The ‘Birthday in Chicago’ experience

Adventures #6.02 & #6.03 : Chicago, Wednesday 6th & Thursday 7th July 2016.

The Birthday Experience

[Alice :] My 26th birthday was on the 7th of July, but we were leaving Chicago on that day, so we basically somewhat decided I would have a « two-days birthday experience in Chicago » where we would more or less do whatever I wanted. It was a bit of a weird time for me, I felt pretty down ; which is somewhat unusual on my birthday. I was very happy to celebrate this one in the States, and the first one I got to really share with my husband. Maybe not having a huge party with most of my friends like I did for the past few years felt a bit different… Also I took the turn from early twenties to late-twenties way too seriously and it impacted my mood… Anyway, I tried to not be too much of a bummer and Simone did his best to pretend I was the coolest person in the world….

The 6th of July – 1st day in Chicago

[Simone :] The first night in our luxury hotel we slept kind of weird, ambulances made a lot of noise all night…

This was a very sunny day, and we went to a mystery shop to buy a mystery (not so much) gift for my super old wife…
I actually didn’t realize that the shirt Simone wanted to buy at the sport apparel shop was for me! And it took him so long to decide which one he wanted, I had left him to go somewhere else in the mall because I was too bored…  Also I kept telling him that I had gotten so old so he called me « old wife » the whole day…

Chicago
Chicago
Chicago
Chicago
Chicago
Chicago
Chicago
Chicago

Then we went to the beach.
It is definitely surprising to find a beach in the middle of the city ! It was a 20min walk from our hotel. Once there, it really felt like being at the beach, if you forgot the cars and tall glass buildings in the background. 

Chicago
Chicago Beach
Chicago
Chicago Beach

After that, we went in the direction of Grant Park.

Chicago
Chicago
Chicago
Chicago
Chicago
Chicago

We walked a lot and when we arrived there was some kind of festival called Taste of Chicago.

Chicago Grant Park
Chicago Grant Park
Chicago Grant Park
Chicago Grant Park – The Bean
Chicago Grant Park
Chicago Grant Park – The Bean
Chicago Grant Park
Chicago Grant Park – Having fun with the Bean

We walked around before going to sit lazily where they hold concerts. That day, it was The Roots ! We were pretty early so we just chilled on the grass. There was a band before the main gig, the atmosphere was really nice…

Chicago Grant Park
Chicago Grant Park – The perks of being the Birthday-Girl !!
Chicago Grant Park
Chicago Grant Park – The Roots Concert
Chicago Grant Park
Chicago Grant Park – The Roots concert


We didn’t stay for the whole concert, and went back to our room after picking up some delicious Japanese food in a nearby restaurant.
I really just wanted to be with Simone, watching some tv show or a movie, and eating Japanese food in bed. It’s something we used to do all the time when we were living in Paris, and I really missed it. Having this homey cozy evening was perfect for me ! That night, he also offered me my birthday present : a beautiful Chicago Bulls shirt that I really love !!

Chicago
Chicago Birthday Present !

Chicago Architecture

I’m no expert, but since the moment we stepped in Chicago, the architecture of this city has struck me as ‘interesting’ at least… Since we haven’t prepared any of this trip, and had no guide of any city we went to, we were not educated on what to expect. It’s now, in retrospect, that I look at the pictures that I remember how the architecture felt somewhat special when we roamed the streets.
Since most buildings in the downtown area have been destroyed during a huge fire in 1871, most of them are pretty ‘new’ and original.
If you’re interested in this topic, the Buildings of Chicago Website looks like a good source of informations.
Here are some of the buildings that make Chicago such an interesting city, architecture-wise… :

Chicago Architecture
Chicago Architecture
Chicago Architecture
Chicago Architecture
Chicago Architecture
Chicago Architecture
Chicago Architecture
Chicago Architecture

The 7th of July – 2nd day in Chicago – Alice’s birthday

On the 7th, we took our time until the late check-out at 12pm, before going back to Jake’s Corner Tap for brunch.

Chicago
Chicago
Chicago
Chicago

That same night, we were going to travel from Chicago to Philadelphia overnight, and we had left our bags at the hotel. We had the whole afternoon to do stuff, but we were pretty tired. So we decided to go to the movies. We took our time to walk to the Navy Pier, where the IMAX theatre is. We decided to go watch Tarzan (the movie) and while we waited we actually watched the EuroFootball game between France and Germany.
Which, for an Italian, is like pasta overcooked against pizza with pineapple (no nightmare could be worst). For the record, France defeated Germany 2-0.

The movie was an experience !!
I quite liked the IMAX experience (I used to do that sometimes with my mother when I was a child and I had a memory of it being really good) and the film was entertaining enough, so it was a good idea to spend our afternoon there.

As the departing time was getting closer, we went to do some groceries at Trader’s Joe for the 23hrs bus ride to Philadelphia.
Then, for Alice’s birthday, we went to have dinner in a nice Mexican place where we had delicious food and amazing Margarita !

The next 3 hours were spend in Eataly, a place with Italian restaurants and lots of shelves of Italian food and products. We stayed there because they had the wifi and I needed a coffee.

When it was time, we went back to the hotel to get our bags back, then took a taxi to the Megabus stop and left at 11:50pm sharp!

Bye bye Chicago, see you Philly !

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