48-Hour Tour

NaBloPoMo, Day 28

Last weekend, my stepmother Diana and her boyfriend Richard visited Chicago for the first time and we gave them the whirlwind 48-hour grand tour. Turns out my hunch was right–they came to town to personally give us the big news that they’re engaged, which was a very thoughtful thing to do. It was a memorable moment as Richard choked up while making the announcement over cocktails in the Palmer House lobby.

All in all it was a wonderful weekend. They had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed their taste of Chicago. I made a concerted effort to show them the people, places and food that I love about this city. It was great fun spending time with them, all along the way making plans for their next visit.

Here’s a rundown of the highlights:

Friday —

  • Picked up D & R from Midway airport.
  • Hyde Park and University of Chicago campus. Walked around the neighborhood and campus. Grabbed a bite to eat at the Divinity School Coffee Shop in the basement of Swift Hall.
  • Stopped in 57th Street Books, (Obama’s bookstore!) and my favorite bookstore in Chicago. Bought something, of course.
  • Drove north on Lake Shore Drive, from Hyde Park to downtown Chicago–my favorite drive in Chicago.
  • Checked D & R into their hotel. Walked around North Michigan Avenue.
  • Dinner at Twin Anchors. Richard is a movie buff and wanted to visit the restaurant used in the movie Return to Me. (It was also used in the most recent Batman movie and apparently was a favorite of Frank Sinatra’s.) Luckily, it just happens to be one of our favorite dining spots, renowned for having the best ribs in town.
  • Back to the hotel. Walked up Michigan Avenue, along the Chicago River, and back toward the Water Tower. Up to the Signature Lounge on the 95th floor of the Hancock for a drink and the view.

Saturday —

  • Gathering at my house for light brunch. Gave D & R a tour of the house (which they’d only seen in photos) and had them meet a few friends, including Wee-J!
  • Drive through Evanston, Northwestern and north shore suburbs, driving along Sheridan Road. Back south, via Wrigley Field, to Hot Doug’s for a late lunch.
  • Parked in the south loop and walked around downtown. Walked along south Michigan Avenue, through Millennium Park, popped into the Cultural Center, down along State Street, into Field’s (sorry, Macy’s is still Field’s to me) and stopped at the Palmer House for a drink and the big announcement.
  • Dinner at West Town Tavern.
  • Drive down Michigan Avenue (post holiday parade) to see all the trees in their white lights and around the loop to see the Merchandise Mart, Lyric Opera building and Board of Trade all lit up.

Sunday —

  • Brunch at Orange.
  • Ride on the El on elevated tracks around the loop, over the river and back again.
  • Back to Midway airport. Whew.
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4 Responses

  1. Charlie

    So what did they think of the view from the Hancock? Sounds like you gave them quite the tour. What’s great about Chicago is that they could come back several times and it would be a different cool tour every time.

  2. They were impressed…by the view and the prices! Unfortunately, we had a table about as far from the window as you can get, which was fine with Richard since it turned out he has a thing about heights. Here’s a tip: the best view in the house is from the women’s rest room. Amazing!

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