Saturday, October 13, 2012

Chicago Trip

During our time in Chicago, we rented a 3 bedroom condo in Andersonville which is about 6-8 miles north of downtown Chicago. The complex was called the Andersonville Guesthouse. It was a really nice place. Had enough space, full kitchen, 2 bathrooms, parking space, and outdoor patio. It was a bit of a drive anywhere, but not because of distance, but because of traffic. Lakeshore Drive was the best way to get into downtown and that wasn't bad. The times we had to get to the freeway on the west side took the longest. It was also just a 10 minute walk to the train that goes right into downtown Chicago. So that was really convenient the day of the race. There were also lots of restaurants, Starbucks, etc.

Here are a few pictures from our stay. I didn't really get any good ones of the actual rooms, but they were nice. The master bath even had a steam shower = love after the marathon!
Cole always wanted to go outside on the patio. He called out "truck", "taxi", "car", "bus", "bike", or "airplane" - whatever was going by!
This is what Cole does when you tell him to relax and close his eyes. :)
The boys were watching football on Saturday night.
On Friday before we went to the race expo, we had to pick up my parents at the airport. We were able to stop at a Dunkin Donuts for coffee and donut holes. Delicious!
I'm not sure why we only made it there once, but we did go to Starbucks and another awesome breakfast place called the Bongo Room. Apparently this is like the breakfast place in Chicago. We went to the new location in Andersonville that just opened not too long ago. We were able to walk just a few block north of our condo to get there. We all had some kind of egg breakfast...scrambles, omelets, croissant sandwich, etc. But the waitress said we had to try a pancake since we hadn't been before...we said ok, we'll share one. Well it was a good thing we did because it was AMAZING! It was a pancake with pieces of pretzel and caramel and vanilla creme syrups on top. Oh my gosh! I think we licked the plate!

Other eats:
Friday lunch at Pleasant House Bakery. It was a super small local place with daily specials and local, fresh ingredients. There was a limited menu, so we all had fish & chips. Which, I have to say, were very good. Cole even had some too. We almost didn't stay, but were were hungry and decided to just go for it. We were happy we did.

Cole played with Nina on the bench while we were waiting.

Friday night dinner at Quartino. Tony and I went here when we were in Chicago in 2006. (It's been awhile!) They have Italian food in kind of a tapas style where you order several things for the table to share. My Dad wasn't a huge fan, but the rest of us liked it. It was kind of crowded, but we had a 6:00 reservation which worked out well for having a little one. There were also other kids there, so we didn't feel bad bringing Cole.

Sunday night reward dinner at Gino's East. Deep dish, Chicago style pizza is where it's at when you are starving from running for hours! We also got there before 6:00 and only had a few people in line in front of us. The pizza takes 45 minutes to cook, so we were ready with our order right away. We left stuffed and happy!

Monday lunch was at Portillo's hot dogs. We had to hit up all the Chicago style places and didn't think the Wiener Circle was "family friendly". We did run by there during the marathon though. Portillo's was really good. Tons of choices other than hot dogs too and very good chocolate cake for dessert. We found out that Cole doesn't really like hot dogs right now, but we ate tons of french fries that he wanted to "dip" every time.

We drove by Wrigley Field on our way to lunch.
We were surprised we didn't run by there until we drove through and saw all the construction they were doing on the roads around the stadium. Running wasn't going to be happening there!

Nina and Cole were chilly walking in downtown.

After lunch on Monday we went to the Shedd Aquarium. It's right on the water and has cool views of downtown Chicago.
We waited in line for a little while because it was a free day for Illinois residents. It was a beautiful day, so we didn't mind too much. We spent about 2 hours in the actual aquarium seeing the exhibits. Cole didn't last long in his stroller and wanted to be out looking at all the fish. He had a lot of fun, but wore us out chasing him all over the place! Good thing Nina and Pop Pop were there to help too.

We saw this huge shark swimming right above us!
Cole decided he needed to go "night night" in the middle of the aquarium.
Watching the dolphins swim. They were so fast!
We paid extra to see the Jellies exhibit. It was pretty neat, but crowded. Cole liked watching the little ones right at his level.
There was a little touch tank just Cole's size too. He was so cute. He would touch something and pull his hand out really fast like it scared him and just laugh and then go right back in.
Nina and Pop Pop let Cole pick out a stuffed pengiun to take home. Cole named him "Cole".

Two of my favorite pictures from the weekend:

Our family photo after the marathon expo. Cole actually looked at the camera and smiled!

Tony and I ready to "Own Chicago" in our 3rd marathon together!

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