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Trip Report Chicago: epitome of midwestern nice

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I decided to suprise my wife with a weekend trip to Chicago for her birthday. Its a short flight from where we live and my ulterior motive was to use public transportation for the first time since I rode the school bus 35 plus years ago.(we live in very rural USA) I got $69.00 flights from southwest airlines and a great hotel rate from travelzoo.com for the Four Points Sheraton located on North Rush avenue.(thanks Dave 148) The hotel was perfect for us, not 5 star but a 3 or 4 star with a very nice staff. Great location.

After landing I bought a 3 day cta pass for $14.00 for each of us. Using the EL couldn't have been easier for us two novices. One transfer from the Orange line to the Red line and we were 4 blocks from our hotel. I felt like a genius. Disclaimer, I had to fire up my new Ipad to figure what direction was north to head to the hotel but hey, we didn't get lost.

First meal. The Capital Grille. My wifes favorite retaurant in Minneapolis has a sister restaurant here in Chicago(I know, other cities also) Best meal of the trip. They don't have a celebrity chef, they are a chain, they are owned by a corporation, but their food is done very well. Very well. Perfect end to a travel day.

Saturday, a stroll down Michigan Avenue, breakfast at the Corner Bakery. We enjoyed the flowers in and around Millenium Park until the Art Institute Museum opened at 10:30. Monet, Picasso and all of the rest, WOW. We made it through one wing, maybe. I was interested in the impressionists, but we ran out of time to get more than a taste of the art.

Pizza Due for deep dish pizza. The little place was crowded at 2:30 and the pizza was worth the wait. Individual pizzas for each of us, perfect. Hers pepperoni, mine with everything. Shopping time.

Saturday evening, we tried to eat at the Purple Pig, but at 10:30 there was a 1 1/2 hour wait. No thanks. So accross the street was Michael Jordans Steakhouse. A nice place, the food was fine, except the dessert. An apple something or other, missed the mark.

Sunday lunch, The Purple Pig. I had been waiting to try this restaurant since reading that it was nominated for one of the 10 best new restaurants in the USA. While I can see why some people enjoy it I was not that impressed with it overall. I would say that it is a bar that serves food. A loud, vibrant bar and imported, different food but not one of the top 10 new restaurants in the USA. A major dissapointment for me. At $120 for two of us lunch should have wowed us and it did not.

Everywhere we went we encountered the same type of people, friendly, helpful and courteous. So much to see, so little time. We got a little tast of Chicago, the people left us with such a good impression that we will be back. Midwestern nice at its best.

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