Trip Report: Chicago, October 13 - 17, 2011

Oct 24th, 2011, 11:53 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,847
Trip Report: Chicago, October 13 - 17, 2011

We decided to meet our daughter and her partner halfway. We flew in from San Francisco, they came from New York. We rented an apartment for 4 nights ($895 including tax) from Short-Term Chicago. It was a fully furnished two bedroom apartment at 1220 W. Belmont, just a few blocks from the Red line. The pictures on the web site are accurate. The one quirk: the water heater has a very noisy exhaust fan which worried us because none of us were used to an exhaust fan for the water heater. We called and it was apparently checked while we we out and there was nothing to worry about.

The trip was too short. We barely scratched the surface at the Art Institute and the Museum of Science and Industry. Both museums deserve at least a full day and we just had a few hours.

We arrived at 8 p.m. at O’Hare and took public transportation to the apartment. The connection was easy, we just followed the directions given on Google map. We purchased a three day pass for each of us, which, in terms of (minimal) cost, was the wrong thing to do. It would have been better to buy a single ticket and then the three day pass the next morning, which would have covered the rest of our stay including the trip back to the airport. As it was we had to buy tickets for our last evening and the trip back to the airport. We arrived at the apartment around 9:30 and our daughter, who had arrived much earlier that day found a recommended pizza place from which we had a deep dish Chicago-style pizza delivered. Too much dough for our taste, although the vegetarian topping was quite good. We’ll stick to thin pizzas from now on.

On the first day we went to the Art Institute, saw a special exhibit of W.W.II Russian posters and the miniatures. We also had lunch there. We then took the “L” to the north side to meet a friend who specializes in ethnic neighborhood tours, and she gave us a tour of the Devon Ave. area (mainly Indian and Pakistani establishments). For a different Chicago experience, consider . That evening she fed us a very good Mexican meal with an exceptional dry-rubbed barbecue chicken from a Mexican take-out place.

The next day we went to Oak Park to see the Frank Lloyd Wright houses--easy connection via “L”. Since we did not get an early start, we just got a touch of the neighborhood in the 45 minutes we waited for the tour of his house and studio. The tour lasted longer than announced, which was surprising as it must have created back-ups for the subsequent tours. The “L” ride is quite long, and we just made it for our 3 p.m. appointment with Evelyn. She also leads tours out of the Chicago Cultural Center which used to be the public main library. The building is very impressive, containing two large Tiffany domes, and one is surprised to hear that the authorities ever considered tearing it down. We walked around the downtown all together and then took the Red line to the Lawrence station to eat in an Ethiopian restaurant half a block from the “L” station: We ordered the family platter which is a variety of foods on sponge bread presented on a large platter: $183.63 including drinks and tip. The food is excellent, but one has to be willing to eat using sponge bread to grab the food, no utensils are given.

We had all read The Devil in the White City, so we had to go see the Museum of Science and Industry; which is the only remaining building from the 1893 Colombian Fair. We took the “L” to Cottage Grove and walked over to the University of Chicago because Evelyn had told us to go see the new library. The dome is impressive and quite a contrast to the brutalist style of the 60s Regenstein Library. More impressive is what is hidden--the stacks and their retrieval system. From there we walked toward the lake, passing by the Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House--tours are available but we did not have the time. We got to the Museum of Science & Industry in time for a late lunch, a tour of the Dr. Seuss exhibit and a view of the main transportation hall. From there we took the no. 10 bus back to the water tower, walked toward the lake and then down to Navy Pier. From there we took a taxi to Greek Town to meet friends who had made a reservation for dinner at the Greek Islands Restaurant ( ). It was good, but not great. The lamb and pork that my wife and I ordered were too dry, we should have stuck with saucier dishes or maybe fish. But the fried calamari was excellent and the salad--mainly tomatoes--was good. Total cost: $250 for the six of us, including two bottles of wine; service was excellent. The restaurant is noisy and the evening was split in two. Our daughter and her partner speaking to the husband while my wife and I spoke with the wife throughout the evening; a common conversation involving 6 was just impossible.

The next morning we stepped out of the apartment and walked to the corner just as the bus was arriving, transferred to the “L” and had a train within 3 minutes. And then there was a breakdown on the line and we lost 40 minutes, worrying that we might not make it to the airport on time. But we did.

Here are the pictures, including some taken on previous trips:
Michael is online now  
Jan 12th, 2012, 07:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 59
I was very interested to read your trip report as I am planning our first trip to Chicago for sometime in April - haven't booked the flights as yet. As we will be two couples, I think staying in apt. is better (and less expensive) than two hotel rooms. Would you care to share the website of the co. you dealt with. I entered Short term rentals chicago on Google and got a whole bunch of choices so don't know which one you used. I am also making note of the places you visited as this gives me a good start in my planning. Thanks for sharing.
aljo is offline  
Jan 12th, 2012, 07:57 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,847

This is the unit we rented:
Michael is online now  
Jan 12th, 2012, 11:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 59
The apt. looks great. I wasn't able to access the availability calendar but I will phone them. Thanks for your help.
aljo is offline  
Jan 12th, 2012, 12:19 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 462
I loved reading about your trip! And your photos are terrific.
I must get to Chicago - I'm embarrassed to say I've never been
Thank you.
lantana is offline  
Jan 12th, 2012, 06:33 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,499
You have to make sure that they are licensed with the City of Chicago.
exiledprincess is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
United States
Nov 7th, 2015 02:36 AM
United States
Oct 2nd, 2009 10:25 AM
United States
Jul 26th, 2009 01:20 PM
United States
Aug 26th, 2008 07:33 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:33 PM.