEST ideas. The Uber because it saved us the headache + money of parking (parking cost more than the Uber ride) and going early because we walked right in and when we left several hours later there was a line of literally hundreds waiting far out the door and down the steps and down the sidewalk! We got poor Mom a wheelchair since her foot has been messed up for weeks. She’s been using a crutch to help but we knew it would be a long day of walking/standing so wheelchair, albeit not her favorite idea, was the best way to go. We got a pass that included all exhibits + the aquarium show and we started off in the Amazon River area.

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It takes a pretty BIG snake to leave behind skin like this…


I mean REALLY big.


Am I strange that spiders and snakes are one of my favorite things to observe at a zoo/aquarium?? We finished up this exhibit before we needed to head over to our 10:30 marine show.

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The room that they have for their shows overlooks the lake and it’s awesome.


Then for the show they have a huge screen come down over the windows and it provides a beautiful backdrop!


We watched the dolphins do tricks; their jumps are always my favorite.

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We also saw a large sea lion, a dog the aquarium had trained (?! haha yes, a dog) and some beluga whales.


Great show!


It was back to exploring the other animals after this. Complete with lots of on/off elevator hassle with Mom’s wheelchair. There was more than one time that Zach and I were at the bottom of the stairs wondering if Mom and Dad were even going to the right level. 🙂 Finally we all regrouped in the lower viewing level. I love being able to see the whales and dolphins swimming from below.

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As the day progressed the fish began to look more and more similar but we still had fun and got some good pictures.

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By the time we reached the end we’d spend over 3 hours there and were starving! Lunch would have to wait a little longer though as our destination, Little Goat Diner, had us wait over half an hour for a table. At least it wasn’t the hour they said originally… As soon as we sat down we got a hot cinnabun and goat chili cheese fries to share (a benefit to looking over the menu while you wait).

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Zach and I shared the cinnamon roll thing which was awesome but these fries were one of my favorite dishes of the trip!!! It was goat chili and it tasted amazing. This was shared 4 ways and we all loved it. Then our food came out.

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Mom and Dad both got sandwiches, Zach got some kind of scallion pancake with a slaw and homemade hoisin and pork belly and I don’t even remember what else on it and I got pure deliciousness.


This was a crispy breaded chicken that was cooked perfectly over sweet onion brioche french toast with eggs in the middle, strawberries and a bbq maple syrup. It was as good as it sounds. This place was awesome and I would highly recommend it!

Back at our condo, Zach and Dad took off walking for a nearby brewery for guy time and Mom and I took naps for girl time. 🙂 When I woke up the sun was going down, the guys were back and it was time to get ready for supper.


It was a dress-up kind of night.


We took our Uber downtown to Perennial Virant where I’d made reservations over 2 month in advance! It looked like the kind of place that would be fun to sit outside in the summer.

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It was very nice on the inside as well!


We chose a bone marrow appetizer that came with garlic bread that 3 out of the 4 of us enjoyed…Dad was NOT a fan haha!



The onions on top of these were excellent! For dinner Zach got some type of ravioli and Dad got the pork loin.



Mom also got the pork loin and I had the scallops.


My scallops came with micro greens, a celery puree and marcona almonds. The scallops were cooked to perfection- they cut like butter but had the perfect crisp sear to the outside.



Unfortunately for what this place cost and how built up it was, I thought it was fine. Everything was cooked well and the flavors were good but it just wasn’t as outstanding as I had hoped. My dessert though, was genius.



This was a buttermilk tart with cranberry sorbet, candied orange peels, cranberry compote and an oatmeal crumble. It didn’t sound like my typical dessert (I’m not even a huge cranberry fan) but for some reason it sounded good and I was SO glad I got it. The compote was delicious, the sorbet unique and the tart itself reminded me of a beloved dessert my family makes called graham cracker pie. I would order something like that again for sure! We came back to the apartment and snapped a few more pictures before shedding our dress clothes for comfy sweats. 🙂




We ended the night playing Bananagrams and Cards Against Humanity and enjoying our view for one more night!

Saturday’s Food Journal:

  • Breakfast – apple, doughnut
  • Lunch – 1/2 cinnamon roll, 1/4 chili fries, chicken and french toast
  • Supper – bread w/bone marrow, scallops, tart

No formal exercise for the day, but we did rack up some mileage with the walking.

62/1,200 miles.


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